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Create a Strategy to Optimize Your Clinic Operations

Every healthcare organization no matter what size faces challenges during periods of growth and change.

And a major challenge for small- and medium-size practices, in particular, is maintaining efficient operations across front and back office processes and teams that ties in with procedures used by both your hands-on medical staff and the payer mix of patient insurers.

Leadership should make this a priority because optimizing operations is critical for revenue, reflects patient satisfaction levels, and often results in fulfilled team members and less staff turnover.

A December 2021 survey of 370 business leaders by MIT/Sloan Management Review found operations strategy for all types of business operations high on nearly all of their lists.

“The vast majority of survey respondents view operational transformation as an urgent priority, and most of those already have change initiatives underway. But the survey findings also indicate that these companies must address key challenges to ensure that those initiatives actually reach their goals,” MITSloan reported (emphasis added).

MITSloan spoke to leaders from consumer product companies and their responses hold true across many business sectors, including healthcare operations. And one surprising result was that while 98% of leaders consider operations transformation a priority:

  • Most lack clear priorities for transformation.

  • Most believe they can transform on their own, without assistance from partners or collaborative ecosystems.

  • Many seem unsure about why they’re transforming in the first place.

  • Without solid priorities and external expertise, these companies’ transformation efforts may fall short of their goals.

How do you steer your clinic towards a best-in-class operations strategy that boosts patient and staff satisfaction, financial performance and strengthens the foundational bones of your healthcare practice? It helps to ask the right questions, which is a winning strategy used by Clinic-ology.

Embracing new technology, including artificial intelligence-powered tech, is critical, industry experts say.

“General health care will be forever reimagined to consider hybrid ways of approaching services,” Danah Boyd, Founder And President of the Data & Society Research Institute and Principal Researcher at Microsoft, stated in a PEW Foundation study published in February on what the “new normal” will look like in 2025.

These new approaches will be supported by enhanced and new technologies in health care systems and standards in electronic records, some of which take effect in 2022. So, change is coming for healthcare practices whether from their own growth or changes, legal changes or both.

This means that creating an operations strategy is more critical than ever.

Clinic-ology works with healthcare organizations on all levels of operations, using best practices such as data analysis and key performance indicators (KPIs) that show where your clinic operations are now and where they can be improved.

Clinic-ology reviews all levels of operations, including:

  • Medical records.

  • Internal and external communication.

  • Patient scheduling.

  • Insurance billing.

  • Storage of physician notes and patient instructions.

Take for example, supply chain shortages, a recent and critical issue for many healthcare organizations.

“Hospitals and health systems have faced major issues with their supply chains, from personal protective equipment shortages at the start of the pandemic to a lack of crutches now,” Becker Hospital Review recently reported. “Ninety-nine percent of hospitals and health systems report challenges in supply procurement as of October 2021.”

Data that has proven critical in managing supply chain issues across many industries include:

  • The geographic area(s) relied on for supplies.

  • Whether one or multiple transportation modes are used.

  • Cross-training of employees to allow a quick pivot.

  • A cohesive supply chain strategy.

Clinic-ology reliance on best practices ensures that operations strategies are future-forward so that clinics are able to quickly adjust to unexpected changes. So, when faced with a supply shortage, processes are in place to adapt.

Here, communication processes are also key. And Clinic-ology’s overall three-step approach to change management — analyze, innovate, and manage — is utilized for communication processes as well. We look at all communication methods and tools in use to streamline communications and avoid overlaps, mis-communications, and wasted search times.

And most importantly, communications rooted in best practices help avoid medical errors, in a field where an estimated 80 percent of medical errors result from miscommunication among healthcare teams, according to the Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies over 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.

Clinic-ology CEO Marie Stacks will share her expertise on strategies for optimizing healthcare operations at the 2022 MGMA Medical Practice Excellence: Operations Conference in Austin, Texas.

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