Increase Revenue by Improving Practice Workflow

Chad Anguilm, Vice President, In-Practice Technology Services Electronic Health Records (EHR)

practice workflow assessment

Albert Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the true definition of insanity. Although he may not have been talking about the modern medical practice, it still rings true. Many clinics are stuck completing tasks like they always have and continue to fall further behind as reimbursement models change. The most effective way for a medical clinic to combat revenue loss is to conduct a practice workflow assessment to find inefficiencies and opportunities.

Practice Workflow Assessment | Where to Begin

By removing unnecessary steps and processes, a clinic can spend more time focusing on efforts leading to billable opportunities, such as patient engagement and pre-visit planning. So often, clinics stuck in old processes find themselves efficient in some areas and behind in others. This is due to a simultaneous resource overload in one area and deficiency in another. Implementing top of licensure practices, modifying the order of events, and allowing management to focus on strategic business orientated activities will allow the clinic to run more smoothly and keep pace with current programs and policies.

True “workflow” has provisions to answer all possible questions that arise when deciding on or acting on a task. This helps an individual’s work confidence level, which in turn reflects in the quality of patient care and pay-for-performance program success. If staff understand what to do when an event arises, they will implement the task. By writing it all out and publishing the processes in an area where staff can read it, like the break room, clinic staff is much more likely to thrive as new programs and opportunities arise. Then, on a quarterly basis, review your processes on a workflow map to ensure staff understands them, can evaluate them, and improve where the team sees fit.

Practice Workflow Assessment | Next Steps

Most processes go undocumented. The good news is when you map workflow processes, you will see opportunities for improvement. Improvement will lead to new opportunities and the ability to catch up with modern program requirements. Workflow mapping is usually best done with cost-effective workflow management software like Microsoft Visio that lets you create, modify and implement baseline workflows, and then measure whether they resulted in more efficiency, lower costs, or higher revenues.