4 Ways to Improve Admin Efficiency in Your Small Medical Practice

By: Dinethra Menon - MedicalSearch Writer
02 March, 2015

Efficient admin can improve operations in your small medical practice. Doctors maintain processes and practises by monitoring duplication of services, overly expensive inputs or inefficient systems.

Use electronic patient records

Operational waste can be reduced through effective staff communication that cuts down on unnecessary transactions. Duplication of tests for patients can create associated costs without leading to better patient outcomes. Not only is this an expense for your practice, it also costs your patients time and money.

Repeating tests can be avoided if all staff at your practice use a centralised electronic patient record management system. The system contains information in one secure location and can facilitate accurate transfer of patient information that can be accessible by different treating doctors.

Read more on eHealth records from the National eHealth Transmission Authority (NEHTA)

Employ a practice manager

Quality in patient-care is dependant on the happiness of your staff, who are often the first point of contact for patients at your practice. Employing a practice manager is a useful human resource to ensure smooth operations and staff satisfaction.

Staff meetings facilitated by practice managers can be a functional way to ensure patient information is handed over and urgent reports are delegated. Discussions about patient-care can also reduce expenses at your practice. The Australian Association of Practice Management provides professional resources that can assist in improving practice management.

Regular stocktakes

There is nothing worse than finding an out-of-date or empty supply of medical products needed during a patient consultation or trying to type an urgent patient referral letter and running out of paper or ink in the printer. Ensure your practice manager or nurse performs regular stocktakes of vaccines, test results and office supplies to assist smooth delivery of healthcare at your practice. The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) can provide more information about employing a practice nurse to assist with stock control.

Allocate time for patient appointments

Booking patient appointments appropriately impacts on your time management and ultimately patient care. Allocating enough time for patient consultations and avoiding double bookings can significantly improve efficiency at your practice. Staff should ensure patient files are kept up-to-date with test results and medical notes prior to their appointment.

It is also important that all doctors and staff are given time during the day for short breaks. Consider blocking out periods of time for a short morning or afternoon tea break, with staff handing over patient information before taking their break.