5 Ways to Save Time in Clinic

Providers today are being pulled in multiple directions.  Providers must ensure effective patient care, keep detailed records, and are being asked to squeeze more patients into their daily schedule.  It is becoming more and more important for providers to capitalize on every minute and really be time efficient in their daily schedule.

Below are a few tips providers across the country are using to optimize time in their daily schedule.

1. Morning Team Huddle

Some of the most efficient practices will spend no more than 10 minutes at the very beginning of the workday to go over the daily schedule.  This is a great opportunity to see bottlenecks where you may need more support and how you will handle these.  In addition, you can see scheduled openings to get caught up on administrative tasks or address emergencies.  Each morning, discuss the previous days schedule and ways to streamline processes and be more efficient the next day.  Discuss what worked well, what didn’t and what you can learn moving forward.  When the entire team has a game plan on how they will attack the day, it makes it easier and more organized.  It also builds teamwork and team culture.

2. Send Informative Videos prior to Patient Appointment

What type of information can you give to patients to best inform them prior to coming in?  Medical Memory Inform allows for administrators or schedulers to send custom videos that can contain important information at scheduling.  If you encourage patients to watch important content about the process of the practice, content about candidacy requirements or even about their upcoming procedure (pre/post-op) they will have more information and be better educated.  Patients can best utilize their time with the provider to ask specific questions rather than the provider repeating themselves.  The provider can also reference the information available in the video for patients to review.  In addition, patients can share these videos with their continuum of care to ensure everyone understands the details for the patient and the provider isn’t asked to repeat the same things again and again.

3.  Give an Agenda of What You’re Covering at the Beginning of the Appointment

Patients are often nervous coming into their appointment, especially if their appointment is about a diagnosis or upcoming surgery.  Patients don’t know what to expect and their ‘fight or flight’ reactions cause them to go blank and not remember key details.  By giving an agenda at the beginning of the appointment about what you’re going to cover, you not only help focus the patient but also keep you both on track for the material that you’re supposed to cover.  This helps set the tone to keep you both on track.  This also helps the patient from going too far in depth about personal stories that weren’t covered in the agenda.  A great example would be, ‘Hi Ms. Smith, I’m Dr. Jones, let me tell you what’s going to happen today.  First, I want to confirm your medical history, then, I’m going to go over your results.  We’ll discuss my perspective on your diagnosis and then we’ll thoroughly go over the next steps.  How does that sound to you?

4.  Use Video to Stop Repeating Yourself

For most patients, providers find themselves repeating the same content over and over.  Information like pre-operative, or post-operative instructions, or the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the informed consent and conflict of interest tend to be the same for all patients.  Using tools such as Medical Memory Inform in the clinic allows the MA or NP to play these important videos covering all content for patients.  This can help save the provider upwards of 15 minutes per patient and ensure all vital information is covered.  In addition, Medical Memory tracks patient views and even ‘consents to the content’ in the video.  That way you can ensure patients not only have access to this vital information but have actually engaged and watched it.

5.  Speak Clearly at 6th Grade Level It is important to recognize that the medical language providers have grown up with is not always effective language to use with a patient. Most patients don’t understand medical jargon and terminology and can find themselves not fully understanding what the doctor is telling them.  This can lead to a lack of understanding, un-necessary repetition, or having to spend time further explaining important details.   Speaking, and explaining these procedures at a 6th-grade level helps the patient better understand the content.
Medical Memory is a HIPAA-compliant app that pushes custom content to patients. Some providers will record live consultations and give patients access to these visits post-appointment. Other practices will use the Inform tool where providers can prerecord important information for their patients (pre-op or post-op instructions, informed consent, logistics of surgery, etc). Both tools are saving providers time, mitigating risk, and strengthening the patient experience.