In a perfect medical practice, the physician wouldn't have to worry about anything but his or her patients, but this is seldom the case in the real world. Doctors are often taking care of something other than patients in the healthcare setting. However, there are things physicians can do to make sure they're optimizing their time and spending more of it with patients. 

Hire the right employees
Having enough employees to tackle all of the work that a physician isn't required to do is one of the best ways to increase productivity and ensure that physicians can spend all the time they need with patients. That being said, having too many people on staff means you're wasting money on salaries that you don't need to pay. Try to find out exactly how much staff you need for your practice to run smoothly. The number of employees will depend on each individual's experience and strengths, so finding people who are qualified and hardworking will serve you well. 

Provide training to those who need it
Sometimes you'll have an employee who is dedicated and works hard but is still not performing at his or her required level. If this is the case, some additional training might be necessary. When employees are properly trained, they will be able to get work done as efficiently as possible. Whether it's training on medical billing software, patient histories or something else, giving staff what they need in terms of resourcing will help struggling employees get more work done. While training can take time and money, the added productivity will make up for these things further down the road. 

Motivate employees
When there is so much work to be done, employee morale can wane. That's why it's important to motivate employees. Start the day off with a practice meeting where you encourage everyone, or if you're not much of a motivator, consider providing employees with lunch or some other kind of incentive for performing well. If nothing else, make sure you talk with staff members on a regular basis and let him or her know that their work is appreciated. 

Encourage patient punctuality
Because a physician's office relies on patients, your success and productivity requires them to show up to the practice on time. Patients who show up late slow down the day and reduce productivity across the board. Sending out emails and reminder phone calls for patient visits and times can help ensure that patients arrive when they should. Also, when those communications are made, it's a good idea to encourage patients to come somewhere around 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork or, if you're running ahead of schedule, get them in for their appointment early. 

Enforce pre-visit insurance verification and patient information
Another way to make sure things run as efficiently as possible is to get as much patient information as you can before they arrive. This includes insurance verification. If patient insurance data can be cleared before their visit, it will remove one more thing the front office has to do. Technology can help with the gathering of this data through online patient portals. Still, you'll have some patients who won't feel comfortable entering their information online. In this case, encourage them to call ahead of time so that everything is ready to go before the appointment.