A physicians office is a living, breathing organism in its own right. Changes in staffing and policy can impact the office's overall effectiveness, and it's up to both the staff members and doctor to maintain these components to foster efficiency. To achieve just that, the entire office needs to think holistically, considering everything from communication methods to available technology as a way of getting the most out of each day. Here are just a few considerations to make, each of which is just one step in creating a more streamlined and prosperous work environment.

Delegate workloads
Factories all over the world use assembly lines to create cars, personal electronics and other devices. They work because, in theory, every worker or every assembly robot has one set of tasks, and it's through the repetition of these tasks that workers gain insight and experience. The very same concept should apply to your medical office. Receptionists should interact with patients, billing should handle their necessary paperwork and those coders should only have to worry about their respective work piles. Keeping everything separated allows for your staff to do their job in a timely and energy-efficient manner. As an extension of this, you have to try and trust in the judgments of your staff. If a reception works with patients, let them make the call about what patients to see and when, or at the very least, make special consideration of their suggestions.

Electronic Health Records
Also referred to as EHRs, these digital patient records help streamline a number of office processes. EHRs can be accessed from almost anywhere, allow access to a number of medical databases and public health systems and let doctors message with the staff at hospitals and other physicians' offices. They can also help to cut down on transcription costs and the number of mistakes generated, including those involving the misreading of handwritten notes. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is plenty of evidence regarding the effectiveness of EHRs, including:

  • 75 percent faster lab results.
  • 82 percent of respondents noted less transcription time.
  • 70 percent increase in data confidentiality.

However, EHRs are only as efficient as the pool of users, and thus your staff will require ongoing training. 

Patient surveys
Whether it's an ice cream shop or a motorcycle dealer, businesses across the country rely on customer surveys to modify their practices and behaviors. Since patients can be considered the customers of a medical office, it only makes sense to rely on their unique feedback as well. According to the Medical Group Management Association, 80 percent of successful physicians offices – in terms of overall satisfaction and profitability – all use regular patient surveys. To make the most of the survey process, you'll want to ensure it's easy to use; to that end, try exploring the option of an electronic or mobile survey. Additionally, any such survey needs to not just be about the doctor and his or her abilities. Instead, it should encompass every department to provide a more thorough view of the entire office. Finally, the more data you have – that is, the number of actual surveys collected – the more in-depth the final results will be.

Audit your office
It's always important to be open to new techniques and technologies to help improve efficiency. However, it's just as vital that you, as the leader of the office, be able to take a look at those existing protocols that are only hampering success. That often begins by creating what's called a process map, according to Medical Practice Insider. This lists every step patients undergo, from the moment they enter the office to the moment they exit. Once that list of steps is assembled, you can then go through and cut out any unnecessary parts, combine certain procedures or add in anything else that might prove beneficial. It's also a good idea to get feedback from your office staff, as they'll have an intimate knowledge of what steps don't work and what steps are actually vital. Be aware, though, that this is a process that can take time to work, and thus you should make a new map every few months.