7 Proactive Steps to Improve Your Practice While Focusing on Excellence in Patient Care

The first quarter of each New Year is a good time to conduct an internal audit of your practice, to highlight strengths and challenges, and to plan for the changes necessary to ensure that patient care is the highest priority of everyone at your practice.

Here are seven things that can guide you to improve the patient care, profitability and reputation of your practice. Current Medical Services specialized in guiding practices through these and other practice tune-up exercises.

Emphasize Courtesy and Professionalism

  • Health care is a highly professional field. The appearance and attitude of employees inform the patient’s perception of the providers in a positive or negative way.
  • Simple aspects of patient and team interaction such as eye contact, smiling, patient-centered language, and cleanliness are all ways to promote professionalism in the practice setting.
  • Ask your staff, “How would you like to be treated as a patient at this practice?” and “What can we do to provide an excellent patient experience?”

Review Clinical and Office Processes

  • Clarify staff roles and expectations.
  • Examine the office and clinic procedures, striving to streamline and improve.

Refine Your Website

  • Ensure that all patient related documents are prominently displayed on the website for patients to prepare for their visit on their own time to reduce in-office wait time.
  • Answer frequently asked questions on your website, and utilize a patient portal (remember, Patient Portal usage is a Core Requirement for Meaningful Use Stage 2).

Clearly and Consistently Communicate Goals

  • Remind your team about goals such as quality care and going the extra mile for patients.
  • Brief staff meetings held weekly or monthly provide a great format to emphasize these goals and to problem solve.

Learn From Your Patients

  • Give an opportunity for patients to be honest about their expectations and their desires.
  • Use satisfaction surveys to broaden perception of patient experience in a positive way.

Evaluate Your Electronic Health Record Software

  • Many EHR’s provide helpful videos online that can help instruct you on how to streamline daily processes in the EHR.
  • EHR’s are only as capable as their user; therefore, invest time in learning more about the potential of you EHR in order to meet your needs.

Celebrate Successes

  • Simply put, encourage the things people do right. This can radically improve the morale of the practice and develop a sense of ownership among staff and providers when correction is needed.