Missing Piece Blog

Is My Practice Streamlined to Focus on Patient Care?

Whether you’re running an ABA therapy practice, speech therapy practice, or any other type of healthcare practice, there are many different tasks that can and do take up your time. This includes taking calls, replying to emails, completing data entry, managing your staff, and making sure equipment is maintained. This doesn’t yet include the time you need to spend with your patients. With all these tasks requiring your time, it’s understandable that things may not always get your full attention or may even slip through the cracks.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “If only there was a way to streamline my practice,” you’re in the right place — there is a way. Join us as we take a look at some of the ways in which you can improve the efficiency of your practice and the benefits of each improvement. 

How to streamline your practice

Here are six actions you can take to improve your practice:

1. Audit your existing processes

It’s vital that you have a detailed overview of how different parts of your practice operate so that you can identify what is and isn’t working. There are many questions you can ask to kickstart this process. For example, what is your patient intake process like for your clients? Is case information organized and easily accessible to you and your team? How long does it take for you to process and submit your claims? 

While this may temporarily affect your day-to-day operations, it’s crucial that you take the time to assess how the different parts of your practice are running so that you can decide how to streamline them and improve how they work. 

Process audits also shouldn’t be done once and forgotten about. It’s important that you set up a schedule for process audits so that issues can be identified and addressed regularly, as well as giving you the opportunity to further streamline the processes in your practice.

2. Do a skills audit

The goal of a skills audit is not only to get a better understanding of the strengths of different staff members but also to identify areas where your staff may need additional training or upskilling so that they can improve their performance and the efficiency of your practice. A skills audit can also help you place employees in roles better suited to their skills, improving their overall satisfaction and helping you identify staff who may have skills to offer across multiple areas of your practice.

As a health practitioner, you’ll also need to do a personal skills audit to get a complete list of your own skills. After all, while you may be highly skilled in your particular area of healthcare, you may need skills development in other areas to ensure your practice operates as efficiently as possible. 

For example, if you’re thinking about starting your first practice and find yourself Googling “practice management in healthcare,” you could consider obtaining a basic certificate or diploma in practice management.

3. Give and receive feedback

It’s important that you engage with your staff (either one on one or in groups) to identify areas where they’re performing well and where there may be room for improvement. This will also give you an opportunity to address any other issues that may be affecting the practice.

Feedback sessions should not be seen only as a one-way street but also as an opportunity for staff to share any insights or issues they may have. After all, your staff may be aware of things that you have not identified yet, which could be impacting your practice.

4. Delegate certain activities

Whether you prefer to handle certain things yourself or you’re simply concerned that your team doesn’t have the skills to handle a specific task, taking on too much can negatively affect how your practice operates. This is why delegation is such an important step to improving efficiency and freeing up your time to focus on more important tasks. 

Delegation isn’t simply about finding someone with the time available to handle a task for you. It’s about identifying good candidates who have the potential to take over certain tasks if they were provided with the right mentorship and training. Yes, in the short term, it may require additional time and resources on your part. In the long run, however, there will be many benefits. For example, not only will you free up extra time to handle more important tasks, but your employees will now also have extra skills that they can use in your practice.

5. Take advantage of technology

A key tool in streamlining your healthcare practice is technology. Today, there are many different types of healthcare practice management software and other tools available that can help improve the way your practice runs.

Here are some technologies you may want to consider.

Online appointment scheduling

Help your staff and patients save time by using online appointment scheduling. All a patient needs to do is log onto your practice’s website to see when you have an appointment available, select an appointment that works for them and then supply the necessary personal information to confirm the booking. 

Electronic medical records

Electronic medical records are a great way to improve record keeping. There are several benefits to switching to digital records, including being able to access your patient’s information quicker than looking for a paper file, costing less to maintain, using less paper (which is better for the environment), and many more.

Electronic billing

Electronic billing makes the billing process easier for everyone. Patients will receive their bills quicker and have access to them digitally in the future; submitting claims is much quicker than processing them manually; they’re more secure, and payment is processed much quicker.  

Digital signage

Digital signage is another key tool in streamlining your practice and improving the patient experience. Not only are they useful for educating your patients about your services and the latest healthcare practices, but digital kiosks can also be used to check in and handle other tasks. These include scheduling a future appointment, reducing staff workload, and assisting patients who may be in a hurry after their appointment.

Telehealth tools

A patient may not be able to attend an appointment in person, but thanks to telehealth technology, you can still assist them using tools such as Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams or another online meeting service. 

Services such as Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, or other virtual meeting services can be used to engage with the individual, allowing your patient to provide information on their physical and mental state no matter where they are. 

If you’re an ABA practitioner, telehealth has been planned for, written into the treatment plan, and allowed on the policy, but it can still be an important treatment tool for a patient who may not be able to attend an appointment in person. 

6. Consider outsourcing some aspects of your practice

There are undoubtedly benefits to having employees in-house. Sometimes, however, it makes sense to outsource aspects of your practice management, such as administration, billing, and marketing. This could offer your practice many benefits, such as the ability to scale certain services as necessary, give you access to expertise that you may not have access to or that may be too expensive for you to bring in-house, reducing your costs by only paying for services when you need them, and, of course, improving the general efficiency of your practice.

Improve the efficiency of your practice and deliver better outcomes for your patients

There’s no doubt that running a healthcare practice is extremely difficult, but with the advice we’ve shared, we hope you’re on your way to streamlining your practice so that you can provide your patients with the time and attention they need.

Streamline your ABA therapy billing with Missing Piece

One of the easiest ways to streamline your practice is to outsource your billing to our team at Missing Piece. Missing Piece has been providing billing services for ABA therapy practices for more than 10 years. We help you by handling all of the day-to-day challenges associated with revenue cycle management so that you can spend more time focusing on what matters, namely your patients. 

Contact us to find out more about our turn-key services and how we can assist you and your practice with ABA therapy billing.