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Part 1: Patient Flow

Identify Opportunities for Improvement


Patient Flow Assessment

Determining how your patients move throughout your medical office should be one of the first areas to be assessed. From the time a patient schedules an appointment, arrives to the medical office, checks-in for their visit, sits in the waiting area, waits in the exam room, is treated by a physician, checks-out and pays, and finally leaves, only the patient knows whether the entire process flowed smoothly or not. In order to determine if your medical office has a smooth patient flow, find out the answers to the following questions:

  • Was the patient spoken to with respect when calling in for an appointment? Telephone Etiquette Tips
  • Was the patient greeted by the receptionist with courtesy and respect?
  • How long did the patient wait to see the doctor?
  • Did the nurse and doctor explain the details of the services provided to the patient?
  • Did the nurse and doctor answer all the patient's questions?
  • Did the patient receive excellent customer service?
  • Was the exam room clean, comfortable and prepared?
  • Was the waiting area safe, clean and spacious?

If the patient's of your medical office are not happy with the entire process, they may not come back. Providing high quality care and excellent customer service will prevent loss of revenue for the medical office due to a high level of patient satisfaction. Patients will very likely continue to come back as long as they are satisfied with the entire process.

So how do you find out how patient's perceive the process of your medical office?

  • Develop and distribute Patient Satisfaction Surveys
  • Sit in the waiting area and observe what goes on from that point of view
  • Put yourself through the entire process
  • Talk to your staff and find out what problems they may be aware of

Once you determine where with your medical office are the opportunities for improvement, take immediate action.

Step 1: Develop a written plan of action

Step 2: Get the involvement of front office staff, physicians, and nurses

Step 3: Implement changes within the medical office slowly

Step 4: Make sure any major changes are posted openly to aware patients

Step 5: Track your progress

Step 6: Get feedback from patients and staff

Step 7: Continue to compare and analyze your results

Step 8: Once you see consistent improvement, continue to maintain your new standards

As everyone knows, first impressions are lasting ones. The first impressions your customers receive about your medical practice are often from your office staff making them crucial to the success of your organization.

Tip #1: 3 Golden Rules to Medical Office Management

The medical office manager is ultimately responsible for the success of the entire staff. Managers are required to distribute the work load, motivate and supervise staff, and coordinate the smooth operations of the office. Of course, when things go well, the medical office manager gets all the credit but when things don't go well they also get all the blame

No matter if you are managing the small staff of a physicians office or the billing staff in a hospital, the manager can accomplish the goals of the organization from the medical office aspect using various tactics. Here are three golden rules to keep in mind.

Tip #2: Get Maximum Performance from Your Employees

As the leader of your organization, one of your many responsibilities is to find ways to motivate your employees. Many managers practice the system of using negative reinforcement to motivate their employees. This practice is out-dated and useless. Employees are rarely motivated to work more effectively by reprimanding or embarrassment. Managers unknowingly create complacent workers that work just hard enough not to get fired. It is important to understand what factors influence maximum performance for your medical office staff.

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  6. Medical Office - Medical Office Assessment - Financial Policy - Patient Flow - Revenue Cycle

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