Page 8 - Vocal Chords Summer 2017
P. 8

Five Traits of an Efficient Business Practice in a Clinical Office By Warren Jones, HIE NetworksWork ow Engineers at HIE Networks discovered several similar organiza onal traits within  ourishing medical prac ces. Managing a prac ce in a swi ly changing reimbursement and regulatory environment is not for the faint of heart. However, evalua ng these founda onal tenets of successful prac ces can assist any manager through uncertain  mes.In a 2015 Medical Group Management Associa on (MGMA) study called, “De ning Value - Prac cal Applica ons For ‘Medical Prac ce Today: What members have to say,’” found that dealing with rising opera onal costs was the number two concern of prac ce managers, behind preparing for value-based payment programs.The survey report highlights comments from Sara Brown, MGMA Government A airs representa ve, where she notes that, “even when a group meets the regula ons [like Meaningful Use], there is an e ect on produc vity, which in uences a group’s bo om line when members are “Dealing with rising opera ng costs.”The emo onal burden of coping produc vity and e ciency issues was highlighted in a quote from one of the survey par cipants.“The current environment is the worst I’ve experienced in 24 years of prac ce management,” said one member, who pointed to “diving incomes, overwhelming regula on, [a growing] hospital-physician communica on gap, lack of physician involvement in decision-making at all levels of healthcare, a total disconnect between CMS and what is doable (MU, EHR adap on, HIPAA regula ons).”It is the job of HIE Networks’ Work ow Engineers to immerse themselves in a medical prac ce client’s business procedures to determine how to create the best work ow for the o ce. Excellent work ow begets e ciencies and can reduce opera ng cost.They found the most e cient business o ces have the following characteris cs:A strong manager who de nes accountability measures for the team and the individual. It is important to  rst set a clear responsibili es for billing, records func ons, and other aspects of the prac ce’s business side. Doing so allows for de ning accountability measures and focuses employees on the task at hand.A universal communica on program between departments as part of their work ow. Communica on allows departments to know the status of work throughout the organiza on. A digital program with real- me updates provides employees with the opportunity to provide input should an uncompleted task slow their own produc vity.Strong rela onships with referring partners and prac ces. The most e ec ve way to create and strengthen those rela onships is to have periodic face-to-face mee ngs. It is much harder to ignore someone you have met at a lunch or social event than it is someone you only talk to on the phone when needed. Many successful rela onship building mee ngs take place over lunch in a referring medical prac ce where colleagues ask each other what is working and what can be improved.One uni ed work ow. It is as simple as it sounds, but di cult to accomplish. Some mes duplicate work ows are created because of one person or department’s preference. Doing so hurts e ciency. HIE Networks’ Work ow Engineers have found that most o ces have 2-5 di erent ways of doing the same task. Not only do mul ple work ows a ect e ciency, it creates confusion when employees leave the organiza on and have not documented their way of accomplishing a task. The next employee in the role has no clue how to complete the task. That does not mean that a work ow process should never change. All processes should evolve as people discover ways to improve. The HIE Networks’ Work ow Engineers encourage change because they learn ways to make their digital system be er.Clear produc on targets for employees. The manager of one HIE Networks client uses a whiteboard containing employee goals for each week. One recent goal was a direc ve to "return records to the provider within a week." Se ng goals allowed sta  to understand their goals and managers to track them, evaluate compliance, praise employees who were successful and counsel those who were not. Another manager uses a produc vity report from HIE Networks’ Communica on Suite that tracks department and individual produc vity. Every month the manager holds a sta  mee ng to report department results. She then sits with them individually to show their results compared to their peers. Workload Engineers have seen drama c results. It seemsmany people will self-mo vate to improve if they know that people around them are more produc ve. 8

   6   7   8   9   10