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Personnel roles and examining trends in your urgent care can be a guide for streamlined workflow in the new year. Now, let’s take a look at your actual urgent care process and what steps you can take to refine each action.
Here are a few (more!) ideas to streamline your urgent care workflow in 2014.
1. Cut Unneeded Steps
You’re probably thinking “We’ve cut everything we can.” While you may have a refined workflow, there’s always a way to cut more. Be ruthless. Look at every single step. Could web check-in cut the front desk paper work? Are you using paper in any step that your EHR has options for? Can your patients pay online to reduce patient phone calls (and collect more)?
2. Make Necessary Steps Smoother
Now that every step in your workflow has passed the “necessary test”, it’s time to look at how to make the remaining steps smoother. Can hand-offs between nurses and providers be better? If a procedure is done, can documentation be done quicker? Are lab and x-ray results imported directly and automatically into your chart? Have you refined your EHR’s templates and discharge plans?
3. Streamline Occupational Medicine and Workers’ Compensation
Occ med is predictable, so make these visits quick. Having employer payer info, forms, and visit instructions (protocols) in your EHR system—and not filling out necessary paper work by hand—will save you valuable time. Workers’ comp visits involve on-the-job injuries, but you can still be prepared by using your EHR and PM system to send documentation to pertinent parties automatically. (Learn the difference between occ med and workers’ comp.)
4. Track Changes and Adjust as Needed
Once you’ve decided on steps to cut and refine, document it. Implement them in your workflow. But don’t treat your workflow as set in stone. Be willing to examine and alter steps as needs change throughout the year – especially as ICD-10 and MU Stage 2 take effect. It’ll be helpful for your staff to be mentally prepared for both new documentation needs—and corresponding workflow changes.
Refining your workflow can take time and requires a commitment to improvement. True, it can be a little painful, but the results are worth it. Make 2014 the year you embrace change and continuously streamline your urgent care workflow.
What did we miss? How has your urgent care streamlined workflow? Share your tips in the comments.