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The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for your urgent care to examine how it can improve. Streamlining your workflow is a good place to start—especially with the healthcare changes that will happen in 2014. Meaningful Use Stage 2 and implementation of ICD-10 will be two large changes that will affect how you document patient visits.
While you’re looking at accommodating these new changes in your workflow, why not also look at your entire urgent care workflow process?
Here are a few ideas to streamline your urgent care workflow in 2014.
1. Do Workflow Audits
Only by observing current workflow can you begin to make it better. Document and assess the most common patient visit types in your clinic. Figure out where you stand first before making any changes. Remember to involve all departments with audits as well. Armed with evidence, you can more accurately apply observation-based, beneficial changes to workflow steps. (View an example audit and workflow redesign document.)
2. Examine Personnel Roles
Everyone in the clinic has a role to play—from the front desk staff to providers. Like a well-directed play on stage, each role needs to be defined and filled by a star for success. Combining or separating roles, creating up-to-date job descriptions, and conducting regular personnel assessments are all ways to make sure you have the right people in the right place.
3. Offer Training Opportunities
There’s always something new to learn; offer training opportunities so your staff can. (And we’re not just talking about cross training, which is also important.) Provide online and off-site opportunities for staff to discuss ideas, learn skills, and listen to others. With MU Stage 2 and ICD-10, hands-on training will be what makes your transition to each of these areas a success, or not. (Check out AHIMA ICD-10 Training.)
4. Consider Schedule Updates
Re-examine your service hours and test adding or removing hours to see what’s the most profitable for you. Consider having a floating personnel schedule if you don’t already, so if volume increases, you have back up staff (either on-call or from another clinic location). Look at your urgent care’s trends last year for a guide for scheduling and hiring in the new year.
We’ll share four more ideas in a future blog post soon. What are some of the things your clinic plans to do (or has already done) to streamline your workflow? Tell us in the comments.