How to Organize a Small Medical Office

Stethoskop und calendar

Time constraints force office managers to juggle an enormous number of duties.  Without a scheduled strategy to organize and prioritize your office tasks, you can easily forget about important meetings and assignments.  This leads to more stress and less productivity.  Here are six ways to properly organize your medical practice effectively and efficiently.

1. Prioritize

Setting priorities is the first step toward organizing the chaos.  Create a to-do-list every day for the following business, whether it be handwritten or electronic.  This helps give you a head start every day when you enter the office.

2. Calendar Control

Carefully controlling your calendar is critical, as every month includes its own set of deadlines.  These can include training requirements, financial reports, 401(k) and profit sharing filings, and internal project milestones.  Document all of these deadlines every month on your calendar as soon as you learn of them.  Also add in board meetings, reminders for upcoming important deadlines, staff recognition gatherings, and physicians’ grand rounds.

3. Review and Modify “Open-Door Policies”

Many office managers brag about their open-door policies for staff members, but the constant interruptions can keep the you from getting your own work done.  Set aside an hour daily for questions and comments from the staff, and set criteria for the interaction.  Ensure your team is properly trained and has the tools needed to solve problems on their end.

4. Open Mail Only Once

Only open mail, physical and/or electronic, you feel prepared and able to personally handle.  These keeps you from going through emails and bills more than once.  Establish a three-part filing system:  “do now, do later, and file.”  Throw away other paperwork, and assign the mail that belongs to other departments so they can organize in a similar and take ownership of their responsibilities.

5. Order Office Products and Supplies Online

Set up a system of keeping an inventory on office supplies to prevent unexpected and unnecessary trips to Staples and/or Office Depot.  Ordering these products and supplies online is easy.  Your vendors usually keep records of your orders in order to help both of you better remember the type of pens, paper, models, item numbers, and brands for your office supplies as well as generating your utilization reports.

6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

Finally, organized office managers should always prepare and plan ahead for possible emergencies.  Set up a system for storing duplicate financial and personnel records.  Assemble a sack containing important emergency-related and staff phone numbers in case of security breaches, fires, or hazardous spills.  Planning ahead and setting priorities allow you to more efficiently utilize the office managers most limited resource in the practice – time.

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