How to Organize a Small Medical Office
Time constraints force office managers to juggle an enormous number of duties. A proper medical office setup will lead to a more streamlined and successful practice down the road. 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. Technology plays a huge part in the modern medical office space. Here are six ways to properly organize your medical practice effectively and efficiently.
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 when you enter the office every day.
Over time, these lists will become longer and harder to manage, so the introduction of task-management software may be necessary. When managing daily tasks, remember to assign priorities to tasks that are the most impactful, and understand the current workload when delegating responsibilities
2. Calendar Control
Carefully controlling your calendar is critical, as every month includes its own set of deadlines. These can consist of 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. A solid company calendar is a cornerstone for a proper medical office setup.
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 you from getting your 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. You may find that there is a crucial piece of training that your employees are missing out on, or even that you should require certain education or experience for new hires to make sure they are ready to hit the ground running when they start with your practice.
4. Open Mail Only Once
Only open mail, physical and/or electronic, you feel prepared and able to personally handle. These keep you from going through emails and bills more than once. Establish a three-part filing system: “do now, do later, and file.” Archive 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. It is important that you only open mail when you have the time and capacity to do something about it or delegate it out to somebody who can.
5. Order Office Products and Supplies Online
Set up a system of keeping an inventory of 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 to help both of you better remember the type of pens, paper, models, item numbers, and brands for your office supplies as well as generate your utilization reports. By analyzing your average supply usage for each business quarter, you can anticipate and place orders so that your staff never runs out of the resources that they need.
6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies
Finally, organized office managers should always prepare and plan for possible emergencies. Set up a system for storing duplicate financial and personnel records. Assemble a file containing significant emergency-related and staff phone numbers in case of security breaches, fires, or hazardous spills. Review any relevant HIPAA training and documentation that you have available to you to understand the best practices when dealing with the security of sensetive patient information. Planning and setting priorities allow you to more efficiently utilize the office manager’s most limited resource in the practice – time.
The Basics of Medical Office Setup
Now that you have read our guide on medical office setup, it is time to put your knowledge into practice! Remember to prioritize your work schedule and patient appointments. Make sure you keep a calendar of upcoming events so that everyone in the office can stay organized. Be sure to have an open-door policy so that patients feel comfortable coming to you with any questions or concerns. Incoming mail should be sorted and filed as soon as possible, and office supplies should be kept in an easily accessible location. Finally, always be prepared for emergencies by having a plan in place!