Have you noticed around the holidays our practices sometimes get a little quiet? This is something that I certainly have seen for years. In fact, one clinic I worked for would actually close down for the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s.
While staff may love that idea, for the majority of us, closing down for two weeks is not a feasible solution.
Instead, let’s look at how we can use this downtime more efficiently to increase productivity. You may have projects that have been waiting for to start, or ones that need completing. Perhaps you’ve been so busy, you are not even sure what needs to be done next.
Here are seven ideas of things that you may want to consider working on during your next downtime:
- Disaster Plans: We’ve recently talked about this, so I’ll refer you back to that article by going here:
- Compliance Plans: In addition to your Disaster Plan, you’ll want to make sure your OSHA, HIPAA, and HITECH plans are up to date. And don’t forget to make sure you’ve done your annual staff training.
- Office Documents: Have you had a hard time locating needed documents in your office – either hard or digital copies? Now is the time to clean out those filing cabinets and/or digital files. While you are at it, see about getting documents uploaded to the cloud where all staff can find them easily. One service that claims to be HIPAA compliant is www.box.com.
- Marketing Plan: Marketing is an ongoing process. How have you done this past year, and what are your plans for marketing in the new year? What systems need to be put into place to make sure this is an ongoing process?
- Step up your efficiency: Even the most organized, the most efficient of us realize we can always to do better. Do you lose time when seeing patients looking for reports or documents or some other system failure? Does your exam room help or hinder you? Take a look for at least one small thing that can make a difference in your process.
- Patient Documents: Part of every office’s process is to collect information from our patients whether in paper or digital format. Can those documents be improved upon to either give you additional needed detail or streamline the process for the patient?
- Schedule: Take a look at your calendar for the upcoming year. Make sure you have scheduled your own down time (ie, vacation) as well as CME days, training days and any other time you and your staff may be out of the office.
These activities, and indeed any activity that streamlines your processes for your patients, your staff and yourself will pay off by saving you time, energy and effort in the long run. Feel free to share how you use your down time to increase your productivity below.