It is such a vague concept – something that should work in theory, but is so hard to measure and quantify that it becomes a trite industry buzz statement with little real-world meaning. We all want a more productive office, and we all want to see our profits increase. But how do we get from where we are now to a practice that is producing at a fantastic rate? Some things start from the top, but this one starts from the bottom.
Consider this – you have a doctor who sees each patient for 15 minutes, bringing their total patients seen in an 8-hour day to 32. You can see how increasing the productivity of this doctor would have a direct and immediate positive impact on your profit margin – more patients per day means more payments and reimbursements. Instead of telling the doctor to simply spend less time in the room with the patient, grill them for information. Ask them what goes on in the exam room, what services they provide, what tests take place. Oftentimes, you will find that the doctor is performing tasks that could and should be performed by a well-trained technician, thus freeing up the doctor to see more patients.
It is not unheard of to hear of a doctor entering info into the EMR system, taking eye pressures, escorting patients, even searching for charts! Why pay a doctor to do what a tech can do? One is far less expensive to employ and train than the other, and the other can be freed to see double or triple the number of patients if they are paired with a well-trained technician – the same doctor in the example could see one more patient an hour, bringing their total to 40 patients per 8-hour day, a 20% increase.
Having a technician who has submitted to formal training is an unbelievably valuable asset to a practice for exactly this reason – they are able to perform tasks that do not necessarily have to be performed by a physician, allowing the physician to maximize their much more costly time to see as many patients as possible. For a fairly small investment in tech training, you would see an almost instantaneous increase in your practice’s productivity, which would result in a staggering increase in profits. It can be just that simple!