Many of the most persistent challenges that chiropractors face have nothing to do with providing great care. Rather, the daily operations of running a business are often the trickiest aspects of running a practice.
Below, we’ll consider these aspects of practice management:
- Core elements (scheduling, record-keeping, staffing)
- Office space management and resource utilization
- Leveraging technology and software
- Building strong relationships
In each of these areas, let’s cover a few helpful tips for streamlining operations.
Core Elements of Effective Practice Management
Patient Scheduling and Reminders
The key difference makers for a great scheduling system involve these two objectives:
- Effective use of technology
- A defined and clearly communicated set of procedures
For better scheduling efficiency, implement the use of scheduling software features like automated appointment reminders for patients. Meanwhile, maintain a clearly communicated policy regarding no-shows and lateness. These tools can ensure that your patients remain aware of expectations when preparing to visit your practice.
Documentation and Patient Records
If you feel disorganized, your document storage—both digital and paper—is a focus area for cleaning up operations. Aim for all-digital documentation whenever possible to reduce physical clutter.
Not only does digitizing documentation ease the burden of managing manual files, but it also contributes to a better patient experience. Before arriving for their appointment, a patient can fill out any paperwork from their mobile devices from the comfort of their home or car.
Billing and Finances
In all billing transactions, try to embody these three traits:
Although it’s essential to keep a close eye on all financial matters, it’s often advantageous to outsource your money management tasks, including billing, accounting, and bookkeeping. If you decide to outsource, be sure to vet your financial services provider thoroughly to ensure that they maintain the level of communication you have with your patients, if not enhance their experience.
Employee Management and Training
To optimize your staffing, consider adopting a formula to link staff size and hours with either weekly appointments or collections.
Most chiropractic practices only require a few employees, which makes it possible to build a tight-knit, well-trained team. To that end, it’s important to view a happy workplace as a worthy investment.
High employee satisfaction leads to lower turnover, smoother operations, and a better environment for patients. To retain great talent, provide your workers with growth opportunities, appealing benefits, and plenty of variety in their daily routines.
Efficient Space and Resource Utilization
Optimizing Office Layout and Resource Management
A well-designed space puts patients at ease and improves workflow. Helpful design elements for a chiropractic office include:
- Wide walkways and clear paths to the reception desk
- Soft, bright lighting
- Two-way traffic flow
- Comfy seating that supports good posture
If you want patients and family members to genuinely enjoy their time in your waiting room, then magazines won’t cut it. Offer amenities like free WiFi and games for kids to make your office a pleasant place to spend time.
Time Management for Practitioners
Effective time management means more productivity in fewer hours worked. Here are a few ideas for improving time management:
- Empower your staff to independently handle a broad variety of tasks
- Have a go-to task list for filling unexpected downtime
- Embrace automation and boilerplate forms for your record-keeping and communications
Time management is also about establishing a healthy work-life balance. When you’re off the clock, limit the spillover of work responsibilities into your personal life as much as possible.
Ergonomic Workspace Design
Office spaces can lead to aches and pains. For a chiropractor, a smart ergonomic design is a good way to lead by example while reducing the physical strain of work on your own body. To address ergonomics, consider the design and placement of items like chairs, desks, and computer hardware.
Leveraging Technology for Streamlined Operations
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems
Electronic health record (EHR) software helps chiropractors reduce clutter and store larger amounts of patient data. Compared to paper records, EHRs make it much easier to quickly locate and update files. EHR software options include all-purpose medical practice programs or EHR software designed specifically for chiropractic.
Communication Platforms and Automated Scheduling Tools
There are lots of great software programs and apps for automating scheduling, like Schedulista, ChiroTouch, and Cliniko. These tools provide easy platforms for managing appointments and storing appointment data.
Your scheduling software may also be used for automating patient communications. This helps with reducing your administrative workload by sending appointment confirmations and timely reminders.
Data Backup and Security
Your patient records and other important files should be backed up offsite so that no single event can damage or erase them. If your software programs aren’t cloud-based, consider adding cloud-based storage. Additionally, always research and safeguard against the potential data security threats associated with any software program you implement.
Building Strong Relationships for Sustained Growth
Patient Engagement and Education
Patient engagement—a patient’s proactive, participatory attitude towards care—is essential in chiropractic. High engagement is correlated with better outcomes for patients, including reduced drop-out rates and improved adherence to treatment plans.
Most chiropractors find that patient education is key to improving engagement. Providing educational materials and offering opportunities for Q&A goes a long way toward empowering and motivating your patients.
Community engagement might include participating in events and initiatives, such as health fairs and community service activities, or simply making an effort to get to know your neighbors. You may also choose to join local networking groups. These activities provide networking opportunities and establish your presence in the community.
Get More Tips to Run the Practice of Your Dreams
Tips are good, but there’s nothing like personalized coaching. Contact Aligned Mentoring for Chiropractors today to learn more.