In the practice I visited, technicians would ready the patient and place her back in a waiting room or in an available exam room. One scribe’s job was to stay with the doctor throughout every examination, an idea which I hadn’t considered, previously. This scribe seemed particularly in tune with the doctor’s wishes for treatment and counseling. His enhanced training and performance appeared to be a side effect of their close working relationship.
This system maximized each team member’s time because technicians never wasted time waiting and could move from task to task.
When I returned home, I was able to implement these methods in my practice. Results were phenomenal. Patient flow improved, and staff and patient processes became more efficient. My entire team experienced a reduction in stress.
2. Not every test is necessary
The next thing I noticed was that this practice was running fewer tests. This, too, allowed for better patient flow. The doctor had decided which tests were critical to making a necessary decision about the initial (or next) treatment.
This challenged me to look at my own pre-testing and exam processes critically and question what tests I really needed. If a test it wasn’t crucial to the decision-making process, the test was eliminated. This change allowed me to reduce chair time in both pre-testing and the exam room at both of my practices.