The problem really relates to the saying “Old habits die hard”. Most of us are so used to calling someone as our first action when we need something. It is just ingrained in our mindset. The inverse of that is even worse. We tend to pick up the phone and answer the same questions over and over again, interrupting our workflow and productivity.
Here are a few simple steps you can implement in your practice today to stop this inefficient phone call/phone tag cycle and increase productivity.
- Have a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) with clear answers on your website. The questions could cover dosage recommendations, seasonal flu information, simple at home tests patients can do themselves before calling your office etc.
- Have a process or a mechanism to screen calls. Instruct your front office staff to direct commonly asked questions from patients and physicians to the FAQ list. Make patients aware of the FAQ list and get them in the habit of checking it before calling you. Your staff time is valuable. Use it to answer more important, critical calls.
- Don’t make your website just a brochure with information about your office and bios. Make it interactive. Provide educational information that patients are looking for. Studies show that most Americans, including >60% of seniors, are on-line looking for answers to various health questions. It is better that they get the correct information from you-their doctor, than some unreliable website. If your practice is interested in raising awareness about certain health conditions, or promoting a health cause, an interactive website is a great way to do that.
- Implement policies and processes that increase practice efficiency and productivity and train your staff accordingly.