No matter what you do, you can’t create more time. But you can use your time more wisely.
Think about how much you make per hour. Then write down all the “chores” you do that could be done by someone making $25+ an hour. And then delegate them. Your time is too valuable for you to do things that can be delegated.
- Looking for lab and radiology results. Don’t spend time looking for lab paperwork. If the filing isn’t done by Friday afternoon, arrange to have a temp or part-time employee make it their priority on Monday morning. Never spend time sifting through a stack of lab reports to find one for the patient sitting waiting in an exam room.
- Looking for a paper file or making sure a patient EMR is up-to-date. Again, delegate this to an employee. Have them check each patient’s record several days in advance of their appointment to ensure all lab reports and radiology reports have been received and filed or attached to the patient’s record.
- Patient documentation. Don’t hand write or type your notes yourself. You talk 10x faster than you can write, and probably 2 – 3 x faster than you can type. Dictate your patient encounters. Either hire a qualified medical transcriptionist or outsource to a medical transcription company. Consider using “Tool to Help Select a Medical Transcription Company”. An added benefit? You’ll have better patient interaction when you’re not looking at a computer screen. Not to mention having legible and maybe even more comprehensive patient records.
- IT issues. Find a capable and reliable IT support person or company. Preferably someone who is physically near your location, should you ever need to have them resolve an issue in-person at your location.
- Office supplies. Create a checklist of what should be in each examining room and at each workstation. Create a minimum level to have on hand, and when the level falls below that, put it on the “to order” list. Delegate one of your employees to do a weekly inventory and to make sure there’s always printer paper, examining room table paper and break room supplies. Provide them with a corporate credit card (the statement is sent to you and you review it monthly) for online purchases.
- Orientation for new employees. Create an employee handbook that covers what each employee needs to know. Contract it out to a Human Resources person. Have the HR person review it semi-annually or annually as provincial regulations do change. And have each employee document that they have reviewed it on an annual basis (tie it into their performance review).
What are you going to do with the extra time? Have more time for yourself and family? See additional patients? Or join the one in three Canadian physicians who have a side jig? Check out our next article on Physician’s Side Gig Economy.
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