Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Front-Office Issues to Improve Efficiency

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Front-Office Issues to Improve Efficiency

Article excerpt

LAS VEGAS -- A fresh approach to front-office issues ranging from time clocks to employee perks can help you run a more efficient practice, Dr. Scott Dine-hart said at the Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference.

Dr. Dinehart offered some pearls he's found useful in maximizing productivity and minimizing costs:

* Use a computerized time clock that coordinates with your accounting program or paycheck service. These systems enhance efficiency by storing clock-in and clock-out times electronically, eliminating the need for manual recording. They also allow staff to log in or out from any computer terminal in the office, rather than having to "bunch up" around a central time clock. Dr. Dinehart recommended TimeClock Plus from Data Management Inc., at

* Synchronize your practice's accounting software with your accountant's program. This should eliminate the 3-4 hours it can take to write checks. It also saves the accountant the trouble of entering information from a program that isn't synchronized, so your accounting costs should drop correspondingly, said Dr. Dinehart, professor of dermatology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

* Send bills in cycles. Once-a-month billing can precipitate an avalanche of phone calls a few days later from patients with questions. A cycle approach to billing, in which a quarter of the bills are sent out in successive weeks of the month, evens out the process.

* Use labels for repetitive tasks instead of writing by hand. In Dr. Dinehart's practice, employees generate a set of labels for each new patient. Labels for common practices can be affixed to the chart; other labels can be used for prescriptions. This may not save money directly, but it does make more efficient use of staff time. Similarly, pre-print prescriptions if your state allows it. …

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