10 Unconventional Methods of Increasing Productivity

The way to sometimes boost your staff’s productivity includes the one you would least expect. The answer might lie in a thermostat or perhaps a light bulb. Even though some of the items might, at first glance, seem silly, the below list might be the key to boosting the productivity of your staff.

Just let the music play

One 2005 study proved that employees who listened to music when working completed their work more rapidly and produced better ideas than the ones who did not.

Adjust the lights

It has been shown that employees lose 15 minutes per day to eye focusing issues because of direct lights.

Encourage gum chewing

Gum chewing five minutes before doing cognitive activities enhanced performance for the initial 15 to 20 minutes after chewing gum. The explanation was explained as “mastication-induced arousal.”

Decrease meeting times

Each doctor, on average, in a medical group will lose $21,000 in charges per year because of time spent in meetings.

Go green

An exam of 5,220 French companies uncovered that workers at companies that observed eco-friendly practices were 16 percent more productive than average employees.

Institute naptime

…however, only ten minutes’ worth. Studies show it to be the optimal time while searching to boost the productivity of your staff, with lengthier naps creating groggy workers.

Shorten emails

Keeping emails specific and short will make them simpler to compose, thereby decreasing the time emailing and boosting the time spent doing work responsibilities.

Permit web surfing

Research from the National University of Singapore proved that mindless Internet surfing (done in moderation) actually can boost the productivity of your staff.

Supply snacks that enhance productivity

Coffee, green tea, yogurt, dark chocolate, walnuts, and berries all have been shown to affect brain processes which enhance productivity.

Thermostat adjustment

One 2004 Cornell study proved that increasing the temperature from 68℉ – 77℉ decreased typing mistakes by 44 percent and boosted typing output by 150 percent.

 

Leading Management Solutions is a healthcare management solutions company providing assistance and resources to healthcare management. Contact us today at (407) 674-1916 or visit www.lmshealthpro.com. to learn more.

About the Author:

Kristen Brady is the founder and owner of Kaboom Social Media, your social media marketing and content specialists! Follow her on Twitter: @kb54927

Process Improvement for Increased Productivity in Healthcare

Practice managers in today’s healthcare environment in the United States are forced to work on a “putting out fires” basis as new changes, policies, and requirements shape our practice’s daily operations. With the shift from a fee for service to a value-based pay-for-performance healthcare payment model, practices are struggling to keep up with new requirements and quality measures while also maintaining a successfully operating and financially stable organization. However, practice managers and owners must ensure that they do not let the rapidly-changing healthcare landscape overwhelm them and lead them to overlook other equally important components of running a successful medical practice. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to look at the processes that may be improved in a practice and to find potential ways to make those processes more efficient in order to free up more time and resources to keep up with new healthcare trends and requirements.

Some of the most common issues that may cost a practice unnecessary time and money, or even harm the practice’s reputation, follow:

1. Inefficient processes take up too much time and labor

It is very easy to get stuck in a process that may require unnecessary steps that could potentially be eliminated, just because that is how things have always been done. However, in order to maximize efficiency and productivity, it is important to look at your practice’s current processes to see if the same actions or tasks can be carried out quicker, in fewer steps, and with less employee labor involved. The Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) delivery of care model proposes a great way of reducing inefficient processes by conducting PDSA cycles – Plan, Do, Study, Act. Such cycles involve planning and trying out new ways of doing things for short periods of time, observing the results, and deciding whether or not the new process should be kept or modified.

2. Inappropriate billing processes lead to significant financial losses

Sometimes billing processes are set up erroneously from the start, and the practice loses or under-collects money for years before realizing the mistake. For example, is the correct code being billed for a certain procedure, or is there a more specific one which is reimbursed at a higher rate? It is also important for billing managers to be familiar with the reimbursement rates for the codes that they bill most frequently, and to keep track of any reimbursement rate changes. For example, Medicaid has multiple plans which set their own reimbursement rates, but they still need to follow Medicaid guidelines. Sometimes, Medicaid reimbursement rates will change but these plans will not follow suit as they should—this needs to be caught and addressed with each individual plan before losing out on large amounts of money and then embarking on long resubmission and appeals processes.

3. Outdated technology causes delays in operations and inefficient processes
Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that it is impossible to keep track of all of the new advances. However, sometimes new technology is introduced which can greatly improve your practice’s current processes to speed them up and increase productivity. For example, is your practice still using a conventional fax machine and spending money on toner and paper? Have you considered using secure e-fax services or HIPAA-compliant emails? Does your check-in process take too long, backing up your physicians and slowing down your patient flow? Have you considered electronic kiosks which allow patients to check themselves in? Do your providers use apps on their phones such as the Physician’s Desk Reference or Drug Interaction Checker apps to speed up their patient care delivery? Have you activated your EMR’s mobile app on your providers’ phones so that they are able to resolve patient issues securely from their cell phones? These are only some of the ways that new technology and applications can be used to increase efficiency and productivity at your practice.

4. Hostile environment and employee dissatisfaction lead to increased staff turnover

Does your practice have a hostile work environment in which your employees are clearly dissatisfied and frustrated? If there is a high rate of employee turnover, you are losing significant amounts of time and money to hire and train new employees. Not only does each new employee take weeks to be fully trained, for which you are paying without getting an immediate return on your investment, but you are also investing your time in interviewing, hiring, filling out new hire paperwork, setting the employee up in the EMR system and payroll system, and other such tasks. Additionally, you are also using up the time of your other employees who will need to train the newbie—time for which you are paying which could be used to complete other tasks. Furthermore, frustrated employees who leave your practice can also bring even higher costs—they can bring forth frivolous lawsuits, file for unemployment, and defile your practice’s reputation by presenting it in a negative light to family, friends, and on social media and other internet platforms, costing you new patients and tarnishing your practice’s credibility.

These are just a few of the most common issues that medical practices face on a daily basis which can be resolved with some time and effort on the part of the practice administrator, practice owners, and employees. It is beneficial to form a core multi-disciplinary team that will drive the process improvement movement forward, and who will be able to speak for the various departments of your organization. For example, your team can consist of yourself, a physician who is invested in the practice’s success, your front office supervisor or receptionist, a nurse supervisor or lead nurse, a billing representative, and possibly a patient or two who have been coming to your practice for years and are interested in helping it improve and grow. Sometimes an outside consultant or partner may be beneficial to bring new perspectives and ideas from an outsider’s point of view. Once your core team is formed, it is important to set and maintain a regular meeting schedule. Ensure that meeting minutes are recorded, and that all of your team members’ ideas are considered. By setting forth an environment in which your team members are encouraged to brain storm and present ideas for improvement, you are creating employee buy-in and engagement. This will in turn make your team members excited about seeing the changes that you are making create a positive impact, and this excitement will be transferred to the rest of the employees. It is important that all of your employees, not just the core team, are aware of your improvement efforts, and on board with them. By letting all employees know that they are welcome to bring forth ideas for process improvement, you are creating an environment of open communication. Employees who feel that they are being listened to and that their opinion and ideas matter will always perform better than those who are simply following orders. Additionally, the employees who work in the trenches day in and day out are the best sources of information and patient feedback. Once you have created the right environment for process improvement and engaged your employees, you will be amazed to see just how much can be done to improve productivity, eliminate waste, and increase revenue.

 

Leading Management Solutions helps medical practice leaders identify ways to improve operations to increase revenue, employee engagement, and patient satisfaction. Learn more about us atwww.lmshealthpro.com.

About the Author:

Sonda Eunus is the Founder and CEO of Leading Management Solutions, a healthcare management consulting company (www.lmshealthpro.com). Along with a team of experienced and knowledgeable consultants, she works with healthcare practice managers to improve practice operations, train employees, increase practice revenue, and much more. She holds a Masters in Healthcare Management and a BA in Psychology.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonda-eunus-6895067b

Successful Employee Incentive Programs

Originally posted on January 28, 2017 at www.lmshealthpro.com.

By Anita Haridat, Ph. D

Within any business, the objective of a rewards system is to motivate employees so that their performance effectiveness can increase over a period of time. In essence, there is an allowance to monitor performance capabilities so that the workers can feel appreciated for the work that is being placed within a business. Furthermore, based on the performance levels of employees, there is a chance to develop a link between the goals that have been set for a company and the way that those goals are being executed by the behavioral parameters of the employees. In essence, the ultimate goal is to create a strong and fulfilling environment where each person can thrive and learn from mistakes as time progresses.
While each business may be different in terms of their rewards systems, most of the factors are relatively similar since the ultimate goal is to create long term rewards for each person that is involved with the company. On a historical level, when a proper rewards system has been established accordingly in a business, there has been a chance for an increase in the equity and revenue stream of the company since employee satisfaction rates are increased which can then stimulate the productivity as well. The following are several steps that can be developed in order to create successful bonus and incentive programs.

Create a Committee Based on Rewards and Employee Recognition

Within the committee, there is a need to ensure that the rewards system is identified, created and then implemented in the proper manner. If there are mistakes, those can be fixed as time progresses, but the analyses portion of the process would be able to eliminate any discrepancies that may possibly exist in order to cause negative factors from taking place.

Identify the Objectives of the Rewards System

If the objectives are not clearly stated initially, there is a chance that disorganization will take place which will create controversy among the business. Furthermore, there is a need to ensure that the entire system is positively correlated with a mission statement that can be followed by all of the employees.

Identify the Selection Criteria

In order for employees to facilitate recognition by the award system, there is a need for management and the committee to develop applicable selection criteria. For this particular company, it would be beneficial if the selection criteria are directly related to the goals and the mission that tends to surround the company.

Reward Nomination/Selection Process

Once the criteria for selection have been established, it is then necessary to nominate the employees and select them accordingly. It should be known that the committee will play a role in ensuring that this process is extensive and that each member has their say with regard to the individuals who will be selected for the rewards

Monitor the System

Within the rewards system that is established, there is a need to monitor the entire processes in order to facilitate proper protocols for the future. Once the entire system has been finalized, the leaders of the company as well as the committee members can take the time to determine the effectiveness of the overall rewards standards so that they can manage each of the departments in an applicable manner.

Leading Management Solutions helps medical practice leaders identify ways to improve operations to increase revenue, employee engagement, and patient satisfaction. Learn more about us at www.lmshealthpro.com.

About the Author:

Anita Haridat has her Ph.D in healthcare/business administration and her master’s degree in clinical nutrition. She has several publications in sources such as EGO Magazine, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Syosset Patch, Our USA Magazine and many more. Her passion for health and wellness has created multiple stepping stones for paving the way of creating a positive well being. Her first book can be found here:

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