The medical industry has grown over the past few decades to represent an all-encompassing giant that affects the lives of every American and can present a significant challenge in understanding for millions of those participants. From a small market of services to remedy common illness to the hulking bureaucracy that exists today, the health care industry and its services are complicated for patients and providers alike, but you can take steps to ease the burden in your office that are simple and endlessly effective.
From routine doctor’s office visits to emergency surgical procedures, medical professionals engage in prescription writing, preventative medical treatments, and life-saving emergency procedures every day that must be documented, accounted for, and registered on a patient’s history to prevent harmful or even deadly mixtures of treatment planning. Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson are but two tragic examples of high profile deaths as a result of accidentally lethal prescription cocktails. Sadly, these personalities succumbed to a haphazard system that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Medical error is shockingly the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Mistakes are unavoidable, but in the medical world a simple rounding error or accidentally retrieving the wrong patient record could end a life. The stakes are astronomically high here, and errors are often the result of inefficient paperwork practices or an overload in the back office.
Aside from the psychological repercussions of medical errors on both patients and health care professionals, these mistakes can financially ruin a doctor. One recently settled case in Alabama saw a woman awarded $16 million after an already highly complicated birthing procedure went horribly awry. One simple, split-second decision can prove fatal to a patient as well as his or her caregiving team. This is why it is vitally important to maintain a professional and proactive medical team, as well as a back office staff that is unyieldingly diligent in its mission to organize and keep current patient records and office support files at all times.
The cost of a highly skilled accounting team may very well be prohibitive in many office settings. Recently, the average accountant earned just under $70,000 a year; multiply that by three or more to arrive at the staffing needs of your particular accounting department’s workload and it becomes obvious that only the most cost-efficient and profitable ventures are able to keep all of their accounting tasks in-house. As well as bookkeeping, accountants are responsible for a whole host of tasks that can either be taken on by part-time staff or outsourced completely to a freelance outfit that can take on tasks ranging from payroll to patient printing and mailing services that are somewhat trivial in the day to day operations of accounting personnel but may take up extraordinary amounts of time depending on the size of your patient pool.
Outsourcing some of the daily tasks that bog down your accounting personnel will take the stress off of them and will exponentially benefit office culture. Stress and mountains of work lead to cut corners and incomplete work, which in turn lead to accidents and mistakes.
Outsource some of the more menial, grinding tasks that your back office staff must shoulder to streamline office practice and boost morale among your co-workers. By taking simple steps to ensure office happiness, you will also promote good work habits that translate into the elimination of errors. This is just one easy way to make sure that patient care comes first and a productive office environment prevails in your medical practice for years to come.