They tell me how they’re stretched out too thin, doing way too many things at once, and wasting precious time on busywork.
Sadly, they know they’re running things inefficiently, that they’re wasting away valuable time, but they can’t quite figure out what to do.
You may feel exactly the same way, like you’re wasting too much time on the redundant administrative tasks of building a successful practice instead of doing what you do best!
For instance, you may feel like you waste a ton of time on paperwork, whether it’s processing paperwork, sending out paperwork, organizing paperwork, taking notes for chart-related paperwork, doling out paperwork and, who knows, maybe even swimming in paperwork!
In addition, you may feel you waste precious time on schedule-related tasks, whether it’s scheduling patients, dealing with cancellations & missed appointments, or scheduling follow-ups.
Another huge time-waster is communication.
For example, think about all the time spent communicating with new patients, telling them what to expect, booking their appointments, sending out appointment reminders, reviewing paperwork, scheduling follow-ups, delivering welcome emails, etc.
You may also spend too much time on marketing. You may be spending many hours every week trying to get new patients into your clinic, but without ever getting the results you want.
As a result of all this, you feel like you’re spreading yourself thin, resulting in lower quality patient care and lots of wastefulness simply trying to manage your practice.
Luckily, in this article, I’ll help give you pointers on how to automate tasks for your practice to help free up valuable time so you can gain the freedom you so desperately need and deserve!
First, it’s important to point out that busywork isn’t just wasting time, it’s also wasting money, especially in the form of:
For one, the loads of extra time wasted on administrative tasks like scheduling and paperwork cost you in terms of time and money, because you’re wasting extra time you could be allocating elsewhere to build a successful practice.
And as you’ve definitely heard before, time is money and your most valuable asset.
Also, disorganized marketing efforts cost you time, money, and resources, all with minimal results!
Even if your appointment book is full, you may still feel like you’re burnt out and unable to enjoy the fruits of building a successful practice.
But there are also hidden costs that might not be obvious at first. For example, just the stress of running your practice may lower the quality of care you give your patients.
Also, just about all practice owners I know work very long hours, usually between 60 and 80 hours a week. This overloads you with stress, anxiety, and in many cases leads to burnout.
As the owner of your practice, you’re forced to focus on all aspects of your business. This makes you the jack-of-all-trades and the expert of none. Your responsibilities also take you away from your core set of skills and expertise.
All these emotional aspects are hidden costs that gradually chip away at your practice and your personal life.
But knowing all this, what do you do? To solve this problem, like any other problem, you must first understand the reasons lurking behind it.
The main factor in your overwhelming stress has to do with the flaws inherent in the conventional models of building a successful practice.
You’re taught from the very beginning that a successful practice is a high-volume practice.
You’re taught that a successful practice owner should devote at least 60-70 hours a week to get a practice off and running.
You’re taught that building a successful practice means staying open for long hours of the day, and six days a week, to keep those patients (and therefore money) constantly flowing.
Fortunately, this is not true!
You don’t have to work 70 hours a week and open your practice all day. You don’t need to maximize the number of patients resulting in quantity rather than quality. You don’t need to overwork yourself, stretch yourself thin, and sacrifice your personal life.
As a starting point, you must rid yourself of this conventional and outdated mode of thinking. Stop thinking like other practice owners do!
Besides, look at where convention’s gotten our industry: record burnout and record exhaustion. Health & wellness professionals are tired. They’re stressed. And they have absolutely no personal life.
So if you don’t want to be like them, stop thinking like them!
Now that you understand a bit about how you’ve gotten to where you are, you’re able to move on to the next step: automating your practice.
Focus on four main areas when automating tasks for your practice:
1 – SCHEDULING
The first element in automating tasks for your practice is scheduling.
Here, not only does technology allow you to streamline existing scheduling processes, it also gives you the ability to build a successful practice by making it fast, easy, and convenient for patients to book their appointments.
Among other things, this includes online booking allowing your patients to automatically book appointments based on your synced schedule. With a few mouse clicks, your patients book their appointments without you doing anything!
2 – PAPERWORK
Since paperwork eats up a huge portion of your time, it’s absolutely necessary to automate its different aspects. Most practices spend thousands of dollars a year on electronic health records, but you can avoid the steep costs and save yourself time.
In fact, when it comes to your paperwork and charting systems, you can run your entire practice for the cost of a cup of coffee every day, if you know how to streamline and automate.
You can use a cloud-based application to automatically send out paperwork, for example, to patients that have just booked online appointments with you. This way, patients can fill out paperwork before coming into the office, saving time for both you and the patients.
Today’s applications also help you automate note-taking of certain aspects such as payment and appointment history. These apps can give you powerful abilities to analyze patient information and help you make better strategic decisions for your practice.
3 – COMMUNICATION
The next aspect of automating tasks in your practice is communication. Again, think of all the time spent on communicating with your patients. This includes things such as:
In fact, you’ll probably say just about the same thing to every one of your patients so why not systemize this information and have it automatically sent out to them?
For instance, when patients book appointments, you can prepare automatic triggers to send emails containing expectations, paperwork, and other such info. You can also trigger automatic email/text reminders, say, a day before a patient’s appointment.
With today’s technology, the possibilities are endless!
Out of all the ‘busywork’ I wasted extra time on, marketing was the most time-consuming.
Luckily however, marketing is the one element you’re able to automate most since there are many resources for you to take advantage of.
Among the many marketing-related tasks you can automate include:
The results of automating your marketing are not limited to gaining time, but you’re also able to significantly refine your marketing efforts and get to know your community and ideal patients like never before.
Especially when it comes to marketing, knowledge is truly power.
With today’s technology, you’re able to garner so much information about your audience that you may reach a point wondering what to do with all of it! And remember, this entire process can be automated.
With all the benefits of automating your practice, it’s become necessary for your business. It won’t help you stay ahead of your competitors anymore. You simply need it to keep up!
Remember: today’s world demands flexibility, the utmost use of technology, and running a leaner practice that values quality over quantity.
If you treasure these values, not only will you catch up with your competitors and free up valuable time, you’ll also be well on your way to acquiring that precious freedom you so cherish and deserve!