Too often, medical practice management involves tedious manual processes that bog down productivity. The more manual work required in these organizations, the greater the chances for human error or redundancies. An over-reliance upon manual systems creates additional administrative burdens. With competitive pressures likely to increase in the upcoming years, medical practices need tools to automate and streamline aspects of their practice management, such as scheduling and candidate placement.
With a robust vendor management system (VMS), hospitals and healthcare organizations can streamline different processes and automate manual work, thereby improving their practice management and increasing revenue potential.
Administrative burdens abound
Practice managers at large healthcare systems and hospitals know the complexity involved in managing workforces. They also know that any means of simplifying processes and workflows can go a long way to boosting the overall practice management of the health care system.
In smaller medical practices, even though the practice management might not be as complex as many healthcare systems, with fewer administrative roles, physicians often take on additional responsibilities to handle some of these tasks. This hurts the practice as a whole, as it takes away time and energy from providing care to patients.
For example, a 2014 study found that the average doctor spent 16.6 percent of working time, or about 8.7 hours a week, on administrative duties. The study's author estimate this will have amounted to $102 billion in total cost of physician time. While many of these burdens stem from electronic health records and the massive change brought on by health care reform, there are still many medical practices where doctors must also perform other administrative duties.
The study noted that physicians at solo practice performed the most administrative work, which is unsurprising. However, what is surprising is that the study found that physicians performed more administrative duties at practices with 100 or more doctors than at smaller practices.
While some administrative obstacles, such as changes to prior authorizations and documentation guidelines for evaluation and management services, will be more difficult for medical practices to overcome, there are other administrative duties than can be streamlined to improve practice management.
Outdated pen-and-paper scheduling systems, inefficient candidate searches and siloed communications only serve to make administrative burdens heavier. With greater emphasis placed on finding revenue potential and increasing margins, it's imperative that practice managers have access to the tools they need, such as a VMS to alleviate administrative burdens and manual processes.
Competitive pressures on the rise
"57% of practice administrators and physicians believe competitive pressures will intensify."
Not only are medical practices saddled with overly burdensome administrative responsibilities, but many physicians and practice administrators also expect competition in this sector to increase. According to the 2017 Practice Performance Index, 46 percent of respondents felt competitive pressures had intensified in the preceding three years, with 48 percent thinking they stayed the same. Meanwhile, 57 percent believe these pressures will intensify in the coming three years.
With pressures likely to increase for medical practices in the coming years, it's crucial that practice managers identify the areas they can automate and update to find that competitive edge and continue to identify strong growth channels.
The benefits of using a VMS
A VMS (Vendor Management System) gives medical practices the ability to streamline many administrative duties in a sophisticated yet easy-to-use platform.
From online and mobile staff scheduling, through a dedicated VMS portal login, a VMS increases transparency and allows practice managers to make more informed decisions. Pre-packaged templates for a variety of medical credentials streamlines workflows, enabling recruiters and HR departments to seek out the best candidates for the position.
Click here to learn more about how BlueSky Medical Staffing's VMS can improve your practice management.