Consistency in processes allows ENT specialist practice to provide better patient care
The role of practice manager sometimes encompasses change management – especially when a practice experiences rapid growth and finds their old systems and processes can’t keep up.
For Perth ENT Centre’s practice manager Rochelle Connolly, this was the situation she faced when she started at the business in 2017. In 10 years, the practice had grown from two doctors to seven, adding multidisciplinary services such as audiology and allergy clinics and expanding to three locations, so they were outgrowing their existing daily running methods.
The problem: Scant processes manual and documents on different devices meant a lack of consistency in task performance
Rochelle found that practice staff were doing tasks differently each time because there was no comprehensive policies and procedures manual to refer to. With a background in finance and the hospital system, she was used to following a manual, so tasks are done the same way each time, to save time, reduce risk and ultimately benefit patients
“In this practice, we had information spread across people’s personal desktops and in hard copy, with no ability to share the correct version for the same process. There was also no version control – if you wanted to update a process, you didn’t know which version was the most current,” Rochelle recalled. “So, I realised I had to find something better. I found loads of customisable templates online, which were good for a general overview of your practice, but not if you want to dive deeper into more process-specific ‘here are the steps to do this task’. Then I found PracticeHub, and at the time there weren’t any other online options available.”
PracticeHub’s solutions: Centralised storage with easy sharing improves consistency of task performance and staff training
Rochelle wanted a central online hub to store the practice policies and procedures, and for those to be easy to share and update. PracticeHub made this seamless, with the built-in version control also providing an audit trail, so they always updated the right version.
While Rochelle noted it’s taken a while to convince some doctors and their secretaries to move their documents to PracticeHub, now they keep the information up to date and the easy access improves transparency and consistency in practice processes.
Rochelle also finds PracticeHub has enhanced staff training and performance management.
“If someone’s not following the processes, you want to know how they were trained. And how do I prove they’ve completed some training? With PracticeHub, we can see who trained a team member and what resources they read, because they have to sign off on them. You have that audit trail for evidence. So, it’s valuable in aiding the development of each employee. It also enables us to communicate messages to all staff, such as process changes. In that way, it backs up the training we do.”
The overall results: Streamlined processes save more than 15 hours each week and improve the patient experience
Since implementing PracticeHub, Rochelle and the other staff have seen vast improvements in general efficiency. With their policies and procedures securely and centrally stored, all staff can quickly refer to them on how to perform a task, and easily keep documents up to date.
Rochelle estimates that by using PracticeHub for a few hours each day, they save more than 15 hours admin time a week, almost the equivalent of a part-time employee’s wage.
“If we didn’t have PracticeHub, I can’t imagine the time we’d waste. If people used different procedures, we would be relying on staff recreating a process when it didn’t need to be. And it gives us reminders when we need to look at things and update them – so we don’t have to remember.”
It also enhances the patient experience and quality and continuity of care, especially when staff, such as a doctor’s secretary are away. Before PracticeHub, no one else would know where that doctor’s information was, or how they like certain tasks done.
“Now, there’s no lost time for the doctor because the person stepping in knows where to find things. It’s more of a seamless process for patients too, with no delays, because the information is at hand,” Rochelle explained. “It’s also good if a doctor has a patient with a question we don’t encounter often. Before we were like ‘Who knows the answer?’ Now, because each doctor has their own files in PracticeHub with FAQs, our nursing or admin team can go straight in and go ‘For that doctor, for that situation, this is the outcome’.”
Compliance and risk management are also simplified, with the new Ahpra Alerts and Certificate of Insurance (CoI) apps being two favourite features for Rochelle. She’s experienced the benefits of easily managing doctors’ Ahpra registrations and indemnity insurance that she’s also extended it to cover their audiology staff for their indemnity certificates. Now they never miss these important compliance tasks, helping reduce risk in their practice.
Feedback on PracticeHub: The more features they use, the more they find new ways to simplify their daily running
Since Rochelle and her team integrated PracticeHub into their practice, they’ve found the way they use the platform evolves with their needs. “We keep discovering new features, new ways to do things, like managing COVID vaccinations. We use the Hub to record that information and keep it secure, giving access to limited users. I love the new upgrade too – that we can cut and paste images to processes, which is helpful for visual learners. We can do flow charts and diagrams.”
Now the business has three locations, with lots of medical equipment needing maintenance and insurance renewals, PracticeHub’s equipment register has also proved invaluable. What used to be a tedious, time-consuming process is faster and simpler. “No more going around doing an audit of each machine. It’s an easy process! Nothing gets missed,” Rochelle said.
Consistency in processes from using PracticeHub not only saves you time and money, it helps reduce your practice risk and gives your team and doctors the headspace to focus on quality patient care.
Find out how PracticeHub can streamline your practice management so you can provide a better patient experience.
Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant and PracticeHub are not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2021.