Get Organized! Medical Office Organization Tips

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This is an abbreviated version of my article, "Get Organized! Medical Office Organization Tips." Find the full article in the September/October 2018 issue of Administrative Eyecare Magazine!

Maintaining an organized office is the key to efficiency and sanity. These simple tips can improve efficiency, profitability, and decrease stress for everyone. 

Physician Productivity

In and out boxes: Consider placing them outside each doctors’ office so physicians can be productive during short period of downtime.

Staff Training, Processes and Protocols

Checklists: Critical positions to consider are check-in, check-out, and surgery scheduling.

Standardize each office position and doctors’ preferences.

Job protocols: Write a "how-to" manual for each job. When a staff member is suddenly unable to do his/her job, another staff member can pinch hit. Include all pertinent websites used along with passwords and log-on information. Include screen shots to walk the “pinch hitter” through computerized tasks. Give the manual pertaining to your job to the owner/doctor so it can be kept in a secure place. 

Desk areas

Cables: Use binder clips to organize power cords and cables. Label and color-code cables to indicate which cable plugs into which port in which piece of equipment. 

The Administrator

Bank deposits: Make daily deposits a priority. Online banking is a good solution, but regardless of whether or not you use online banking, the monies in the deposit don’t do the practice any good sitting in a drawer. 

Open-door policy: An open-door policy is great. It says, “I am always here for you.” However, it can adversely impact your productivity and handicap staff from problem solving on their own. Consider scheduling a one-hour “open door” slot each day. Communicate this to staff in a way that conveys that you value maintaining your own productivity. Be careful not to come across in a manner that implies the staff is “bothering” you.

Computers

Doctor preference sheets: When possible, standardize physician work-up protocols. If this is not possible, make a spreadsheet listing each physician and all preferred work-up components for each appointment type or situation. Identify with an "X" each component a particular doctor wants performed. Place this document o your server and shortcut to this document on each desktop and tablet. 

Reception area

Magazines: It’s difficult to keep magazines tidy. Placing them in decorative baskets eliminates having to straighten them and helps create an orderly yet inviting waiting area.

Refreshments: Consider placing beverages and snacks on a wheeled cart with brakes. This allows staff to roll the cart to the kitchen to wipe down the spills and replenish the cart efficiently. 

As you organize, purge unnecessary items so you are not organizing "garbage." Most people feel in control and satisfied when their space is organized. Organization clears your head, increases productivity, and decreases stress.