There is no arguing that first impressions matter. Whether you are meeting a new patient face-to-face or when there is a new client walking into your office for the first time, you want to make sure that you and your office look presentable. In addition to a well-designed office, you want to make sure that your medical office is impeccably clean as well. A simple cleaning won’t cut it as you want to keep your office sterile and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Keep your office clean to keep your office efficient.
Keeping your office clean should be top of mind, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some ways to stay on top of your office’s cleanliness:
Depending on your area, there are likely many cleaning services there that specialize in cleaning medical offices. You can look one up online using online review websites, or simply ask another health professional in the area if they can recommend a good one. A cleaning service has many benefits over cleaning your office yourself.
A great advantage to using a cleaning service is that it will save you and your staff time – thoroughly cleaning a medical office is not a quick task. You can also trust the cleaning service to clean every nook and cranny of your office that you might miss. However, make sure to be in communication with the cleaning service about any areas that need extra attention. They also should not be your office’s sole source of cleaning; you need to keep your office clean and sterile during the day as well (more on that next).
Guidelines for Staff
Your office will also need to be kept clean and sterile throughout the day, so make sure to clearly communicate cleanliness guidelines with your staff. Rooms will need to be cleaned after each patient, hands will need to be washed constantly, and more:
• When spills happen, clean them up as soon as they occur. Don’t let whatever spilled sit on the floor, and remember to use appropriate cleaning products.
• In exam rooms, use disposable paper and wipe down with disinfectant when needed.
• Regularly check the restrooms to make sure they are clean and tidy. Replace toilet paper and even use a disinfectant germicidal solution in toilet bowls during the day.
• Doorknobs and light switches get dirty too! Remember to clean with a disinfectant regularly.
• After each patient and before seeing a new one, make sure to wash your hands.
• Make sure that gloves are disposed of properly in infectious waste containers.
• Establish safe biohazard waste practices. Clean and disinfect any areas that come in contact with biohazards immediately and dispose of any biohazardous material in the proper receptacle.
• Keep employee areas clean too. Make sure that your staff keep their workspaces clean and uncluttered. Also make sure the breakroom is cleaned after every use, and remember to clean out the fridge at least once a week.
• Have the right cleaning tools and supplies on hand, and make sure your staff knows how to use them. It’s best to keep them in the same place so that everyone knows where they are.
• If a patient alerts you to a problem area, make sure to clean it immediately.
• If necessary, create a checklist for your staff. Remembering what to clean and when can be easy to forget.
No patient wants to go to a doctor’s office and question the cleanliness. Make sure to keep your office clean, sterile, uncluttered and smelling nice to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to create a nicer environment for your client.
Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. They have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because they understand that every practice is unique, they can provide a custom space for your office.
Running a successful practice in today’s ever-competitive environment can be challenging for even the most qualified professionals in the medical field. From constant technological advances to complex changes in healthcare laws, it seems that healthcare professionals need to be more vigilant than even to become and remain profitable. In order to attract and retain patients while expanding your practice, here are 3 tips to get you started.
1. Focus on the Front Desk
A successful practice starts with patient satisfaction — both in terms of creating a positive first impression when a patient first checks in, and building a strong online reputation. The person at the front desk is the face of the practice. He or she can make a life-long patient or a one-time patient based upon how they meet and greet. Here are three ways to strengthen your focus on the front desk.
Evaluate Personnel. The front desk personnel should welcome patients in a family-friendly manner and have the skills to simultaneously handle insurance verification and accept co-payments in an organized way. Invest time in finding personnel who combine soft skills and deftness in multitasking.
Streamline Intake Before Patients Arrive. Customer satisfaction starts at registration and the waiting room. The less time patients spend in your waiting room, the happier they are likely to be with their visit. To make sure their appointment stays on schedule, ask them to download and compile intake forms or use a secure system where they can submit the information online to save time. Many practices risk hurting patient satisfaction because they don’t organize their schedules properly.
Strong Financial Controls in Place. Reconciling the co-payments with what gets deposited in the bank regularly helps you stay on track and identify discrepancies. This process instills a strong financial control in place and can identify monetary loss and theft early on.
2. Connect & Engage on Social Media
Even if you have no time to tweet your latest medical insights, it’s important to pay attention to what patients are saying about you on review sites such as Healthgrades, Yelp, and Yodle. With today’s advancements in medical technology and media, the relationship with the patient doesn’t end with the procedure or with checkout. Connecting and engaging with your patients on social media continues to foster patient satisfaction and understanding of their experience. It’s less about the doctor and more about the experience.
To help you get started, here are two ways to master social media:
Designate a point person. Medical practitioners need to build a “brand” that is known in the community. You can achieve this in a variety of ways, from blogging to interacting with your patients on social media, and doing radio and TV interviews. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone to assist you — be it one of your staff or an outside agency.
Ask for reviews. Asking your patients to post a review on a social site is not awkward. Framing the value proposition carefully can make it easier. To facilitate this process, many medical practices print cards to have their team hand out to patients. They might invite their patients to share an unbiased review of their experience. Their honest opinions may not be perfect, but perfection may raise questions. Encouraging your patients to share their experience will also help you identify areas of improvement.
3. Fine-Tune Operations
Narrowing your focus to just one or two key projects to improve the bottom line of your practice for the year ahead can mean the difference between thriving and teetering on the brink of joining a hospital staff. Maintaining your overhead within a reasonable level and sustaining revenue is the key to running an independent practice. Here are 3 ways to help fine-tune operations:
Re-negotiate contracts with insurance companies. Even the slightest improvement in reimbursement annually can make a difference in the long haul.
Re-connect with dormant patients. Mailings to remind patients you haven’t seen in a while to come in for a checkup helps to keep in touch and communicate with patients. That’s where future revenue lies.
Re-evaluate recurring costs. Billing, invoicing, and customer relationship management software fees can add up quickly, so make sure you are identifying the latest cloud-based technologies to reduce your overall costs.
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Considering space for your medical practice can be challenging with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.
A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, as well as a healthier and more productive place to work. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and, now, Repair and Rethink, sustainability can come in the form of telecommuting to small adjustments within your medical practice. Bottom line – simple steps you and your practice can take today can save money and decrease its impact on the planet.
1. Redesign the Work Space
Creating an eco-friendly medical office space in which you work has limitless possibilities. Start by investing in good furniture, good lighting, and good air. Furniture can be manufactured from recycled materials as well as recyclable. Incandescent bulbs can be replaced with compact fluorescent or LED desk lamps that use minuscule amounts of energy.
Open space to natural daylight as a free source of lighting for the office, where applicable. This can also improve productivity and satisfaction among both your staff and visiting patients. Workspace air quality is also key. Good ventilation and low VOC paints and materials will create high air quality and keep everyone happy, as well as healthy – a key benefit in a medical setting.
Of course, certain industry requirements may mean such changes can’t be utilized in every section of your practice, but working them in where possible is a worthy investment.
The greenest paper is no paper at all. Keep things digital and dematerialize whenever possible. The more you do electronically and/or online, the less you need paper. Keep files on computers instead of in file cabinets. Review and analyze data onscreen rather than printing them out. Send emails instead of paper letters and documents.
3. Switch to Eco-Purchasing & Practices
Purchase environmentally friendly paper with high post-consumer content and chlorine-free bleach. Remember recycled paper uses a great deal of energy, water and chemical resources in its processing. Practice double-sided printing, and reuse boxes and shredded waste paper as packing material.
4. Use Green Materials
Some paper use can’t be avoided, so opt for recycled paper and envelopes. Materials such as pens and pencils can also be made of recycled materials, and refillable pens and markers are recommended over disposable ones. Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper towels or cloths in the bathroom and kitchen. Switch to biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff, and buy in bulk so that shipping and packaging waste are reduced. Reuse the shipping boxes, and recycle where possible.
5. Reduce Energy Use
Use energy-efficient equipment such as those certified by the Energy Star program. Simple ways to do reduce energy include:
Turn down the thermostat at night and on weekends if you’re practice closes then.
Set your central air a few degrees higher, and your heater a few degrees lower.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs or fluorescent lights.
Turn off computers and other electronic equipment when not in use.
Ensure the windows and exterior doors are sealed.
Use motion sensors or timed lighting for unoccupied rooms.
6. Unplug & Turn Off
Turn off everything you possibly can before you leave each day. Encourage this behavior among your staff and lead by example. Unplug or turn off electronics in the office when you close up for the day.
7. Encourage Eco-Transportation
If possible, try to locate your medical property close to public transit. Provide bicycle storage and change rooms, and encourage teleconferencing and e-conferencing. These adjustments can encourage your peers to minimize gas waste by carpooling, biking, or walking.
8. Lunch Time
Brighten up the dining space by rethinking lunch time. Encourage everyone to bring in reusable containers; join them in placing large orders (more efficient than many separate ones); and provide reusable plates, utensils, and napkins for convenience.
9. Remove Waste Wisely
Recycling is the best way to remove waste wisely. Set up recycling bins next to disposable bins in convenient spots for employees and patients. Keep each bin clearly labeled.
Finding an Eco-Friendly Medical Office
Maintaining an eco-friendly medical office can be made easier by deciding on a rental property that has already been built with eco-friendliness in mind. To explore the possible options throughout Los Angeles and its surrounds, contact us today.