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How To Be the Best Medical Office Manager

Managing a medical office requires juggling several essential tasks, often simultaneously. The added responsibility of running an office that is related to the medical field adds extra pressure to the office manager. Whether it’s a primary care medical office or a cosmetic surgeon’s office, health, safety, and a slew of paperwork falls on the manager to ensure things run smoothly. Below you will find the best tips for how to be the best medical office manager.

Business-Focused:

As a medical office manager, you need to understand every aspect of the business. From ordering supplies to managing a calendar, the organization is on the office manager. Having a running list of your responsibilities, delegates, and dates in which things must be accomplished is vital. Focus on building your business skills in terms of organizational management so the office can run smoothly under your watch.

Be a People Person:

This does not mean that you need to be friends with your employees. This means you need to hone in on your people skills. As far as employees go, build a strong relationship with clear boundaries. Having your employees feel appreciated and valued for their hard work is good for business, so reward good behavior. For employees who struggle to meet the demands of their role in the business, use the two-strike rule. This will show that you can provide second chances for errors but will not tolerate repeated mistakes.

Direct and Clear Communication:

With technology continuing to change and generations varying in the way they give and receive information, know your audience. If your employees are older, the traditional methods of meetings may work best. If you have a younger group of employees, e-mails or texts may be more effective. Understanding the generation(s) you are working with can help you effectively communicate. Use your method of communication as an opportunity to connect with people in a way that they see is effective so you can build a collaborative relationship that is flexible, yet clear.

Creative Leadership:

Just because you are running a medical office does not mean you can’t be creative when it comes to organization, management, and leadership. Focus on your employees, their roles, and how you can create a more efficient operation. Whatever your problem is, focus on how to solve the problem instead of working day in and day out with the issue. If you have a medical office that is crowded, have employees who can work from home do so. If you have a medical office with long wait times, invest in entertainment for your patients. Isolate the problems in your medical office and take the time to talk with employees about them individually. Investing in your employees and their ideas can boost morale and increase their loyalty to the business.

Never Stop Learning:

Take time to develop your business acumen through education. Invest in your own professional development so you can apply it to your position. The number of resources that are free or low-cost online can allow you to justify taking time to learn and grow as a manager.

Boulevard Medical Properties

If you are a medical office manager looking for a new space, contact Boulevard Medical Properties. Our specialty are medical office leases in Los Angeles. We have been helping medical managers transition into new offices seamlessly for years. We have a dedicated team of expert real estate professionals that can walk you through the process step-by-step. If you need to find a medical office, contact Boulevard Medical Properties for excellent support and expertise for your upcoming transition.

Handling Sudden Property Closure

There is no denying that we live in unpredictable times. Medical practices are seemingly stuck between a rock and a hard spot as the world deals with an ongoing health crisis. The expertise held by the doctors and nurses who staff them is widely considered to be the nation’s most valuable resource, while their physical locations are some of the most avoided spaces in America. Sudden property closure has become a reality for many.

Like many other independently owned businesses, there are medical practices that are currently suffering financial losses as non-emergency care slows. The public largely avoids preventative care now. None of us are sure how long the situation will last or how it will evolve. That makes the risk of sudden closure more real than ever before.

The Chance of Sudden Closure

When you first start a practice, you should have a protocol in place in case of sudden property closure. Sudden closure of your practice may occur due to illness, death, or other circumstances beyond your control. Regardless of the reason, there is a lot of information that has to be properly delivered to give your patients the healthy transition required by your state medical board, so you should put a plan in place now. Even if the closure is temporary, you will need to have reliable pathways for communicating with patients and ensuring their records are accessible to them.

Getting Legal Help

If a worst-case scenario does occur, and you have to close your medical practice or a colleague’s without notice, you will have a long list of people to notify. Start with a lawyer. Although we can give general advice based on accrued knowledge, you will need reliable legal counsel to navigate your specific situation. Ask them to help you draw up a list of everything that needs doing and a reasonable timetable.

Your lawyer will advise you regarding employees and patients. But it is important that both parties feel the message is as sincere as possible. Losing a place of work or a reliable medical practice is difficult news in the best of times. So, take a few moments to draft a message. Deliver it to the employees in-person, if at all possible. Ask your reception desk to help notify patients with upcoming appointments by phone.

Avoiding Abandonment

For the rest of the patients, calling every single one of them may not be practical. Draft a personal letter that includes the date of closure. Also, make a list of local offices that you trust to provide for patients in the future. You may also send the same message through digital communication if that is the service the practice uses typically. For added security, check your state laws regarding patient abandonment. Also, update your official answering machine and post a neat sign on the door. Even in the case of sudden closure, you need to show that you did everything possible to inform patients of the change.

Dealing with the Paperwork

Once employees and patients are informed, work with the office administrator and Boulevard Medical Properties to build an action plan for the data held on-site in digital and physical form. You will need to find another local office that is willing to legally absorb your medical records. A contract will be necessary to ensure that they are liable for the documents. In addition, any unsigned documents should be sent back to the original agency.

Expect Variations

These are general guidelines for what to expect in the event of sudden property closure. Based on the nature of your practice and local guidelines, there will be specific steps that are unique to your case. For this reason, it is imperative to keep an open dialog with legal counsel to ensure that the practice is successfully closed and the patients protected.

Why You Should Work with a Medical Interior Designer

When people walk into a room or medical office, they immediately assess the environment. They look for organization and cleanliness. Glance to the décor and mood of the room. So, making a solid first impression is vital for your business. This is especially true with medical offices. After all, most are sterile-looking with uninviting photos and germ-filled magazines. A medical interior designer is more than just expensive purchasers of art and table vases. They are skilled in space planning, color combinations, lighting, functional design, layouts, and texture.

Medical interior designers are skilled at all of this in addition to understanding the basic layout and function of a medical office. But, it’s more than just decoration. It’s function. It’s creating a welcoming space and providing patients with an experience that makes them feel comfortable in an otherwise anxiety-provoking space. Below you will find reasons why you should work with a medical interior designer for your medical office.

Money Saver:

If your forte is medicine, you likely aren’t interior decorating as a side hustle. If you are, great! However, if you are not, an interior designer can save you money. They are skilled at understanding:

  • Items you can save on
  • What you should spend most on in terms of quality
  • Pieces you can and can’t live without

Hiring a medical interior designer who agrees to work within your budget on what you want is integral to saving money on your medical office design.

Time Saver:

Focusing on your medical office and patient care is likely your number one priority. Hiring an interior designer to work on your office after hours can save you time and ensure your patients feel welcome. Avoid spending time on trying to not only learn. Implement the trade of interior design so you can spend more time on your medical practice.

Industry Connections:

You likely won’t know the most cost-effective supplier nor the best place to get deals on paint. With that, your medical interior designer will have contacts in the industry to get you the best deals. Their resource and contact list will likely be much more vast. So, taking advantage of the experience your interior designer has is key. It will save you time, money, and the headache of sourcing everything on your own.

Patient Approval:

Having the best office and medical staff may not be enough to get patient approval. Most medical offices give off an uncomfortable feeling. It could be due to most people being slightly anxious. It could also be that the medical office is just not welcoming. Either way, having a medical office that makes patients feel calm is important.

Your medical interior designer will be able to manage this by considering several things when designing your medical office. These include the waiting room and patient room design, lighting, noise, air quality, and infection control. With a focus on making your patients happier, a medical interior designer can achieve the task.

Intentional Is Vital

Taking the time to design your medical office intentionally is vital to patient retention for your medical office. Consider a medical interior designer if you are moving into a new medical office or want to renovate your current office. If you are looking for a commercial medical space in the southern California area, check out Boulevard Medical Properties.

Boulevard Medical Properties has properties for lease in Northridge, Brentwood, Culver City, and Downtown Los Angeles. They focus on finding their clients the best property for their business. And, they take the stress out of the whole process. Choosing to find a commercial property for your medical practice can be difficult. But, Boulevard Medical Properties can help elevate your business to the next level.

How to Conserve Energy at Your Medical Practice

Healthcare facilities, like medical practices, can be extremely challenging spaces to maintain. On top of that, you strive to simultaneously reduce energy costs. The primary goal at a medical practice is the health and safety of the patients and workers. Depending on the type of medical practice, this alone can increase energy costs. There are some helpful industry tips and tricks that can help you conserve energy at your location.

Best Ways to Conserve Energy at Your Medical Practice

Below you will find the most effective ways to do this in your medical practice.

Energy Audit

Utility companies offer energy audits so you can learn how much energy you are using. More importantly, you can look for how you can reduce it. Before you spend money or time on energy reduction, find out what impacts your practice most.

Appliances or Machinery

If you have old appliances or machinery plugged in, get rid of it. Older machines are not as energy efficient as new ones. Newer models use newer tech, which is often better.

Window Coverage

If you have windows in your office, they can produce a ton of heat if the sun is pouring into your medical office. Blackout curtains, dark blinds, or any window covering can reduce the amount of heat that is produced. This can significantly reduce your air-conditioning bill and energy usage. 

Automatic Lights

If you don’t regularly use a specific space in your office continuously, use an automated lighting system. When there’s no significant activity for a time, the lights will shut down on their own. Wasting energy in an empty room can increase your energy use and your electricity bill. 

Shut Off Equipment

Whether it’s a computer or a medical machine, turn off any unnecessary equipment when you leave for the day. If you keep your equipment on for twenty-four hours a day, you’ll nearly triple your energy use for no reason. 

Programmable Thermostat

Try to install a programmable thermostat that will shut off once a specific temperature is met. This can help regulate the office temperature and keep it at a comfortable level. It can also help reduce energy use as you will not be overheating or overcooling your medical office.

Maintain Your Air Conditioning

Be sure you have your air conditioning checked out by a professional and keep it in good working condition. An air-conditioning system that is working overtime can rack up a hefty energy bill. The same goes for your ventilation and heating. A study showed that most medical office buildings HVAC systems use up to 59% of their total energy use. 

Lighting

Replacing old lights with energy-efficient bulbs and lighting systems can reduce energy costs. Bulbs and light technology have advanced in a way that can reduce energy use by over half in some cases.

Track Usage

While an initial energy audit is great, continue to track your usage. Energy costs are highest in the winters or summers, depending on your location. This means following your usage at least monthly is vital to reduce your energy usage.

Policy

Speak with your employees about a company effort to reduce energy costs. Discuss the importance of reducing energy costs and get everyone excited about it. Watch your monthly usage, set realistic goals, and celebrate your victories. This is something the whole office can get on board with!

Boulevard Medical Properties

If you are looking for a new space for your medical office, contact Boulevard Medical Properties. They have been helping medical professionals transition into new offices seamlessly for years. Their dedicated team of expert real estate professionals are ready to help. They can walk you through the process step-by-step. If you need to find a medical office, contact Boulevard Medical Properties for excellent support and expertise.

How Interior Design can elevate your Waiting Room

For many medical professionals setting up a new practice, your waiting room décor is probably not the first thing on your mind. But, recent research shows that evidence-based design is an essential factor in patient satisfaction. And, it is causing the field to grow exponentially in the last few years.

Your waiting room, more than any other space, is the first impression your patients get of your practice. This means that your waiting room isn’t just their first impression. It is the foundation of their entire experience, allowing for the easy transfer of their initial reaction to all other levels of experience during their visit. 

What Factors Matter Most for Waiting Room Décor?

Based on existing research, we know that there are three key factors that most impact patient satisfaction concerning your interior design: lighting, comfort, and privacy. The latter may appear difficult in a common room setting, but there are some neat tips and tricks to help make your waiting room feel more private. 

Lighting

The first thing you have to do to create a positive experience in your waiting room is scrap the harsh florescent lighting. You may want to use fluorescent lights in key spots, such as near the reception desk. If you do, make sure you use warmer lighting near patient seating to provide a more comfortable feel. 

Your new lighting gradient will naturally guide your patients towards points of contact and important information. It will also offer them cozy spots that feel just like home.

In addition to installing various light sources, one source suggests using mirrors in a classic trompe-l’œil. This just means in a way to make your waiting room appear larger. When placed strategically, mirrors maximize your use of light and help you to create designated spaces for the different communities you serve within your waiting room.

Comfort

There are a lot of cheap options for waiting room furniture. Unfortunately, an uncomfortable patient is much more likely to become an unhappy patient. Show your clients that you care by investing in furniture that provides adequate support and cushioning. 

Additionally, opt for chairs that have arms. Not only will they help disabled patients to get to their feet, but they denote a sense of personal space that is more difficult to achieve in other models.

While you’re thinking about patient comfort, take a moment to critically analyze the style of the décor you are using. If it isn’t something you would consider putting in your home and it isn’t necessary to your practice, then scrap it. Your waiting room should be a reflection of you, your practice, and your dedication to your patients. So, let your waiting room reflect that by choosing décor options that make it feel like home.

Privacy

Privacy is difficult to achieve in a waiting room setting for obvious reasons. Fortunately, by using a couple of key design tricks, you can functionally separate your waiting room into separate zones for a more intimate feeling. By addressing positioning and adding a few extra elements, you can make your community feel like there is a space for everyone.

The first step to creating the illusion of privacy is positioning. Avoid having all seating facing the same way. Try your best to make sure each zone is facing away from the next one. You can also use coffee tables and indoor plants to give each area its own zone. Use these and patient seating to create a 90-degree angle or one half of a square to indicate a separation between that zone and the next.

The idea is to create tiny islands that members of your community can flock to for a sense of privacy. You can also use rugs and mirrors to further tie each space together. Ideally, your décor and paint color will gradually shift to reflect the portion of the community you hope to attract to each zone. You can reinforce the targeted audience of each area by providing different magazines, toys, etc. at each of them.

The Modern Waiting Room

Regardless of your personal aesthetic, you want to give your patients a positive experience. Familiarity and security are vital to achieving this. When you’re looking at potential sites with Boulevard Medical Properties, keep this in mind as you’re evaluating each space. Pay attention to corners and half walls that could help you maximize the privacy of each zone. Lastly, don’t forget that your waiting room décor is a reflection of you and your practice.

Negotiate Your Medical Office Lease with These Tips

Running a medical office is much more difficult than other industries as you are responsible for both the medical and business side of things. This can create extra pressure and often make leasing the right medical office more complex than any other type of business. One of the best ways you can protect your business and its future growth is by negotiating and solidifying a leasing agreement that is right for you and your business.

 

Medical office leases need provisions that are unlike other businesses. Issues like patient safety and compliance with things like the Americans with Disabilities Act are necessary for medical offices. Below you will find some tips on negotiating your medical office lease.

 

  1. Use Provisions: Paying close attention to the use provisions is necessary because medical offices are much different than regular corporate offices or businesses. Your medical office may require the use of X-rays, CT scans, and other machines that could have negative health impacts due to the radiation emitted. Be sure to inform your landlord of all of the machines you will have and their respective uses. This also needs to be included in your lease agreement. This can help with avoiding any future liability later on if everything is in writing.
  2. Know the Terms:It’s important to read the entire contract. If there is anything that is unclear, have an attorney review it and provide you with more specific information. Leases can be long and include a lot of legal jargon that may be confusing. Some of the most important terms in regard to payment include the common area charges, rental increase amounts, utilities, property insurance, and taxes. You will not only pay for your office, but you will likely be charged for any common areas, including entryways, hallways, etc. This can add to your monthly rent which may come as a surprise if you were not prepared for it. It’s also helpful to know how the rent will increase in the coming years. Most business leases will run for five years with rental increases each year. These are negotiable so be sure and ask for a reduction before signing the lease.
  3. Consider Business Growth: Talk with your landlord about the ability to have the option to rent additional space at the same rate. Having the option to grow your business without having to worry about moving or paying higher rent for the same area can help reduce your costs and help with business growth.
  4. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Medical offices may have more clients that have disabilities or may need accommodations when entering and exiting the building. Be sure that the building is compliant with the ADA before you sign the lease and ensure that it is a part of your lease to continue the compliance. While it is legally required to comply with the ADA, there are those who disregard the law.
  5. Exclusivity Provisions: An exclusivity provision is a must in your medical office lease. This provision means that the landlord will promise you that they will not lease any other space in the development to someone who would be in direct competition with you. If you have a specialization, be sure to have this provision clear and present from the outset to ensure you are the only medical provider within the specific development. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run and support business growth.

If you are looking for a commercial medical space in the southern California area, check out Boulevard Medical Properties. Boulevard Medical Properties has properties for lease in Northridge, Brentwood, Culver City, and Downtown Los Angeles. They are focused on finding their clients the best property for their business and they take the stress out of the whole process. Choosing to find a commercial property for your medical practice can be difficult but Boulevard Medical Properties can help elevate your business to the next level.

Five Easy Steps to Securing Patient Retention at Your Practice

Did you know that a 2% increase in patient retention is equivalent to cutting costs by 10%? The reason behind this statistic is pretty simple: seeking out new patients is expensive. In fact, it costs between 6 and 7 times more to secure a new patient than it does to maintain an existing one. As a result, patient retention should be one of your practice’s top priorities. If it isn’t, or your practice is struggling to retain patients, then here are the top five tips to address the problem immediately.

  1. Don’t Run from Conflict

Nobody likes dealing with an unhappy patient. However, patient complaints are one of your most valuable resources. As Sharon Mason Parker of Practice Builders points out, a patient with a complaint is someone who is willing to stay as long as their needs are addressed. If they weren’t willing to remain a patient, then they would simply leave, no comment needed. Patients who complain are telling you, right to your face, exactly what you can fix to keep patient retention up. That kind of honesty is relatively rare, so face it head on and use it to improve your patient’s experience at your practice.

 

  1. Remember your Patients are also Customers

The word “customer” can feel abrasive to some medical professionals, as if recognizing that their practice relies on profitability takes away from the humanitarian role of a healer. However, dividing those realities is simply impractical. Your ability to continue serving your community is completely dependent on the profitability of your practice, so you have to start treating your patients as customers.

 

Niki Kaylor, Director of Client Services at Healthcare Success, emphasizes how shifting your perspective to treating patients as customers with choices changes the entire dynamic at your medical practice. When you start considering patient comfort as well as care, you can address issues that were detracting from your practice’s success. Friendly desk staff, an inviting waiting room, and small, creature comforts such as water or coffee can make all the difference in how your patients perceive their visit.

 

If your current practice feels dingy or worn down, consider a renovation or talk to the experts of Boulevard Medical Properties about other available locations.

 

  1. Maintain Patient Relationships Outside of Appointments

Many healthcare providers make the mistake of limiting their interaction with patients to when they are physically present at their practice. This is a sure-fire way to make your patients feel that they are inconsequential to you. For your patients, their healthcare is a personal endeavor, and they expect you to treat it that way.

 

To ensure your patients feel like you care for them as people, Solution Reach suggests reaching out beyond the appointment. This can include appointment reminders the day prior, a hand-written birthday card every year, and just taking some time to get to know them. If you want to really commit, integrate yourself into the community by taking time to talk to people at the grocery store and donating to local festivities. In the end, all patients want a friendly, neighborhood doc.

 

  1. Tackle Wait Times

Besides a lack-luster experience with the doctor and staff, extended wait times are one of the top reasons that patients leave a practice. To avoid this problem, there are three things you can do.

  • Use an automatic appointment reminder system to increase your chances of scheduled appointments showing up on time.
  • Perform an audit by taking a proxy patient through all of your normal procedures. It will be time consuming initially, but it will help you to identify problems in your workflow, allowing you to streamline the process and your wait times.
  • Track average waiting time and keep it updated on your website and answering machine. This will allow walk-in patients to accurately predict how long they can expect to wait, reducing patient frustration.

 

  1. Take Surveys

According to Solution Reach, roughly 67% of people complete at least half of the surveys offered to them. As with complaints, surveys provide vital information regarding your practice and patient satisfaction. Look at surveys as a way of further auditing your practice and implement changes that reflect patient needs.

Patients are People

In essence, patient retention revolves entirely around your patients feeling that you recognize them as individuals rather than just a name at the top of a chart. If you take the steps to personally engage with your patients in a meaningful way both inside and outside of your practice, you will see an increase in retention.

How Incorporating Nature into Your Medical Office Design Helps to Heal

If you are considering a medical office design renovation, nature is the new key to providing a healing atmosphere for patients (and arguably, your staff as well). Studies have shown that the integration of nature in your overall theme, style, and décor can promote healing. There are even office designers who are skilled in evidence-based design who can provide advice on how to incorporate this into your medical office.

Continue reading How Incorporating Nature into Your Medical Office Design Helps to Heal

Saving Energy at Your Medical Practice

In 2007, researchers found that the United States Healthcare System was responsible for 8% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The intention of the study was to point out the disproportionate levels of waste produced by the industry in the hope that change would follow. The researchers, who compiled their material from a series of other studies, pointed hopefully to the changes being pursued by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Unfortunately, recent numbers indicate that they did not realize their hopes, at least not in the United States. Why is the pursuit of an energy-efficient medical office so difficult?

A recent article, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, reflects that the United States Health Industry’s greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased from 8% to 10%. It appears to be a well-established western phenomenon, as Dr. Jodi Sherman points out. The health care industries of the United States, Australia, England, and Canada collectively produce 748 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. To put that in perspective, there are only six entire nations in the world that produce more annually.

Making Your Mark

Given that 9 million premature deaths in 2015 were positively linked to pollution, an energy-efficient medical practice has a three-fold purpose in that it improves the general health of your patients as well as the rest of the world while also saving you money. In fact, Healthcare Design Magazine reports that the U.S. healthcare industry spends more than $8 billion on energy, and that was in 2013. Since then, energy costs have only increased. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every dollar saved on energy is equivalent to a $10 increase in revenue for your medical practice.

Steps to Sustainability

With all of the equipment required to run a medical practice, reducing your carbon footprint can seem challenging at first. However, you can start with the small changes prescribed to single-family households and build from there.

  1. Replace your light bulbs. The first step toward a more energy-efficient medical practice starts with the lights that are continuously on. If you aren’t already using Energy Star approved bulbs in your waiting room and office area, then it’s an easy switch. Energy Star certified light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs and last a minimum of 15 times longer. Overall, each individual bulb will save you approximately $55 over its lifetime. As an added bonus, they also produce less heat, slightly reducing your air conditioning bill as well.
  2. Pick up a few power strips. By putting power strips throughout your practice, you can make it easy to turn off electronic equipment while not in use. The Department of Energy states that they help to reduce “phantom loads,” effectively saving you about $100 per year per power strip.
  3. Schedule a maintenance check on your heating and cooling systems. The Department of Energy also suggests having your heater and air-conditioner professionally maintained. By maintaining the air filters and checking the efficiency of your equipment once a year, you’ll maximize your temperature control capabilities while minimizing your budget by reducing your costs by up to 15%.
  4. To make a larger dent, gradually phase out older equipment in favor of more efficient models. This process can happen naturally over the years. It slowly decreases your practice’s impact on the environment and saving you even more money.

Aiming for Ethical Growth

As your practice grows, aim for well-insulated, updated properties for your new practice. Boulevard Medical Properties can help you locate and retrofit a new medical practice property with sustainability in mind. We see our eco-friendly construction and products as a key part of a positive patient experience. We want to help your practice to build an ethical, green reputation.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for a Successful Medical Practice

A successful medical practice is a living creature, which must be expected to adapt to patient needs as they evolve. For established medical practitioners, this can be difficult, particularly if your location or office space no longer serves your needs. So, before the New Year officially envelops us all, let’s take some time to consider what you can do to help your practice effectively transition to the patients of 2020.

1. Practice Self Care

Physician burnout is a real thing, and it can happen at any point in your career. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that burnout affects around 1 in 3 physicians at any given time and represents a legitimate threat to the health of the practice and the quality of patient care. Given its all-encompassing effects, the potential for burnout should be your first consideration for a successful medical practice.

The AAFP suggests that the first step to relieving the symptoms of burnout is to streamline your day. The best way to streamline is to fully embrace your EHR (Electronic Health Record). It can feel like a waste of time for many practitioners. However, if you learn to use it effectively, it can be used to automate a lot of processes that you would normally perform manually.

In addition to realizing the potential of your EHR, you should limit yourself to documenting only the necessary data. Good physicians have incredible attention to detail. It can be tempting to put as much data as possible into your notes. Instead, Dr. Dike Drummond writes, physicians should focus on fitting the data into three necessary categories: “billing, medicolegal, and continuity.” There will be some exceptions, but once you begin thinking categorically, you can use language more effectively.

2. Evaluate Your Office Space

It is a given that population densities and demographics change over time along with the technology that is required by a modern medical practice. At the start of this year, re-evaluate the location and orientation of your office space.

The American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics reveals that medical spending can vary up to 250% based on geographic location alone. The initial article is intended to demonstrate the inefficiency of the current American health system. The unintended consequence is that it also argues for the importance of location to a successful medical practice.

If your target population has moved due to gentrification or rezoning, then your practice should also move if you are expecting continued growth. In a city with extreme wealth disparity, such as Los Angeles, a previously successful practice may not survive a major flux. Fortunately, Boulevard Medical Properties specializes in finding ideal office spaces in Los Angeles. This makes the transition much easier for an already busy physician.

3. Evaluate Workflow

Efficiency is key to a successful medical practice. It’s probably time to see if your staff is managing patients and patient records effectively. As mentioned above, you should automate wherever you can, leaving your core staff to perform their work with as little interference as possible.

Do a walkthrough of the patient experience and recording process with your staff. This helps identify redundancies and create a more direct workflow in your practice. This may also be a good time to evaluate your staff and identify any potential problems in performance or attitude. In both cases, Physician’s Practice suggests that retraining may be a better use of your time than replacing the employee.

Retraining can begin by simply identifying the cause of your employee’s dissatisfaction or confusion. If you work with the employee to fix the problem, they’re more likely to appreciate your involvement and concern. In the meantime, you also avoid a laborious and costly hiring and training process.

4. Check for Quality

As with any office, there are plenty of things that a physician may not see while they’re busy with patients. To ensure the quality of the entire patient experience, look into adding a survey to your automated systems. Although you should certainly be prepared to adjust for bias in your survey results, they will help you to identify patterns in patient care. This could lead to effective changes in your practice.

If you notice patient engagement in your surveys is low, consider doing a monthly or annual raffle as an incentive for participants. You may even consider making it part of a local event. This would simultaneously allow you to integrate yourself into the community, an added bonus.

Regardless of where you find your practice at the beginning of this year, it’s a perfect time to re-think where you are and where you would like to be at the end of this year.