Duke Eye Center's Chief Administrative Officer Adrienne Lloyd, MHA, FACHE and Clinical Operations Director, Heidi Campbell, COT developed a staff workload system or "technician points system" that helped to improve workflows across Duke Eye Center clinics. They have presented this process at numerous professional meetings and it is featured the March/April issue of Administrative Eyecare.
The only certainty in healthcare reform is that we will receive less revenue per patient and must optimize our processes and resources. The most valuable resource in our practices continues to be our team members. By effectively utilizing clinical data, we can better collaborate with them to reach optimal efficiency, while providing the highest possible care and value for the patients.
When we began focusing on improving the processes and culture in our clinics in 2014, we heard from the staff in one practice that management was inconsistent in enforcement of even the most basic policies, such as absences and cell phone/computer usage. And, most importantly, they were not ensuring a balanced patient workload across the technician group. We knew we had to act…and FAST… before we lost the high-performers who were carrying the majority of the workload and growing increasingly frustrated. To address this, we developed a staff workload system (technician points system) that accounted for not only the volume of patients being worked up by each technician, but also the types of patients, categorized by appointment type, that more accurately reflected the amount of time each should take a technician to
perform a complete and accurate work-up.
In 18 months of using the points system and improving workflows across the first three clinics, our providers were happier and our volumes increased by more than 24,000 visits (62%). We were also able to bring all our clinics to the top-tier status for employee satisfaction, drastically reducing employee feedback that management was not holding the team accountable or treating everyone consistently. While we want to support everyone, it is important to separate the person from the job. The job must be done, and if the individual in that role cannot or will not perform that role well, then it is best for the practice that they move on. After deploying the system across six locations, we saw a more than 17% increase in points per technician, allowing each to see an extra three patients every day. What could an extra three patients per tech per day and happier patients, providers, and staff mean to your practice?
Read the full article to learn more about the process, how it was implemented and measured.
This article first appeared in Administrative Eyecare March/April 19 and is reprinted here with permission from the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA). Please contact Laureen Rowland, ASOA Executive Director, ASOA for any further permissions regarding reprint or distribution.