In the last few years, more than 230,000 healthcare professionals have left the bedside to pursue other careers. The reason for this varies, but 4 in 10 medical groups point to burnout as the strongest motivation . As the workforce goes down, more practices are experiencing diminishing productivity levels.
Medical practices are more than the providers who diagnose and treat patients. They’re a culmination of diverse job roles that push the organization forward, whether it’s by directly assisting the provider or performing administrative tasks. While some of these responsibilities may not directly affect patients, they are vital nonetheless as they support medical practices’ core purpose of caring for patients.
Under normal circumstances, high demand for a practice’s service is good. However, that’s not exactly the case when there are fewer staff members for a practice to work with. When a person wears too many hats, they have a higher chance of burning themself out. Apart from that, a staffing shortage comes with an array of hidden hurdles to the productivity of a practice, such as:
Lack of Provider Availability
Many healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses, spend more time on administrative tasks than seeing patients, resulting in patients waiting longer or not getting the medical attention they need. When there is a lack of provider availability, the number of patients a practice can attend to is limited.
Higher Levels of Patient No-Shows
Without a dedicated staff member who performs scheduling or reminder calls, patients may arrive late to their appointment or miss it altogether. Medical practices should have it in their best interest to avoid frequent patient no-shows  because it can result in wasted resources, decreased patient care access, and lost revenue.
Increased Need for Financial Stability Efforts
As a result of frequent patient no-shows and a compromised revenue stream, practices can find it challenging to maintain their financial stability. With staffing shortages, healthcare providers and existing team members may need to go beyond the scope of their responsibilities and perform billing, coding, and claims management to stabilize the practice’s financial resources. These extra efforts can be the very cause of staff and provider burnout.
How Practices Can Be Productive
In today’s competitive healthcare industry, practices face increasing pressure to be productive and efficient, despite having fewer human resources. Resilience is admirable, but too much can do more harm than good, as seen in the high turnover rate among healthcare professionals due to burnout. Instead, practices should delegate auxiliary tasks to virtual medical assistants.
Unlike in-person healthcare professionals, which can be hard to find due to shortages, there are a lot of virtual medical assistants in the market and even more places to source them. What’s great about virtual medical assistants is that they are very flexible regarding the schedule of their shifts and the tasks they perform.
Medical virtual assistants can fill job roles to address hidden hurdles to the productivity of medical practices, including but not limited to:
It’s a given that a practice’s provider has a lot on their plate. Considering how skilled and knowledgeable virtual medical assistants are, they can help perform some of these tasks so that the provider has enough time to focus on more critical tasks such as meeting patients, diagnosing conditions, and planning treatment.
Because they know how to connect with people despite being in a remote location, virtual medical assistants are perfect for medical receptionist jobs. They can foster a positive patient experience by efficiently scheduling appointments, promptly answering phone calls, and accurately handling patient information.
Finances are essential for any medical practice, so properly managing this resource is critical. Medical virtual assistants can provide valuable support to practices by performing medical biller tasks such as processing insurance claims, liaising with insurance companies, and staying up-to-date on billing regulations and requirements.
With virtual medical assistants who can efficiently take on additional responsibilities, practices can be more productive while keeping costs low. Regardless of the job role they fill, virtual medical assistants only cost a fraction compared to their in-person equivalents.
Delegate to elevate! To learn more about how virtual medical assistants can promote a practice’s productivity during staffing shortages, book a 10-minute discovery call with My Mountain Mover today!