4 Short Staff Solutions for Medical Offices

When a medical practice is short on personnel, operating efficiently and giving patients the care they expect can be difficult. Whether you're lacking an ideal number of physicians, nurses, or administrative staff, carrying out useful short staff solutions for medical offices is a tremendous challenge. It's also one that will only become more necessary in the years to come.

According to The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the demand for physicians will exceed the supply in the U.S. by the year 2030. The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit says we can expect to be short between 61,700 and 94,700 primary care physicians by 2025, and as high as 60,300 for non-primary care specialties.

Moreover, surgeons are likely to be a much rarer breed by 2030, a new report predicts, with predicted shortfalls of between 20,000 and 29,000 physicians, while organizations seeking specialists are likely to post up to 61,000 unanswered job ads.

The results are clear: Finding the right healthcare office staffing solution for your practice will be vital moving forward. Indeed, running a successful medical office in the near future will require a lot of planning. And digital tools will go a long way toward mitigating this problem.

Here are four possible short staff solutions for medical offices to consider for your healthcare facility.

1. Telemedicine

If your medical offices are shrinking but you want to maintain a high number of patients, offering telemedicine is one of the best short staff solutions to consider. What is telemedicine, exactly? It is the practice of treating patients virtually through video conferencing.

Oftentimes, patients can be diagnosed remotely if they are able to speak to a doctor and use tools such as remote patient monitoring devices.

This technology helps reduce the number of patients in your office, but it can also shorten the average appointment time, allowing doctors and nurses to treat more patients over the course of a day. It can help doctors reach patients in rural areas who have limited access to healthcare--specialty care, in particular.

It can greatly lower costs, too: According to a recent study, doctors who used a telemedicine platform for cardiology consultations saved around $500 in Medicaid costs for every patient treated over a six-month period.

Most importantly, it can accomplish all this without sacrificing the quality of care. Research shows that doctors who use telemedicine are able to effectively provide patients the treatment they need. Hence, any medical office seeking short staff solutions should consider this method.

2. Voice Recognition Software for Documentation

Anyone who has worked in the medical field will tell you that paperwork is a huge--and frequently taxing--part of the job. Filling out documents can eat up hours of time for doctors, nurses, and administrative staff alike; as such, cutting down the time it takes to complete paperwork is one of the most attractive short staff solutions for medical offices.

One way to accomplish this is to utilize speech recognition software. In the past, offices have been wary of embracing voice recognition due to its low accuracy rates. Recently, however, great strides have been made in the quality of speech recognition technology.

It is now common for voice-to-text software to be more than 90 percent accurate--giving medical professionals the chance to fill out electronic records quickly, archive them with ease, and have more time to handle other tasks.

According to a report conducted by KLAS Research, nine out of 10 hospitals surveyed plan to use this tool in the future. Those facilities experienced, among other benefits, lower transcription costs, and reduced documentation time.

3. Establish a Residency Program

To be a doctor in the United States, one is required to go through a residency program. It is an intense and exhausting stretch of time for young medical professionals--one that often includes seminars, workshops, and brutally long shifts.

Today, there is a concerning shortage of medical residents in the United States. This is a big reason why experts predict a troubling doctor shortage in the next few decades.

Between 2002 and 2016, medical school enrollment in the U.S. climbed by 27 percent. Yet that did not lead to 27 percent more doctors--not even close. Why? Because there simply aren't enough residency slots available.

As a result, fewer international doctors are joining American programs, and more graduates of U.S. medical schools are not accepted into residency programs. In 2013 alone, more than 500 med school graduates didn't match into residencies.

While this short staffing solution is not for every medical office, if your practice has a residency program, expanding it can be the best healthcare office staffing solution by creating more trained doctors in the years to come.

4. Employ a Queue Management System

If your practice is low on doctors, nurses, and/or administrative staff, getting patients in and out can be especially difficult. That's why the QLess queue management system for healthcare is an excellent solutions for medical offices that are short staffed.

Everyone values their time, and with award-winning queuing and scheduling technology, we can help your office eliminate waiting time through our modern solutions to the outdated practice of waiting.

Making sure your office doesn't become congested is essential, and patients who receive timely care are more likely to visit your office in the future. Utilizing our software will go a long way toward keeping your waiting rooms clear and your patients satisfied. QLess can lower operating costs, improve staff productivity, increase revenue, and boost your practice's reputation, too.

Research shows improved patient flow increases satisfaction by 20 percent. With our FlexAppointments feature, you can reduce on-site wait times with an easy-to-use appointment scheduling solution. Patients can be notified of delays through their smartphones to control expectations and reduce frustration. If patients are running late, they can push themselves back in line, providing space for walk-ins to receive treatment and reducing scheduling gaps.

Last, but not least, QLess Analytics provides valuable metrics about your patients' experiences and staff productivity, offering insights into patient behavior and helping identify operational inefficiencies.

Simply put, this healthcare office staffing solution can revolutionize your practice's workflow. To experience how QLess functions as one of the best short staff solutions for medical offices, request a business demo today.