Managing your time effectively is a key skill in any profession. But for doctors, who are often burdened with so many additional hours writing up medical documents and associated paperwork, it’s absolutely critical.
GPs swamped by admin can struggle with job dissatisfaction and burnout, off the back of what has already been a very challenging couple of years.
But there are strategies you can put in place and courses of action you can take to maximise your time and increase your efficiency and productivity.
We’ve compiled the following suggestions which are tailored specifically towards doctors.
Begin the day with purpose
Efficiency and productivity begins by getting the working day off to a great start.
It’s all too easy to arrive at the clinic a minute or two before your first patient. But there’s a good chance you’ll be chasing your tail for the rest of the day.
Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. It allows you to catch your breath, check your schedule, answer a couple of key emails and simply check in with staff.
There’s a good chance you’ll get those minutes back at the end of the day, freeing up more time for leisure or with the family.
Organise and prioritise
Outside of client appointments, make a list of the three or so most important tasks each day and work towards achieving them.
Declutter your workspace so you know exactly where everything is. And don’t get drawn into time-wasting activities.
- Answer emails just three times a day, before work, during the middle of the day and before you leave the office. Don’t become a servant to your email.
- Don’t get distracted by social media platforms.
- Don’t get caught up on lengthy phone calls or chatting with staff.
If it’s a non-essential task that doesn’t require the specific attention of a GP, delegate it!
That’s why you have support staff.
It’s all part of being a good leader, making the clinic more efficient and taking some of the heat off you.
You may need to review delegated tasks to ensure everything has been done as required but you’ll end up saving hours.
Prepare and plan ahead
Preparing yourself for patients booked the next day is vital to the running of a clinic and will make tomorrow run a whole lot more smoothly.
Sure, there will be patients who ring and book on the day of their visit but the background information on many others can be prepared in advance.
This is one of the tasks you may be able to delegate, especially if any prep work needs to be done based on an individual patient’s needs.
It will help reduce wait times, keep them satisfied and ultimately get you home earlier.
Duplicate exam rooms
Try to ensure all of your exam rooms organised in an identical fashion. That way, you know where everything is without having to go looking for it!
It will make you look a whole lot more professional and will save time that could be wasted searching for specific equipment or instruments.
Utilise new technology
There are a growing number of smartphone apps specifically designed for doctors to increase efficiency and educate patients.
Mobile dictation apps can take some getting used to but save significant time wasted on typing out lengthy documents.
Others include scheduling and messaging apps and access to patients’ records.
Innovative practices like AHA use technology to help its clinics run smoothly and efficiently.
If you have control of your schedule, try to find the right balance in terms of scheduling appointments. It can be counter-productive to try to squeeze too many into a day’s work.
You’ll inevitably deny some patients the time they deserve, and you’ll end up cranky and the last one to go home.
Work closely with your support team to create a smooth flow of appointments and decide how best to manage cancellations and no shows.
Put yourself first
This ties in with not cramming in too many appointments in a day.
Being a doctor is a noble, vital but also stressful occupation.
Work-life balance is really important to guard against overload and the potential mental health problems that may result.
It is also one of the key planks of our business here at AHA Clinics.
You won’t run out of clients working with us. But there is also plenty of time to relax and enjoy the great seaside lifestyle.
Your health and happiness is important to us.
What could be better than working just minutes from the spectacular southern beaches?
Find out about working at AHA Clinics
Are you looking for a fresh start in a clinic with a fantastic culture that supports you both professionally and personally?
There are life-changing opportunities that are yours for the taking here at AHA Clinics in Seaford, South Australia.
We have elite support teams and systems in place.
They help our doctors better care for their patients, improve their efficiency and productivity and maximise their day.
Our purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities utilise natural light and make coming to work here an absolute joy.
If that sounds attractive to you, we’d love to hear from you.
You can learn more about the opportunities and find out more here.
Or you can call us today on 0411 059 421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your questions or talking points.