How Efficient Is my Private Practice?
A Quiz for Behavioral Health Professionals.
As a behavioral health professional, the total amount of work hours you put into your practice goes well beyond the face time spent with patients. For every billable hour, your practice must also account for the time spent on documentation, billing, and other processes that support the provision of care. It is in these back-end administrative tasks where operational efficiency most strongly impacts your bandwidth as a provider.
As the manager of a private practice, it is in your interests to understand how efficiently your practice operates. The following is a short introspective quiz designed to give practices some perspective.
Add up the point values that correspond with responses.
1. How long does it take to set up new patient accounts, fill out intake paperwork, and screen a new patient?
- My new patients use a portal in advance, so less than 15 minutes (1 point)
- After a brief phone call, I start a record in my EHR, and ask new clients to come in a few minutes early to sign paperwork—altogether about 15-30 minutes (2 points)
- Between coordination by phone-tag and paper record keeping, I must spend over 30 minutes (3 points)
2. How much time is spent before or after the appointment managing balances, copays, and scheduling?
- About five minutes (1 point)
- About ten minutes (2 points)
- Longer than ten minutes (3 points)
3. How quickly do you usually complete your session documentation?
- Less than one day (1 point)
- Less than one week (2 points)
- One week or more (3 points)
4. How much of your day do you budget for transmitting billing and charge information between people and systems?
- I can usually wrap everything up at the end of the day (1 point)
- I devote a few hours total over the course of the week, but don’t usually fall behind (2 points)
- I struggle to keep up and sometimes work on my off-days to do so (3 points)
5. How would you describe your experience in preparing for an audit?
- Records are organized and easy to reconcile (1 point)
- There is usually a mishap or two, but nothing a little extra effort can’t make up for (2 points)
- The process always bites deeply into my productivity… I dread audits (3 points)
How to Interpret Your Score
If your total score is a 9 or higher, there is room for improvement in your practice’s operational efficiency.
Tightening up areas of inefficiency is very easily accomplished with the right EHR solution in place. In addition to software automation handling a lot of the administrative workload, records are more organized and accessible. Freeing up as little as 15 minutes of administrative toil per client can result in as much as one extra hour each day. Even just two extra hours per week equates to 96 hours in a year—time that could be spent either with family or bringing more value to the practice.
Improving areas of inefficiency in the practice will have a dramatic effect over the long term. The right EHR solution will give your practice the leverage to do so.
Valant Behavioral Health EHR is designed exclusively for private mental health practices. We would love to show you how much time Valant could save your practice.