Growth | Task Management


One of Those Days

Will disorganized task management derail efficiency at Shannon’s practice?

It was just going to be one of those days; it was only 10:15am and Shannon’s teeth were already on edge. She and Teresa seemed to be bumping into each other all morning and it was slowing everyone down.

“Hey, Shannon, do you know where the office supply order list is?” asked Teresa. I was going to take care of that this morning.

“Oh, I gave it to Tana yesterday afternoon so that she could add whatever she needed,” said Shannon.

“But she’s not in on Wednesdays and I need to get the order in today or else we’re going to run out of stuff we really need!” Teresa huffed.

“I’m really sorry, Teresa,” Shannon said. “I didn’t realize you already had a procedure in place for the ordering. I’ll go check Tana’s desk to see if I can find the list.”

Later that morning: “Teresa, I can’t find my call list for last week’s patients,” Shannon said. “You know I like to follow up with the most critical cases so that I can make sure they’re feeling better.”

“You were so swamped with patients on Monday that I took care of the calls,” said Teresa. “I should have let you know, I’m sorry. Yesterday I emailed you the information on the patients I was able to reach.”

Finally, mid-afternoon: “Shannon, I’ve looked everywhere for the test results for last week’s patients so that I can scan them and attach them to the proper patient records,” said Teresa. “Do you know where they are? I blocked out a couple of hours this afternoon to take care of that.”

Shannon looked down at her feet. “I’m so sorry, Teresa, I took them home last night so that I could check on a couple of patients who may need adjustments to their care plans,” she said. “This morning was crazy at my house,  the records are locked up in my home office.”

The two eyed each other warily.

“We’ve been getting in each other’s way all day,” said Teresa. “This is definitely a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.”

“I know, we’ve wasted so much time searching for missing forms and files,” admitted Shannon. “As long as we’ve worked together, it’s still impossible to know who is supposed to do what, and when. There are so many tasks that need to be accomplished, some every day, some for each patient, and the sheer volume makes it difficult to keep track of everything.”

“It would be great if we could know just by looking at our computers what needs to be done, by what date it needs to be done and who is responsible for making it happen,” mused Teresa. “That would save us so much time and aggravation.”

Could Shannon’s practice be performing better with a more efficient and transparent task management system?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

7 replies
  1. Josh Wolf
    Josh Wolf says:

    Uh oh, Shannon is committing a cardinal sin of business; she’s disorganized. That’s why using a practice management system with built in reminders and an efficient scheduler can be a lifesaver for her practice. Hope she makes up her mind soon before things spiral completely out of control.

  2. Heather Miller
    Heather Miller says:

    A ticketing system that is integrated with his practice management software would allow Shannon and Teresa to easily keep track of who needs to do what and when. Also by keeping everything in one place you don’t have to worry about about leaving a file somewhere as you can access everything from anywhere.

  3. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    I love dealing with passionate practice owners who are genuinely making differences in the lives of their patients. When interacting with driven individuals who are so focused on the big picture, it has been my experience that some things, even important business tasks can fall through the cracks. These missed chances to connect with a patient, correct a billing error, or the duplication of efforts always catch up and leave their marks. The frustration that remains is often left undiagnosed, but can often times be traced back to a lack of tracking and control over the many little things that add up to a successful practice.

  4. Charles Pritchard
    Charles Pritchard says:

    With a full practice management solution that not only provides a workflow process that assigns tasks to the appropriate staff members, but also shows a provider at a glance the health of the practice, Shannon’s practice could be operating at a more efficient level. I work with dozens of providers who have been able to spend more time treating their patients and less time trying to figure out if the right hand is keeping up with the left hand.

  5. Robin Kortman
    Robin Kortman says:

    I work with many providers whose first priorities are treating patients, but understand that so many additional task that have to be completed in addition to treating and caring for their patients. This is where they become overwhelmed not knowing the what, when and how, by using a practice management solution providers and staff at a glance can see how the office is performing and tasks can be assigned to specific staff members and providers the ability to track completion.

  6. Michelle Corrigan
    Michelle Corrigan says:

    Unfortunately, the chaos is Shannon’s office is not uncommon. Shannon
    and her staff are spending more time identifying what needs to be done
    and who should do it than they spend completing each task. A practice
    management system that specializes in workflow would eliminate that. How
    much more time cold they spend with their patients if the tasks were
    brought to the person responsible on a daily basis?

  7. Tim Helfinstine
    Tim Helfinstine says:

    Shannon seems to be suffering from a lack of task management and
    organization. Having to follow up on the administrative tasks of the
    office takes her away from her primary function which is the treatment
    and care of her patients.
    Utilizing a management system that will
    alleviate the question of “who is doing (or not doing) what” will
    greatly improve her ability to focus on patient care.

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