Many clinics and private practices don’t have a steady flow of patients throughout the year. The foot traffic to clinics increases and decreases depending on the season, especially during flu season in fall and early winter. While you might think preparing for vaccination season isn’t a priority now that it’s nearing summer, you might notice an increase in the demand for the COVID-19 vaccines.
It won’t be long before it’s fall again, and people are asking for both the COVID-19 vaccine and their annual flu shot. This will most likely put immense pressure on your clinic’s resources and staff if you’re underprepared. If you start planning now, you can comfortably meet the increasing demand by relying on modern technology and using Electronic Health Record (EHR) flu shot templates to better manage patient data and files.
Challenges During Vaccination Season
During the vaccination season, clinics often find themselves trying to manage the influx of patients on top of their regular visitors. Some clinics are also limited in their physical space. This is especially true with COVID-19, forcing clinics to provide bigger waiting areas for social distancing regulations.
However, the catalyst for both the time and space issue is poor appointment management caused either by overworked staff or software that wasn’t made to handle that much traffic. By pinpointing where your bottleneck often forms, it’d be easier to prevent it the next time around.
How to Operate More Effectively
Fortunately, those problems aren’t inevitable. With the right techniques and strategies, you can better manage even the busiest of vaccination seasons.
Lessen In-Office Time
Thanks to modern communication technology, you can avoid doing the majority of your work in the office. See whether your patients are open to sending in their forms and files ahead of schedule, allowing your staff time to sort through them. That way, you can resolve all billing and insurance complications before the appointment.
You can also decrease the in-office time for patients. Offer online educational resources, forms, and communication methods so patients can fill out everything they need from their homes and have fewer questions when they come to visit in person. This can cut the average visit time to less than half, where they come in, receive their vaccine and immediately leave.
Implement an EHR System
More patients mean more records and paperwork. To streamline the process, considering implementing an EHR system. There are countless benefits to the digitization of patient records. Not only are they easier to store and retrieve, but they’re also safer to transport from one clinic to the next while guaranteeing their integrity.
Electronic healthcare records also make for better automation, allowing your staff to pull billing and insurance information straight from documents instead of searching for them manually or contacting the patient.
When it comes to the vaccination season, an EHR flu shot clinic template can help the process run smoothly. If you already have patient information, the system can automatically import them into the flu shot template. And if they’re new, they can fill out most of the required fields online before coming to the clinic, saving you time and energy.
Train Staff Accordingly
Clinics aren’t mistake-friendly. Make sure you have strategies and protocols that make it easier for your staff to do their best work and minimize errors. Your best option is to enforce strict systems for your staff to follow and educate staff members on how to act during high-pressure circumstances and treat patients.
Designate Specific Time
Vaccinations differ from regular medical procedures, so it’s best to dedicate specific time intervals and locations to conduct appointments. Clinics can group vaccinations in the same area for a couple of hours a day. This allows you to go through patients much faster, all while leaving your clinic open to patients with a need for regular healthcare.
Learn from the Past
Because every clinic and its demographic are different, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the flu season influx of patients. However, you can always look to previous vaccination seasons and how you handled them. What could you do better this year around?
Set aside the right budget, so you don’t run short and go into debt. Also, order a sufficient quantity of vaccinations ensuring everyone receives a vaccine. If you can’t find direct pointers from your past experiences, consider studying other clinics in your area and see how they handle the vaccination season.
It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect
There’s no such thing as a perfect vaccination season, but you can strive to improve each year. There will always be room for improvement and learning from your mistakes. The important thing is ensuring the health care you provide doesn’t fall in quality
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