In a high-pressure, low-downtime profession like healthcare, it’s essential for employees to maximize the time they spend on the job. To help them make the most of the workday, we’ve put together a list of healthcare time management strategies.
Show up early
No matter the office size, healthcare workplaces are busy. It can be challenging for staff to start interacting with patients immediately after arriving. They need time to get up to speed. Start shifts 15-20 minutes before staff members begin working with patients so they can find out what happened before they arrived, what tasks have immediate priority and what the schedule looks like for the rest of the day.
Ensure staff is prepped and ready by providing healthcare promotional items like tissue packets and hand sanitizer. These are often appreciated by patients too! Be sure there are lots of pens on hand for everyone to use.
Make a plan
When the office is in full swing, patients, paperwork and shifting priorities can keep staff members so busy they’re unable to finish their must-do lists. Encourage staff to create a written plan that divides their “need-to-dos” into monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly items. Give out time management gifts, like a notebook or planner, to make it easy to keep track.
While you may feel compelled to offer a helping hand whenever you see a need, it’s important to hand tasks off to medical assistants, administrative employees, nursing assistants, volunteers and interns when they have extra time. Urge staff members to do the same when they can.
Passing off tasks to other professionals allows staff members to focus on their own tasks while ensuring patients get the help they need. Keep everyone happy with a snack that will keep them energized, such as trail mix.
Say no sometimes
In an industry built around helping others, it’s easy to say yes when a colleague asks for assistance. At the same time, it can also be difficult to turn down opportunities to pick up a new skill or take on additional responsibility when someone else is busy.
Remind staff members to be sure they are meeting their current duties before taking on other tasks or volunteering for training. Stretching themselves too thin can cause them to get behind in their work, which may affect patients. Set aside time for training so everyone gets the knowledge they want. Sometimes the best healthcare time management strategy is to offer an alternative option that is a win for everyone.
Getting more done in a day
In healthcare, the goal is to give patients the best possible care. These healthcare time management strategies can help ensure your staff is able to make the most of every minute—and the most of every patient interaction.