It is commonly recognized that qualified staff (whether audiologists or board-certified hearing instrument specialists) is an increasingly scarce resource. A continual decline in available labor, coupled with rising salaries, makes it critical to optimize staff time and ensure that they are being well-utilized, while still providing high-quality clinical outcomes.
Automated tools, including scheduling and reporting, will allow you to maximize efficiency, utilize staff wisely, streamline workflows, review performance by clinic and/or audiologist, and adjust, as needed, based on data. These efforts help improve your resource utilization for better business performance and improved client care.
In a two-step process, you can use Auditdata Manage’s reporting capabilities in Discover to review the allocation of audiologists across appointments and activities to understand how your audiologists are spending their time. Ideally, they will be spending most of their time conducting client examinations, recommending solutions to treat clients’ hearing loss and fitting hearing aids.
Once you know how your audiologist's time is allotted, you will likely want to optimize the time spent. To accomplish this, be sure that your standard protocol allows your front office staff to qualify each client on the phone before booking an appointment with the audiologist.
This approach will not only optimize your resource allocation, but it will also lower your no-show rates, reduce audiologists' time spent with customers who have no hearing loss, and increase your customer satisfaction ratings.
Another way to assess customers’ or prospects’ hearing is through Auditdata Engage, a user-friendly screening tool. One of Engage’s benefits is that it doesn’t need to be administered by an audiologist. All staff members can help customers or prospects use the self-screener.
In addition to conducting screenings and pre-qualifying leads, have support staff – not audiologists – handle operational tasks, such as scheduling, ordering, marketing, etc. This frees up the audiologists’ time so they can focus on client exams and selling hearing aids.
Keep in mind that resources go beyond just staff utilization. If you have limited resources – such as a sound booth or frequently used equipment – make sure your staff members use the appointment scheduling tool in your Practice Management Software to reserve them for specific appointments.