Improving Operations Hearing Clinic


Improving Operational Efficiency: Why This Matters

Your hearing clinic wants to boost profitability, improve patient outcomes, and provide exceptional service throughout each customer’s journey. Optimizing operational efficiency can help you do all that and more. This blog explains how to improve operational efficiency – and why this matters.

The audiology industry is constantly evolving, as new trends and threats emerge, technology advances, challenges disrupt the status quo, and new competitors threaten, so audiology clinics must be flexible, nimble, and efficient to succeed.  Changes are happening in our industry, including ongoing staff shortages. Amid the increased competition to attract the right staff, it’s essential to focus on operational efficiency to get the most out of your resources and to help your employees have streamlined days in your clinic, where they can maximize time with patients and minimize time-consuming, tedious tasks.  

Your hearing clinic is undoubtedly looking to boost profitability, improve patient outcomes, and provide exceptional service throughout each customer’s journey. Optimizing operational efficiency can help you do all that and more.  

Improving operational efficiency is an ongoing, multi-step endeavor that takes some time and energy, but it’s well worth the effort.  

What is operational efficiency? 

Operational efficiency means using resources – such as time, people, equipment, inventory, facilities, and money – in an optimized way to best serve your organization and your patients. Efficient organizations are typically leaner, nimbler, and more profitable. Optimizing efficiency involves implementing procedures to make your operations run smoothly, consistently, and accurately. Done correctly, operational efficiency can help your hearing clinic improve productivity, streamline processes, improve employee satisfaction, optimize resources, and improve patient care. 

The right technology, equipment, workflows, and employees are essential to improving operational efficiency.  

Free Guide

How to boost revenue with resource optimization

With a few simple adjustments to your schedule or diary, you can get much more out of your existing resources and focus more on the clients. The following 5 steps will guide you through implementing a scheduling strategy that maximizes revenue, delivers opportunities, and visualizes all staff and resource availability. 

Why does operational efficiency matter? 

Operationally efficient companies focus on reducing wasted time, costs, redundancies, errors, and administrative burden, working to boost key metrics (including revenue) and improve the customer experience. One of the main drivers of operational efficiency is cultivating a culture that values it and commits to improving it. 

You want your hearing clinic to stand out from the competition and be seen as the premiere audiology practice in your area. And you work tirelessly to always provide excellent patient experiencesand outcomes. You keep up with industry trends, such as over-the-counter hearing aids, and patient demands, like bringing your portable audiology equipment to visit patients that can’t come to your clinic due to health, mobility, and/or transportation challenges. You implement best practice workflows, ensuring that all practitioners are easily onboarded and consistently follow the right processes during every exam. Optimizing efficiency helps you improve the way you do all of these things. 

9 ways to improve operational efficiency

An inefficient organization wastes time, money, resources, and effort. On the other hand, improving your clinic’s operational efficiency can help you: 

  • Optimize time, money (both spending and earning!), and resources. 
  • Improve sales conversions, profits, and growth. 
  • Reduce waste, costs, and errors. 
  • Improve employee and customer happiness, satisfaction, and loyalty. 

Track KPIs

It’s important to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress towards your clinic’s specific goals.

1. Review your operational processes


If your audiologists and staff are spending significant time on repetitive tasks, making errors, or using manual systems, your processes need to be improved. Pivot to modern tech solutions that automate tasks to reduce your team’s administrative burden, cut down on errors, eliminate redundancies, and boost efficiency. Considering that employees spend 13% of their time on duplicative work, it’s clear that automation and streamlining tasks is a smart (and easy) process improvement.

When looking at your clinic’s processes, determine whether all team members are consistently following best practice standards, where there are bottlenecks (or other problems) impacting efficiency, and whether certain tasks could be streamlined. For instance, if your front desk employees are calling each individual patient to remind them of upcoming appointments at your clinic, consider getting Practice Management Software (PMS), which can dramatically streamline this task. With a PMS, your clinic can set up automated appointment reminders at pre-determined intervals, which will free up your employees’ time to handle other responsibilities. 

2. Choose the right technology for the job

Right Audiology Technology

Outdated and disconnected technology waste your employees’ time, requiring them to switch between screens or systems, and making basic tasks more complicated, repetitive, error-prone, and time consuming than they should be. Manual systems mean that you can’t get a holistic view of data across your organization, as it’s impossible to gather and analyze real-time data using paper documents or Excel spreadsheets.

To maximize efficiency, you should use modern, integrated, user-friendly technologies. The right technologies will integrate between your various systems (such as a PMS, audiological equipment, and portable screening tools), allowing you to centralize patient data, optimize and standardize workflows, and make smarter, more strategic decisions.

3. Improve your clinical workflows

Clinical Workflows Measure

To improve efficiency, quality of care, and patient outcomes, it’s essential that all your clinicians consistently follow proper protocols, performing the right steps in the correct order with every patient. Therefore, make automated clinical workflows part of your standard operating procedure, to help ensure efficiency and consistently high quality across your practice.

Using automated clinical workflows offers many benefits, including easing onboarding of new employees, improving efficiency, increasing consistency, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increasing compliance with all necessary regulations. Clinical workflows guide audiologists through each step in the exam process, ensuring that important steps aren’t missed or forgotten.

Auditdata’s reminders and notification nudging feature provides on-screen reminders about what comes next in the exam process, alerting audiologists about which tests need to be performed based on data entered for each patient. For instance, if a patient needs bone conduction or audiometric masking, the audiologist will be “nudged” to perform those tests – in the proper order – during the exam. Clinic leaders appreciate the ability to track audiologists’ performance, checking to see if the best practice standards are consistently being followed. If the tech solutions indicate that a clinician is skipping steps or deviating from the pre-determined clinical pathway, leaders can get involved to find out why they’re not following the workflow and take immediate action, as necessary, to correct these behaviors. Moreover, a cockpit of the workflows makes it possible to compare different options and decide on which one to follow based on data insights. 

4. Improve your scheduling

A critical component of operational efficiency is optimizing your scheduling/booking system. This can lead to shorter waiting times for first appointments, fewer “holes” in the calendar and a less stressful everyday life for the audiologists. 

A tech solution – like a PMS – helps you utilize your resources strategically, streamline the process, and keep things running smoothly. The right scheduling system also allows you to book appointments efficiently – in terms of staff, equipment, and facilities – to maximize important metrics, like the number of patients your clinicians can see per day, sales numbers, conversion numbers, etc.

Additionally, the right PMS, like Auditdata’s Manage, automates appointment reminders, decreasing no-shows and administrative burden. If a patient cancels their appointment, your team can quickly and easily send out “blast” emails and texts to everyone on your waiting list, notifying them of the appointment availability. This eliminates the need to manually call, email, or text people waiting for earlier appointments, which saves time, energy, and hassle.

Manage’s next-gen scheduler is cloud-based, which improves efficiency and collaboration. Staff members can see availability for all clinicians and resources across the organization, even in a multi-unit practice. The scheduler offers helpful real-time updates, so if multiple employees are simultaneously scheduling appointments, they can instantly see which appointment slots are open, and which have already been booked. A cloud-hosted scheduler also allows your team to access the schedule from anywhere, so they can change or postpone appointments if your practice is closed for any reason (such as weather) or if a clinician is out sick. Your team can also conveniently create recurring meetings, such as staff meetings, admin time, professional development, etc. 

5. Ensure incoming leads have hearing loss

DSC7710 Copy2

Your practicians’ time is precious, so make sure they’re only seeing patients with hearing loss to maximize efficiency. It’s fast and simple to pre-screen prospects and patients with a portable self-screening solution like Engage. This user-friendly, tablet-based tool takes only a few minutes to screen people and produces accurate results about whether they have hearing loss.

Use Engage in your clinic so that when your patients bring their loved ones along to appointments, these friends and relatives can take a quick hearing screening while they’re onsite at your practice. It’s also smart to use the screener out in the community, at shopping malls, pharmacies, grocery stores, optical shops, physicians’ offices, health fairs, senior centers, and more, as a cost-effective way to generate leads for your practice. Since Engage links to our PMS, Manage, it’s easy and accurate to capture leads with hearing loss and automatically follow up with them to schedule appointments with your audiologists. 

6. Create a good culture

Team Of Audiologists

There’s a very accurate saying: “if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” Similarly, people define “insanity” as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want to improve operational efficiency – and, as a result, also boost KPIs – you’ll need to make some changes. If your leadership team hasn’t focused on cultivating a better workplace culture, it’s time to start. 

It’s essential to create a culture that values operational efficiency, and works to maximize it, since optimizing operations – and efficiency – starts with a happy, motivated team. Having happy, engaged employees isn’t just an accident – it stems from building a supportive, collaborative workplace culture where employees feel appreciated and valued. Having trust in employees is a critical way to engage and motivate them.

Employees who feel like their employers trust them are 260% more motivated to work, have 41% lower absentee rates, and are 50% less likely to look for another job. It may seem like a “seemingly small” detail, but showing your employees that you trust and support them – and building this into your company culture – will go a long way in improving staff morale, satisfaction, retention, engagement, productivity, and efficiency. Provide training so your employees have the knowledge to do their jobs well and give them the resources they need (such as a PMS, high quality audiology equipment, integrated tech solutions, etc.) to provide exceptional care.

Make sure support systems are in place (e.g., they should know who to turn to with questions, who to call to troubleshoot tech systems, etc.). Provide professional development opportunities so your employees stay current on the latest industry trends, tools, and technologies. Show (through both words and actions) that you believe in their abilities and that you trust them to make the best decisions for the good of the practice and the patients. 

7. Hire great people and train them well

Great Audiologists

Hiring the right staff members is key to boosting metrics, including efficiency and productivity. If you hire any employees that lack the skills, experience, and capabilities for their positions, they’ll likely perform more slowly, make errors, frustrate your employees and patients, and decrease efficiency. So, hire smart, talented, capable people to make your clinic successful. Train employees on your equipment, technologies, and processes, taking the time to properly teach them about all clinic operations until they’re comfortable with your systems and solutions. Ongoing – and thorough – training is essential for staff in all roles at your clinic.

Also, encourage employees to participate in professional development opportunities, such as seminars, workshops, conferences and webinars about audiology trends and technologies. Provide reading material and links to relevant articles in industry publications so they can stay informed on the latest audiology news. Employees are more likely to stay with your organization when they feel like your clinic’s leadership is investing in their career development and helping them advance their industry knowledge.  

8. Reduce unnecessary equipment downtime

Calibration: Vital for Your Hearing Care Equipment

Many hearing clinics experience downtime while their equipment is calibrated, which is inefficient, disruptive, and costly. After all, if you don’t have working equipment, you can’t see patients! But Auditdata eliminates this downtime and disruption. With Auditdata’s unique SWAP service, we ship calibrated transducers to your clinic well in advance of the calibration due date for the old ones. You plug in the new transducers, and you’re ready for your next patient without any interruption. Then, you simply pack up your old equipment and mail the expired transducers back to Auditdata. This distinctive service provides an extremely effective way to boost your operational efficiency and not lose any momentum during “forced” equipment downtime. 

9. Track KPIs

Track Kpis

It’s important to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress towards your clinic’s specific goals. If your team’s efforts aren’t moving the needle toward those goals, it may be because you’re not operating efficiently. Operational KPIs include sales, customer service, marketing, etc.

When setting KPIs for your employees to reach, be sure to set different KPIs for different members of your team, based on their specific roles and responsibilities. For instance, your audiologists’ goals will focus on the number of patients seen, sales rates, conversion rates, etc., while your marketing team will be evaluated on things like lead generation and show up rates. Incentivize all employees to hit specific KPIs per month, quarter, and year, and reward them with financial bonuses (or other incentives) if they meet or exceed these goals. 

Contact us to learn about our innovative, integrated solutions

Auditdata specializes in the hearing industry, providing audiology tools to improve both clinical and business performance. Auditdata provides best-in-class audiology solutions that can help drive better business outcomes and improve your customers’ hearing ear by ear. 

Other blogs you might enjoy:

Don't miss out on the latest insights on audiology 

Sign up today to receive exciting updates, tips, and the latest newsletters from Auditdata.

Subscribe to our blog

We're committed to your privacy. Auditdata uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our terms and conditions and privacy policy.