Medical Staff Office Structure: How to Improve Office Performance & Productivity
Your Medical Staff Office (MSO) is the hub where patients, providers, and regulations meet. Many medical staff offices center around working efficiently to manage providers and following policies and procedures to ensure your operations remain compliant. How can you ensure that your staff stays efficient and doesn’t waste time and resources? Strong performance starts with tightly managing and enhancing the four areas many MSOs struggle with.
Hiring & Retaining Medical Staff Office Personnel
The national unemployment rate remains at an all-time low, challenging medical organizations to be more creative in the hiring process.
Some methods to improve your recruitment and retention efforts include:
- Staff Referrals - An often overlooked resource for hiring new staff members are referrals from current employees. Tap into their network to investigate who they know to help expedite the hiring process.
- Staff Training - Staff training is an attractive benefit for today’s employees, allowing them to grow their career while they work. Medical Staff Office employees can be certified in a multiple areas including Medical Coding, Billing, Auditing and Documentation. Internal training programs and tuition assistance can help turn your staff from novices to experts.
- Incentivize Staff – Contact your HR department to see if employee recognition programs already exist and how you can implement them in your group. Bonuses, time off, referral rewards – or even a sincere “thank you” – will go a long way to helping employees enjoy their work and be more productive.
Learn More About Medical Staff Office Operations
Determining Critical Medical Staff Office Responsibilities
While each Medical Staff Office will have specific instructions, there are a few basic responsibilities that each department must provide.
- Integrated patient care – There’s no getting around the fact that patient care means integrated care from multiple providers, departments, and services. Tracking a patient from admission to discharge, across services, is vital to providing quality care.
- Relationship nurturing – Working in an MSO means being efficient but also developing relationships to ensure that things get done. Put your interdepartmental meetings to good use by setting aside time to brainstorm how you can make things more efficient, help each other out, and better serve your patients or clients. Your technical skills are vital to saving time, but knowing who to call when you need help is key to getting things done.
Outlining the Right Medical Staff Office Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures are critical to running an efficient Medical Staff Office. Updating policies and procedures is on everyone’s to-do list, but gets last priority if you’re short staffed.
Ensuring these valuable manuals are up-to-date is critical for inspections, new hire onboarding, and educating existing staff members. Avoiding this task leaves a hole in your documentation chain and leaves you vulnerable to procedural challenges.
Some methods to keep your policies and procedures up to date and easily accessible include:
- Don’t toss previous versions - Keep older versions of the same policy as a vital reference if an old procedure or process is called into question.
- Create e-docs - Tired of all those binders with multiple procedure versions? Scan them into PDF documents and save them in a digital file folder using a consistent naming system. They’ll be readily available when someone requests them during an important inspection or visit.
- Two heads are better than one - When you’re ready to update your policies, make sure you get input. Ask questions, walk through existing processes, verify how your procedures have changed, and don’t forget to update the flow charts that go with them.
Improving the Efficiency of MSO Operations
Efficiency is the key to dealing with short-staffed departments and a continuous workflow.
Here’s how to make your MSO more efficient:
- Improve workflow – A 2016 study revealed that the average number of patients visits per physician provider ratio can be as high as 1,900:1. While electronic patient records are used in most institutions, efficiently tracking providers and their credentials, on the other hand, can be problematic.
- Using an end-to-end provider management platform improves productivity for Medical Staff Office and reduces risk to your organization using streamlined physician enrollment. By using a cloud-based software, your staff can easily access provider information, create reports, and manage the workflow within your organization.
- The credentialing process can also be a source of inefficiency and downright headaches. With over 9,600 CPT codes, navigating the provider credentialing maze can be cumbersome. Modernizing your approach with provider credentialing software can reduce risks inherent in the credentialing process. By improving transparency, increasing record retention and security, and adhering to regulatory standards, this technology can make your staff more productive and compliant. Not only will your daily productivity improve, but you won’t waste time correcting mistakes or correcting report findings.
- Related content: get our 44-point Physician Credentialing Checklist
- Learn workflow tools - There's use re-inventing the wheel, especially if you’re entering the same types of data all day long. Repetitive data entry increases the chance of human error and creates a backlog for busy medical staff office. Workflow tools, like Cactus Provider Management, integrates data from networks, providers, and payers to streamline the data entry and verification processes, reducing time for busy medical staff personnel. Privilege Lookup software looks up provider privileges between departments to provide realtime verification and reduce time-sapping paperwork processes .
- Use report-writing tools – “I’m going to need those TPS reports…” is the famous line from Office Space. Unfortunately, it’s no joke when it seems like everyone needs their reports now. Use time-saving scheduling tools that easily batch reports, letters, and packets, allowing you to create them overnight – when you’re not working. You won’t waste time clicking, printing, reviewing, scanning, and emailing when the system can do it for you.
About Jan Laws
Jan Laws is a member of the Product Management team at symplr. She holds both CPMSM and CPCS certification distinctions through NAMSS. Prior to joining CACTUS/symplr, Jan served for more than 20 years in the Medical Staff Services field. Her experience includes roles in centralized verification organizations’ operations, medical staff management in both system and single hospital organizations, and provider credentialing. Jan eagerly shares her expertise through learning experiences that enhance the positive collaboration between symplr teams and our clients. In addition to her expertise in medical staff services, Jan is a licensed professional counselor who operates a successful private practice.