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Five Strategies for a Successful, Lean Medical Practice

Five Strategies for a Successful, Lean Medical Practice

“Five Success Strategies for a Lean Medical Practice” is a great article by Audrey “Christie” Mclaughlin over at Physicians Practice. The article makes some great points about how to get as much done as possible, with as little staff as you need…


Melissa's Mentions
” let’s talk about a few strategies to keep a lean clinic running smoothly.

1. Cross train. All ancillary staff (nurses, billing, reception, office manager, etc.) in the clinic should be able to fill in for any other position in the clinic when it comes to basic duties. Without tons of practice (and we don’t want you to have a lot of call-ins) your staff may not be able to do it perfectly, but should be adequately trained in every position. All new employees should train with each person in the clinic.

This should be done within the limits of safety and licensing. For example, in a family practice clinic it is likely that many of the duties of the registered nurse (RN) include supervising, directing patient traffic, and calling in prescriptions on the doctor’s orders. These are duties that do not require an RN license and can be performed by any cross-trained staff member. Keep in mind that sometimes, such as in a dialysis clinic, it would be less likely and possibly go against licensing regulations for the receptionist to step in for the nurse.

On occasion it can be fun and beneficial to have a “shake-it-up” day, once a quarter or so, where staff members draw a position in the clinic from a hat and take over that position for the day. This will give a refresher to each team member on the other jobs in the clinic (again within the limits of safety and licensing).

2. Set lunch breaks. If there is no set lunch break, where the office is closed for an hour during the lunch period, then the office manager and receptionist should alternate lunches, and the medical assistant should take a lunch simultaneously with the physician.”


While Audrey’s article refers to running a lean practice, the principals involved can be applied to essentially any type of business. It’s always a good idea to have staff that are trained and able to complete a variety of different tasks within organization. This is the key to always getting it done, when an employee is not available, the job doesn’t go unfinished.


Authored by: Audrey “Christie” Mclaughlin on Physicians Practice

View all Articles Mentioned by: Melissa Clark, CCS-P, RT

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