While some pundits are saying the recession is over, the experiences of the last months have made many of us rethink the way we do business today and how to prepare for the future.

Working Better, Faster, Stronger

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just came out with a report that found employee productivity increased at a 6.6% annual rate during the second quarter of 2009, the largest productivity increase since 2003. Comparing that statistic to a 9.7% unemployment rate leads to the conclusion that fewer employees are working harder to compensate for lost positions. One way to increase efficiency without overworking employees it get their input and buy-in on ideas that can help everyone. Ask staff these questions:

  1. How can we increase efficiencies?
  2. Where are you seeing practices that waste energy?
  3. What are the technological advances you’d like to see happen first?

A More Streamlined Workspace
LEAN work processes can streamline everything from a patient’s experience in your facility to a physician’s daily schedule. Consider hiring an outside firm to evaluate your facility to identify wasted motions that can be easily remedied. A couple of examples include moving certain supplies to a more convenient location. This could save hundreds of footsteps each day as well as a significant amount of time. Another example – look at streamlining the patient in-take process. This can save staff time, help reduce errors and enhance the patient experience.

Planning Ahead
If you’re in an older building, start planning for the time when you’ll start renovations and updates. The easiest – and most cost effective – way to do this is by hiring an outside company with healthcare experience. They’ll be able to help you plan the updates your building needs. Some may include:

  • Adding wi-fi for patients and their families
  • Installing computers in exam rooms for staff and physicians to access electronic medical records
  • Ensuring that the building has enough low-voltage and power outlets so the building is ‘future-proofed’ for years to come.

An outside consultant will also help you set a realistic renovation schedule, help communicate the improvements with staff and patients, and make sure your new building is in line with your organizational goals.