Blocked clinic flow can be analogous to a beaver dam
Analyzing root cause of poor clinic flow sheds light on poor front desk, technician relations
Because of these continued delays, the staff will begin to “feed off” of, and “chew” on the people they perceive are in the way of being able to do their job.
When the technicians sense the doctors are unhappy, they will go and harass the front desk to get them to turn the patient loose. The front desk employee feels caught in the middle of doing their job and holding the technician up.
And that is why front desk employees and technicians often do not like each other while at work. They are usually very good friends and have great relationships when not at work.
When the system breaks down, the effects are far reaching, and will continue to cause problems all the way down the stream. Think of it in this fashion: If an earthquake occurs on an island, a ripple will occur in the ocean where the earthquake was centered. That ripple will continue throughout the ocean so that by the time it gets hundreds of miles away, that small ripple now has the potential to become a tsunami--full of devastation.
While being behind the clinic schedule is not a potential life or death situation, try telling that to the technician who is under the gun to get patients to the doctor.
Blowing up the dam
Your clinic flow can be easily equated to a beaver dam. Evaluate the clinic as to the processes you have and where they dam up. Evaluate the effect it has downstream and work to avert those issues.
If the issues cannot be diverted, you need to evaluate the need to “blow up the beaver dam” and start anew--to prevent the problems down-stream (flow, patient satisfaction, and patient retention).
If you continue to muddle through with a dammed up system, buy a lot of “horse blue” and prepare to spend the majority of your days putting it on the beaver bites that will occur between the technicians and the front desk--as there will be many.
Lastly, remember: if you choose to blow up the beaver dam to alleviate these issues--beavers are creatures of habit.
Even after life calms down and things starts to improve at the clinic, the beaver will build another dam in the same spot. It is comfortable to them, and it is safe for them to return to. It will cause the same problems, in the same places, down the line, making it one ‘dam’ thing after another!