Every leader wants to be efficient and effective. After all, reducing costs and maximizing revenue are dependent on efficiencies and effectiveness.
HBI’s Custom Service team spends a lot of time working on-site with our clients, understanding their intricate workflows to optimize the process, the people, and the technology. Our clients get a playbook of strategic recommendations and implementation strategies based on their unique work culture. But there’s a simple, universal recommendation I can share, and it doesn’t require a team of onsite consultants.
Developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) is an operative component of a well-run department. SOPs are guidelines for work processes that outline step-by-step instructions. SOPs can be written out in list form and/or formatted in a flow chart.
SOPs play an essential role in the onboarding of new employees. Without SOPs the wheel needs to be reinvented with each new hire. Job shadowing can be very beneficial during employee training but when job shadowing is exclusively relied on, bad habits can be passed on. SOPs can empower your workforce, assist in delegation, and ensure consistency.
The very practice of creating a SOP can help you and your department realize potential inefficiencies. When mapped and written out, you began to see the processes with fresh eyes and you can begin to evaluate the process. You may find there’s unnecessary steps or duplicated work in the process, or an available technology is underutilized.
SOPs support departmental goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Every department should have goals and monitor KPIs (which should be written and clearly communicated to staff). SOPs can aide in goal creation, as well as help staff reach set goals. For example, if one of Patient Financial Services’ goals is to reduce back-end denials (including timely filing) by a certain percent, SOPs on working discharge-not-billed workqueues, as well as SOPs on payer follow-up (the use of ticklers, account documentation guidelines, etc.) establish working expectations—expectations that are critical to meet the goal.
Taking the time to develop SOPs will help save time and energy in the long run.
Does your organization have SOPs? Share your thoughts on SOPs via the form below.