I currently work as a medical receptionist for an eye clinic. I often look for new ways to improve our process for checking in new patients in order to make the overall flow of the office run better. If my system is not efficient, it delays the patient from seeing the doctor, and increases wait times for patients to be seen which may result with patients canceling appointments causing us to lose their business.
Having a strong operations team is essential to a growing business. There are always problems that need to be solved, and there is always more than one answer. It’s all about finding the best solution, then adapting as the business needs change.
With COVID-19, I have made many changes to my typical routines to ensure I can still perform my essential responsibilities while still following our new policies during the pandemic. The COVID restrictions state we’re only allowed to have 25 patients in the waiting area at a time. This causes a huge problem as we typically have 6 doctors in the building each day seeing at least 40 patients each.
To solve this problem, I have implemented a pager system so patients can check in once they have arrived in the parking lot. I then process any information I need while the patients wait. When they come inside, they can see the doctor without causing us to go over the 25 patient limit.
To succeed in an operations role, you need a skillset that allows you to be an effective problem solver. This includes having strong organizational skills, paying attention to detail, and having great communication skills. You’ll also need to be curious and innovative to push the business to find solutions to problems that no one realized existed.
Where do you see innovation in action? Great examples would include developments in developments in technology. When cell phones first came out, they performed the basic task they were made for — making phone calls while being mobile. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the early cell phones, but someone dreamed they could make life even easier. Just look at what cell phones can do now!
From my experience, I’ve learned operations is all about finding ways for a business to function efficiently and continually creating ways to improve. The saying, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke,” has no place in this role! If I were to take a position in operations, I would not only find solutions to known problems, I would continuously search for ways to incorporate the latest and greatest technologies into business processes.
A curious mind can provide solutions you never knew you needed!