To maximize productivity, use benchmarks, delegate tasks, and download free web-based tools

Female-doctor-checking-blood Maintaining a productive clinic is a key aspect of income stability and professional satisfaction. Productivity, however, means more than just seeing additional patients. Too many patients might result in diminished quality and patients seeking care elsewhere. Without enough visits, your earnings will drop and you may not be able to pay employees. Finding the right balance is crucial to your success.


Gada 64“I am endowed with talent, resources, and a desire to excel in whatever I pursue. By utilizing all my assets in a productive manner, I should be able to accrue sufficient money, reputation, and satisfaction, and serve society.”
—Dhiraj Gada, MD, DGO, DFP, FICMCH, reproductive endocrinologist and director of Gada Life ART Center, Indore, India, and a member of mdCurrent-India’s Editorial Advisory Board


According to Dhiraj Gada, MD, DGO, DFP, FICMCH, who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility in Indore, “When you are earning enough to meet your expenses, and when your colleagues and staff are happy, and—most important—your clients are satisfied and their number is increasing day-by-day, you can be sure that your productivity is fruitful.”

Gada, who has been practicing since 1985, and other doctors we spoke with offered the following tips for maintaining a productive clinic:

Key Point: Improve and maintain productivity by delegating tasks to employees and finding a patient volume that meets your financial and personal goals.
  • Set productivity benchmarks.
  • Compare your data to targets.
  • Access free web-based tools to monitor personal and employee performance.
  • Delegate lower-skilled tasks to support staff.
  • Reward exceptional employees.

Establish productivity targets

Sanjay Kalra, MD, DM, an endocrinologist in Karnal, Haryana, estimates that he sees[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]…

[/s2If][s2If is_user_logged_in()] 80 to 120 clinic patients, two to four hospital patients, and five to 10 research patients per day. He attributes that heavy volume to years of measuring results and ensuring that his clinic runs smoothly.

“I monitor the number of patients seen per half hour and per hour,” says Kalra, who recommends measuring productivity per unit time and then trying to improve speed continuously, without compromising quality. “This way I catch myself if I am lagging in productivity,” he says.

Kalra’s workflow is tightly controlled and typically follows this pattern: When patients arrive at reception they are taken to the laboratory for testing and are then offered diet and/or diabetes education by a clinical support staff member. Next, Kalra sees the patient and offers insulin education, if needed. Finally, patients receive a prescription, which is filled at the clinic before they leave.

“I work as fast as possible,” Kalra says. “Productivity, for me, means creating a balance between quantity of patients and quality of medical care provided.”

Delegate tasks and reward employees

Although Gada pursues a different specialty than Kalra, his IVF clinic’s workflow is similar in that he significantly relies on clinical support staff. They review treatment and investigation reports with the patient, and record new information. This preparation makes Gada’s investigation and consultation more efficient.

Gada, who sees 40 to 60 patients per day, recommends that senior physicians help employees maximize efficiency by setting a good example, paying them according to clearly defined expectations, and rewarding them for good work.

“Discipline, honesty, and sincerity from top to bottom will help give you satisfaction and results,” he says. “If you and your staff get professional fulfillment and rewards, your organization will run smoothly.”

To monitor your and your employees’ productivity, download the free Google applications Tasks and Calendar, says Aniruddha Malpani, medical director of Malpani Infertility Clinic in Mumbai. “Try not to micromanage your staff,” he warns. “Learn to delegate.”

These tools and other technology can improve personal efficiency, says Malpani, who also provides educational content on his clinic’s website, www.drmalpani.com. “This gives patients realistic expectations of their IVF treatment and saves me a lot of time when I do a consultation, as a lot of the counseling has already been done,” he says.

Personal and financial fulfillment

As you work to achieve a productive balance at your clinic, it’s important to assess whether your financial and personal goals are being fulfilled. While treating a large daily volume of patients may enhance your income, it can have a negative impact on your personal life.

In many ways, however, productivity is a reward in itself. According to Gada, “Every active species on this earth needs productivity and therefore it is important to me as well. I am endowed with talent, resources, and a desire to excel in whatever I pursue. By utilizing all my assets in a productive manner, I should be able to accrue sufficient money, reputation, and satisfaction, and serve society.”

Clinical productivity checklist:

  • Track current productivity
  • Set productivity targets
  • Refer tasks to support team
  • Use patient posters, printouts and your website to educate and prepare patients
  • Monitor employee productivity
  • Download free web tools
  • Show appreciation for your patients and employees

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2 Comments

  1. hariharan ramamurthy
    Posted May 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    “an endocrinologist in Karnal, Haryana, estimates that he sees 80 to 120 clinic patients, two to four hospital patients, and five to 10 research patients per day. ”
    If a physician works even 12 hours a day(which is more are less impossible in the long term ) 130 patients perday translates to less than 5 minutes per day.
    which means all his patients are being treated by clinical staff and paying fees for specialist consultation for diabetes mangement which ideally is done by a primary care physician .
    No wonder the diabetic treatment parameters in India are DISMAL.

    • Varun Achar
      Posted Jul 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Hariharan,

      You are assuming that there is only 1 doctor in the clinic.

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