Off The Record

Health Information Managers: Swallow that Frog, Efficiently

The tyranny of the urgent.

Does this sound like something you tackle constantly?  Is your day consumed by interruptions?  Are you sucked in by email, text & voice messages when you’re desperately trying to finish that budget report that was due yesterday?

You’re not alone.  Working in health information management means there is never, ever a dull moment. 

If you’re a Medical Records Manager, survival means juggling with expertise.   On a given morning, you’re deftly processing requests from physicians (especially department heads), scheduling staff, reworking my budget for the fifth time, completing a report to the CEO about delinquent reports, fielding requests for software glitches, preparing for three meetings over the next two days – and, well, the list goes on.  From the moment you set foot in the office, you’re running up the escalator – never quite getting off.

Let’s ride down and step off for just a moment.  Grab some coffee.  There is a better way!

Out with the Old Habits, in with the New

At iData, our business is all about fostering efficiency.  The one thing we don’t want you to have to worry about is medical transcription.  So in the name of encouraging efficiency, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction we thought we’d offer HIM’s a few quick tips.  (We know your time to read is limited!)

Manage Meetings EffectivelyBoundaries, boundaries, boundaries.

Meetings can be time wasters.  Appoint a timekeeper for each meeting who tracks and limits time spent on each topic.  End at the pre-determined time; delegate follow-ups to open issues.

 Examine Email/Smartphone Habits:  “Hello.  My name is Karen. I’m an email addict!”

 Admit it.  You get a little “high” when you hear the little “ping” announcing new mail or text messages.  Who is it?  What’s going on? Does someone need me right this minute? Email breaks up the monotony.  But checking it compulsively can lead to lost time that adds up.  Break the bad habit and create a new one – check your email at the top of every hour, or start out by cutting your average in half. 

 Delegate Tasks:  Let go and let others

We know.  You have a reputation for being the queen (or king) of getting the job done.  And you do – but it’s extracting a price.  You’re always busy but often feel like you don’t accomplish your goals.  The key?  Let go.  Empower someone else by delegating a few tasks.  Your team members will feel more trusted and appreciated; in turn, they’ll work harder and make you look even better!

 Overcome Procrastination:  “Swallow that Frog!”

The spreadsheet the CIO asked for 2 weeks ago is smirking at you in your mind’s eye.  You just can’t seem to shut everything else out and git ‘er done.  Try the “Swallow the Frog” technique.  Each morning, determine the most difficult, unsavory task on your list, and do it first.  Shut the door; tell everyone you’re only accepting truly “urgent” requests.  Once you “swallow the frog” everything else will seem easier by comparison!

Think about which of these new habits you can incorporate in your daily round today. (Also, read, Crazy Busy by Edward Hallowell, M.D. for an eye-opening take on this subject!)

In no time, you’ll earn a new crown – Queen (or King) of Efficiency!

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