Mastering the medical mindshift: saving time and money with a small behavioural change

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

Time is one of the most important resources in a medical or dental practice, and many practice owners and their staff complain about the lack of it. In the search for freedom, it is often small changes that lead to a substantial reduction in workload. An example from everyday practice life.

„Just a quick look.“: Mobile phones at the workplace

There is probably not a single medical or dental assistant who does not have a mobile phone. Even during working hours, you can easily check your e-mails or chat messages, make appointments or briefly inform your friends about the state of your day. And that’s what many employees do every day, mostly in between and in the assumption that they are only interrupting their work for a very short time.

Minutes turn into hours and costs

However, work analyses show that on a normal working day, medical/dental assistants spend an average of 28 minutes on their mobile phones doing private things during working hours. This may not sound like much at first, but the time adds up to 2.3 hours per week, and annually, with 230 working days, to 107 hours that do not benefit patient care. If one takes an hourly wage of € 15 as a basis for labour costs, the mobile phone use corresponds to an amount of € 1,600 in salary, which is paid for private things.

With three female staff members, it is already 1.4 hours per day in the linear consideration, over 300 hours in the year at a cost of € 4,800.

A clear regulation as a solution

In addition, there are „indirect losses“ in the form that every use of a mobile phone means a distraction from the actual work and the employees also need time to think back to what needs to be done. In this way, work productivity and efficiency are also negatively affected.

In addition, some of the information retrieved stimulates further reflection, the staff members are not fully concentrated on their work and the risk of careless mistakes increases significantly. Moreover, patients do not appreciate encountering staff whose attention is focused on their phone and not on them.

Such damage can be avoided by a clear common agreement to use the mobile phone only during breaks; in case of emergencies, the stationary practice phone is always available.

30 minutes of doctors‘ working time for an average of 40 unused opportunities for improvement

Mobile phone use is only one of many possibilities,

  • to save time and money,
  • identify previously unused performance potential,
  • eliminate risk factors and
  • improve overall efficiency and productivity.

General practitioners and specialists who would like to systematically examine their entire practice management with regard to the points mentioned can use the validated Practice Management Comparison© for this purpose. The instrument makes it possible to uncover an average of 40 unused performance reserves in only half an hour of medical working time, supplemented by a short staff and patient survey, without the need for an on-site consultant. It is available via our online shop.