Time management tips for doctors
Effective time management practices can help health providers grow their practice

Figuring out how to grow a medical practice, attending CME seminars, meeting as many patients as possible and handling administrative responsibilities in your clinic can be a challenge. It can be stressful and also cause you to compromise by either limiting face time with patients or having to curtail time spent with family and friends. Effective time management can help physicians tackle this problem and establish a work-life balance. Managing time is integral to your practice as it could mean better healthcare delivery and increased revenue, helping you do your job better.

Here’s a look at common mistakes that doctors make and how to correct them.

  1. Learn the power of “No”

Your co-workers may ask for your help to see a few extra patients. This may not be possible always. Be realistic and practical concerning your clinic schedule. While it may seem like a good idea to squeeze in a few more patients, think about whether it fits in with your schedule. Understand that it is okay to say “No” if it means that you are likely to be overwhelmed with your workload as if it’s is likely to affect your ability to devote adequate time to your patients.

  1. Plan your schedule

It is advisable to invest in a clinic management system that helps you and your staff plan your clinic’s schedule for appointments, procedures, follow-up visits etc. Having a clear idea at the start of the day helps you prepare and prioritize your tasks. This allows you to manage your schedule by devoting enough time to each of your patients. It is also equally important to strictly follow your schedule by being on time except, of course, in the case of unavoidable emergencies.

  1. Get you team involved

Getting your clinic staff to support you is crucial to achieving effective time management and smooth running of your clinic or medical practice. Little things like sending reminders to your patients to ensure they don’t miss their appointments, confirming follow-up clinic visits and rescheduling appointments when required ensure better usage of the physician’s and patient’s time. Streamlining billing and prescriptions or scheduling medical procedures can help organize consultations and prevent unnecessary delays. A great way to do this would be through online appointment scheduling and electronic billing and e-prescriptions which make it easier for your staff to organize and manage clinic consultations.

  1. Move patient records online

Platforms like the Virtual Practice offer health providers the opportunity to store their patients’ health records online. The PHR (personal health record) system ensures that all your patient information is easily accessible to you and your staff during in-clinic consultations. This means that patients will not need to repeat details of their previous visit or medical history, saving you valuable time during consultations, without compromising on the quality of care.

  1. Make use of mobile technology

The advantage of using a clinic management app is that it offers providers the flexibility to manage their medical practice wherever they may be. Conventional clinic management systems can be restrictive as it has limited accessibility. However, opting to move forward with mobile technology can help you save precious time and can also mean that you can meet more patients in a day. Forget emails, SMS and complex scheduling tools. Use a mobile application that is integrated with your clinic’s software. This would enable you to access your patient database while also managing your appointments and revenue reports.

  1. Communicate with your patients

Avoid scheduling errors and miscommunication between you, your staff and patients by establishing a reliable means of communication. Automated alerts and reminders can help prevent appointment no-shows, the bane of every medical practice. Reminders and automated scheduling software is easy to use and also ensures that patients aren’t kept waiting endlessly at your clinic. This guarantees smooth functioning of all your daily appointments according to your planned schedule.

  1. Engage with patients remotely

Engaging with patients remotely is especially useful for chronically ill patients. Instead of having them visit your practice to review reports or lab test results, you can review their health remotely through home care plans. This limits the need for chronic care patients to make frequent hospital visits and also frees your schedule to meet new patients or walk-ins.

  1. Consult with patients through a portal

Rather than answering phone calls, text messages or emails at all hours of the day or night, providers should consider having a patient portal to address health queries. Whether it is to answer questions or carry out video consultations, you can streamline how you communicate with patients so that it doesn’t affect your work-life balance. The Virtual Practice allows patients to consult with providers either through the web or mobile, helping you achieve a lot more while on the go. Providers can also accept payments for these consultations, suitably compensating them for their time.


Making a few changes to the way you work every day can mean having a balance between your professional and personal life. With technology at your disposal, effective time management is now not a challenge for physicians. In fact, it can actually prove very effective in helping you see more patients daily while also dedicating time to your regular patients remotely.

Have you found a way to make it easier to manage your time? Tell us about it.


Learn more about the Virtual Practice platform for healthcare providers.