Maintaining a practice used to be considerably easier than it is today. Practitioners had straightforward objectives, such as getting certified, managing overhead, providing excellent patient care, and building strong patient relationships. In the 21stcentury, everything is a bit more complex. Now, electronic health records are being used to: report performance, comply with various treatment protocols, care costs, and to coordinate with practice staff. The excessive documentation, reporting, and regulations make it more complicated for a practice to succeed, than it was previously.
When developing a plan for success, start by evaluating your practice’s strengths and weaknesses. Consider the owner’s long-term goals, whether they’re enhancing patient relationships, growing revenue, or strengthening workflow and operations, and then develop strategies to achieve them. To properly assess your practice, determine whether these strategies are helping you achieve your objectives. The next step is to assess the practice’s financials; consider net assets, profit/loss, revenue, and overhead. Determine if there are any shortcomings, where they occur, and how can they be improved? Are you losing patience? Is a competitor practice becoming stronger? Begin a marketing campaign to recover lost patients, budget to control costs, and conduct a thorough market research to find out exactly where you ‘re lacking and what can you do to avoid these pitfalls?
The third step is to measure provider productivity, and how many patients each provider is able to attend to in a specified period of time. Measure things like, the time it takes for each provider to document, or time spent conversing with the patients, etc. Compare the productivity of the top performer with that of the lowest performer, and urge them to discuss strategies to enhance productivity, provide optimal patient care, and increase motivation.
The last step is to evaluate your human resources and their morale – a happy team means a successful practice. The team’s morale will have a direct effect on the customer service they provide to your patients. It is important to consider your team’s feedback on improving your practice and employee satisfaction. Consider these suggestions and devise a plan accordingly.