January is the perfect time to identify new opportunities and goals for the upcoming year. That is especially true in 2014 as the many healthcare changes, mandates and deadlines roll out. While I sense the deep sigh of “here we go again”, I find setting new goals to be motivating. It’s a chance to celebrate what is working well, focus on what needs improvement and brainstorm about new opportunities to improve business. Goal setting can be easy, productive and invigorating.
Set Goals: Begin with listing at least three aspects of your medical practice that run well and contribute to your success. Think about financial aspects, the patient experience and clinical outcomes. Take the time to acknowledge the stakeholders responsible for managing and maintaining the smooth operations. Engage your frontline staff in conversation and feedback. Can you identify opportunities to make a small improvement? Recognizing what is working is a sure way to maintain your commitment to maintaining high standards and success.
Next, list your top three practice management challenges that are causing stress, bogging down the office, inconveniencing patients or simply not being addressed. Are there practice aspects that are keeping you up at night? Talk to your staff, solicit suggestions for improvement and make a comprehensive list. Work together with your team to prioritize the biggest challenges and concerns. Assign a captain to research solutions and report back to the group. As you focus on your improvement strategy your staff and your patients will thank you. Your reputation will continue to grow.
Obtain a benchmarking analysis: Confirm your suspicions, good or otherwise. Analyze how your practice measures up to national trends. Benchmarking is an easy way to provide a snapshot of your revenue performance compared to industry standards. On the positive side, it provides confirmation that your financial performance is healthy. On the flip side, problems impacting your practice’s performance can be identified and remediated as a result of an analysis. At the end of the day, you will perform more efficiently knowing you are headed in the right direction.
Work smarter, not harder: As much as we sometimes hate to admit it, technology is necessary for growth and is critical to working smarter. State-of-the-art products help to maximize revenues, improve staff efficiency and provide better control and management of your practice. Cloud-based services are more affordable and cost efficient than server based applications. Medical dashboards put you in control with real-time information that is easy to read and understand.
How are your administrative tasks functioning? Is there a drain on your staff? Tired of making eligibility phone calls? There’s a better, more efficient and less expensive way. Frustrated by patient collections process? Consider sending patient statements followed by automated reminder calls. Focused on MU dollars but paralyzed by the process? There is support to help you complete the process.
Look for the experts: As in every industry, there are many choices to consider when engaging in professional support for your medical practice. There are IT consultants, billing companies, and professional services companies. When talking with a vendor, consider the big picture and potential to support your practice for the long term. Look for professional certifications and broad experience as it relates to administrative and clinical expertise, ask for demos and referrals, and learn about their track record and past client history. Find a company that is multi faceted. Full-service organizations offer flexible and affordable solutions that are scalable to grow as needed. As a result, you will experience significant savings and add value to your practice.
What strategies have been successful in your practice? Do you need help developing a plan? Is there a particular area that needs immediate attention? We are interested in helping you get started or learning from your experience.
Full-service organizations offer flexible and affordable solutions to meet your practice needs. Experience significant savings and add value to your practice.