3 Ways to reduce those frustrating practice management headaches, that you hate!
A study showed doctors wasting on average 30% of their work time trying to fix reoccurring management headaches. Here are 3 tips for eliminating common practice hassles so you can focus on treating and generating practice income
In my opinion, the ideal practice is one where a Doctor is free to focus on creating practice revenue. When he shows up to work he can focus mainly on delivering care and case presentations. The two most important income producing areas in practice!
The problem is so much of a doctors time is consumed putting out management fires. Here are three tips for reducing these common management frustrations:
1. Systems are the answer
Doctors get drawn into battles they shouldn’t be drawn into. Doctors spend about one-third of their work time dealing with the same problems over and over. The solution is to take a systems-thinking approach. Systematize problem areas, and let the systems do the work.
I’ve observed that 20% of the problem areas cause 80% of the trouble. DDoctors waste enormous time on things like:
Having to make sure a staff person is doing what they’re supposed to be doing
Spending too much time on the telephone, and not enough time on practice development
Chasing insurance payment
Making sure calls are being returned, instead of having reliable staff
Trying to do everything yourself
Wasting time on these things, means less time spent on practice development. You get caught up just putting out fires. Nothing significant seems to get accomplished. What are the 20% problems that cause you 80% of the trouble? Rather than base your practice around unpredictable human behavior, center it around systems. Let the systems you create solve the problems before they occur again.
When the doctor reduces the majority of time wasting hassles, we find income improves. The practice grows! The doctor has more time for practice development. When things are systematized practice capacity improves also. These are things that grow practice income.
2. Get rid of the belief “no one can do it better than me!”
Since the release of the 100% Turnkey Practice Course, doctors all over have fixed their management headaches, for good. One issue we deal with in that program is the belief that “no one can do it better than me.”
We get that a lot from doctors! “No one can do it better than me” means why hire someone to help grow a practice if no one can do it as well as the doctor can?
When a doctor believes “no one can do it better than me” they don’t hire needed staff. Even when it can make them more money. When a doctor tries to do everything themselves they hit an income ceiling. They can’t make any more income because they’re unable to see patients when the demand to get into the practice is greatest. This is frequently known as a capacity problem.
Today’s patients will not except slow apathetic health care. They’ll just go elsewhere. If you can’t get patients in when they want to be seen they will often chose to leave. The age of hyper-availability is already upon us. Those doctors who refuse to staff up or expand their capacity to accept patients when they most desire to come in will find future growth a challenge.
If one has the belief that hiring anyone else into the practice will lead to incompetence in that area, than the doctor will not hire even if it’s desperately needed. New staff can be used to expand the numbers of patients that can be processed. Since doctors earn money based on the number of treatments and visits delivered, expanding patient processing capacity can frequently expand income immediately. Doctors with the belief “no one can do it better than me” frequently hit the income ceiling.
3. Doctors are reluctant to delegate mundane practice tasks to others
Doctors hold onto tasks! There are dozens of mundane tasks that consume a doctors time, yet generate no value. Doctors find it hard to give these up.
Doing mundane tasks can waste dozens of valuable work hours. As many of these should be delegated as possible, to free up time for practice development. Of course, I sometimes think doctors hold onto these mundane tasks as an excuse for inaction with regards to practice development. After all it’s easier to waste time doing your own insurance coding than it is thinking about a patient flow strategy that could drive in 20 new patients a month.
When a doctor is reluctant to give things up that waste their time and produce little value, it can impact the practice negatively in a number of ways such as:
Shirley McClain said, “The problem with the rat race is, even if you win you’re still a rat!” The goal of starting your practice was not so you could work like a dog for 30 years and retire when you’re too old to enjoy it.
If you think about these three concepts and correct the most common areas of the practice that are wasting enormous amounts of your time, you will find income improves and being in practice becomes more enjoyable!
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