Are you too busy to take a hard look at your operations to be able to make the changes needed to make the impact your physician practice needs to be really financially and operationally robust? Are you putting off inevitable decisions because daily routines do not give you the thinking time you need? Are you keeping a “warm body” on payroll because of the hassle? Do you know what changes need to be made but don’t have the determination to really make them?
Take a deep breath…..you are not alone. Many practice managers suffer from simply being stuck and unable to free themselves from the daily “muck” long enough to take a hard look at practice operations, software needs, employees and financials.
Too many managers spend too much time “doing” the work instead of “managing” the work. Here are some hints to help managers who really want to manage better processes instead of fixing the same problems day after day.
- Define Some Goals – you basically know what they are; you want to decrease AR days, you want to focus on AR greater than 120 days, you want to better train staff on EHR, you want all providers to comply with standards, you want to can Sally, you want to do a better job of front end collections, you want to tell your physician his niece is not working out, you are behind the curve on ICD 10, you want to reduce patient wait times, and many others. Now write them down. Then prioritize them. That means you need to make time to do this.
- Do Some Analysis – wait, shouldn’t this come first? Not necessarily, since you really know what your goals are, you just haven’t formalized them. What is your business needs to meet the above goals? What is really keeping you from achieving the goals? What are the external and internal barriers to meeting goals? Take a really hard look at AR, can you prioritize that work efficiently? What process needs to be implemented to meet goals? What will each person’s role be in meeting goals?
- Plan Implementation – you know what your goals are, you have analyzed what and where changes need to be made to reach goals. Now “plan your work and work your plan.” Planning is critical, a step by step written down implementation plan is necessary for two reasons. (1) to keep you focused on the goal (2) to provide a clear pathway to meeting those goals.
The hard work of taking your practice to the next level of excellence requires management commitment, provider by-in and the whole practice focused on results.
Now close your office door, get out some paper and start writing goals…..the process needs your undivided attention to succeed.