Patients flying in and out of the office, arriving late for appointments. Emergency patients calling out of the blue and throwing your schedule off. A patient or client was attacking you because of his bill for your services. Meetings to attend. Courses to go to. Family waiting for you to get home tonight. Accountant wants to meet with you to discuss your taxes (eek). Banker wants to do the annual review of your accounts (double eek). Bookkeeper was too sick to write payroll cheques last week (staff upset). Flu going through your office and creating holes in your team. One third of your patients cancelled or failed to show up today. A staff member argued with you when you asked her to do something rush. Your mom called because she needs your advice on her house sale and she needs to talk right now. And there is a massive snow dump coming your way.
Did you sign up for this? If not, what DID you sign up for?
The Ideal Practice
What would an ideal practice look like? This will vary practice to practice but here are some key points:
- Thoroughly educated patients or clients who arrive a little early for their appointments and you are running on time.
- Properly scheduled practice with a couple of open spaces each day where emergency patients can be seen without causing you to run behind.
- Patients or clients are well presented to about the care they will be receiving and understand exactly what they are signing up for and the fees and choose to go ahead.
- You have a 2 hour sacrosanct executive time slot each week in which to conduct meetings for supply reps, or meet with your accountant or your banker.
- You either use a payroll company for pay cheques or have a second team member who knows how to do it if bookkeeper is sick.
- Your accountant does a great job of predicting and having you set aside the right amount of taxes monthly so there is no BIG surprise at year end making you worry each year.
- You have reached a size of practice where you can have a full time office manager who can pinch hit in most positions if someone is sick.
- You can also download various matters on your mind to this office manager and have confidence that she will carry out your directions perfectly.
- Your staff have a “can do” attitude when you ask for something to be done. If you are getting backflash from a staff member, sit down with them after hours and find out what is happening. They probably have an upset. You DO need to take care of your team!
- Your staff confirm every patient (actually talk or text them and get an answer, not just leave a message) so they all show up for their appointments.
- You have a very effective cancellation policy requiring at least 2 business days notice.
- This is where your “short list” comes in handy for your staff to call people to fill in the spaces that opened up due to cancellations.
- What can we say about the call from your mom … make a time to call her this evening, or a date to take her out for coffee on the weekend and give her your full attention.
- The storm warning can be an opportunity to email all your patients ahead of it arriving to let them know that you will have “coffee, hot chocolate, goodies and board games happening in the practice tomorrow, so drive, ski or toboggan your way over to the practice and have some fun before and after your appointment with us.”
Is this possible to achieve?
We could go on and on about an Ideal Practice, but you get the idea here: There are solutions for most of your problems and a practice CAN be running very smoothly with good systems and structure and effective management tools.
Apparently your professional schooling turned you into an excellent practitioner but perhaps neglected to give you equally effective management skills to create an ideal practice. If you want some help with this, give us a call and schedule a free, in-depth Practice Analysis (in person or online by Skype, Webex or Facetime) and find out how we can help and what the full potential of your practice actually is.
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