Winging It

The other day as I was analyzing a practice, I asked the doctor if she manages by statistics and she replied, “No, we wing it.” She had the grace to laugh as she said it, knowing that that was a less than optimum answer for her practice.

Ever wondered why your practice stats go up and down for no known reason? Have your annual profits stopped growing? Did you know that most practices lose substantial amounts of potential income on a weekly, monthly and annual basis due to insufficient attention to statistical management?

For example, Dr. Jones’s billings jumped up steeply this week and he doesn’t notice it because he doesn’t analyze his weekly stats and take the appropriate actions the following week to cause them to improve. As a result, he fails to find out that a really good marketing change was made without his even being aware of it. If he had investigated, he would have found out that he also had 12 New Patients this week (instead of the usual 5) which in turn bumped up the overall billings.

In further looking into this, he would have asked the receptionist for any info she had on the huge increase in NP’s. He would have been pleasantly surprised to find out that she started asking existing patients if they had any friends, family, neighbours or co-workers that they wanted to refer to the practice; and the extra 7 NP’s this week were all referrals from the patients she had asked. In further questioning, he would have found out that she started asking for referrals after she read a practice management article on how to do it and she tried it out.

Voila, he now has the real reason for the sudden growth. Now, to keep it up in the same range or growing even further, he would need to encourage the receptionist to keep on doing this. A commendation in front of the team for her might go a long way, or a simple bonus, etc.

This is called management by statistics. Managing by emotions, guesswork and other systems is just poor management and can be quite frustrating and often results in overwork and less profitability.

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