An Orthopedic Practice should like about reviewing ancillary services by looking at which procedures and tests your practice is referring out. Building practice profitability require sufficient time and effort. Having a marketing plan in place and considering the amount of time, staffing and space needed will help create a new form of revenue for the practice.
For some physicians, the decision to add ancillary services is a matter of survival rather than a choice. Before this becomes the case, carefully assess where the market potential is. Does you practice contract out to physical therapists and ambulatory surgery centers? Design a marketing plan for adding ancillary services and market to your patients accordingly. Marketing to the public might take more time but convenience and patient health will help add revenue. Understand the location of your practice and what medical procedures might be underserved in that area in order to better serve patients.
The initial startup for a practice can be overwhelming and hectic. The staff needs to be hired and trained; but, what happens down the line when your practice starts to grow but there are many inefficiencies? Changing bad habits is time consuming but not impossible. Here are five steps for creating a more productive work environment for you and your staff.
1) Don’t Overlook the Small Stuff
All too often medical practices make the mistake of hiring people who don’t fit the job description. For instance, hiring a nurse for a private practice when he/ she wants OR time and prefers a hospital environment. At first, it may not seem like a huge deal but eventually this will become a problem. Taking the extra time to recruit the right person will save more money in the long run and boost revenue. Patients want to feel like they are the priority; hiring the right medical staff is one key to a successful practice.
2) Changing Behavior and Attitudes
A competent practice manager can help diffuse disagreements between doctors and staff. If one doctor refuses to work evening or Saturday hours, forcing the other doctors to pick up the slack, this can impact a practice negatively. Weekly meetings should be held in order to ensure all staff is on the same page. If issues arise, the medical staff should feel secure that any problem will be handled professionally and in a timely manner.
3) Understanding Different Physician Personalities
Every physician has a different ways of working and connecting with patients. Some Physicians are task oriented and enjoy seeing as many patients as possible. Other physicians might be research oriented and enjoy having the time to write journal articles or attend continuing education seminars. Every doctor serves a purpose in the practice. It’s important to understand that even though every doctor is different there is no reason why they can’t work together. Having different personalities in the workplace can be have a positive impact if they are managed properly.
4) Apply the Framework
Incentivizing medical staff from the beginning of employment will help keep bad habits at bay. Remember, even though incentivizing is important, making sure there are consequences for poor behavior is just as important. Make sure the medical staff has the correct guidelines to follow from the start of their employment. In order to increase revenue, the medical staff must work efficiently.
5) Look Ahead
Don’t just focus on the current day or month, focus on the future as well. Plan ahead for your practice, but be flexible enough to make changes when they are necessary. There will be less surprises down the road and less chances for your practice to fall short.
In order for your medical practice to run at its optimal level, you must take the time to evaluate your current practice and fix what’s keeping you from having an efficient medical office space. First, start by evaluating your own productivity; make a list of tasks you perform every day and see what most of your daily efforts are going towards. Some tasks might be responsibilities only you can perform while others could be delegated and therefore your time could be better spent focused on other things. How you handle your workload greatly affects the rest of the office’s workflow. You must set the tone for how the office should operate. For instance, if you’re disorganized and run late with patients then your staff falls behind on their own work. Some staff members might even pick up on your bad habits and emulate them, making the office run ineffectively.
You should also take the time to hire qualified staff members, both clinical and non-clinical, to work for you. How the medical staff operates depends greatly on how well they can do the job you’ve hired them for. If you don’t feel like you have time to dedicate going through resumes, you can always hire a third party medical recruiting company to only send you qualified candidates and perform background checks.
Another way to help your medical practice is to have a system of employee evaluation in place. Allowing staff members to asses themselves and be evaluated by the physician or practice manager can help improve employee satisfaction and this will cross over into other areas of the practice. By fixing small problems, committing to timeliness, and planning ahead your practice will only improve and become more efficient.
For a practice to run smoothly, evaluating staff regularly is very important. Sometimes, physicians are not sure how to go about evaluating their staff. A way to avoid the problem is to only hire employees that you know are qualified for the position, but after you hire an employee you must keep up with evaluations in order to make sure that your practice is operating at its optimal level. Evaluation helps provide documentation in cases where termination is necessary. It prevents unfairness in promoting, rewarding, and transferring staff to other positions. You must take into consideration professional qualities, personal qualities and develop a rating system that will apply to all employees. No matter what job responsibilities employees have they should be able to be evaluated on the same scale.
Depending on what their job duties are, rate employees in a way that is fair but you must also make sure that they are filling all aspects of their job description. Both clinical and non-clinical employees should understand that they are crucial to a practice operating smoothly. For instance, a non-clinical employee should not take their job less seriously because they are not a part of the clinical staff and vice versa. There shouldn’t be tension or resentment in the workplace. As an employer, your responsibility is to make it known that every employee in the practice has an important purpose. If you are playing favorites with the clinical or non-clinical staff then that will cause hostility and that’s something your practice cannot afford.
Evaluations of employees should come from the employer and the practice manager. Peers should not be responsible for evaluating other employees; you want to eliminate as much bias as possible. Peer review is generally not the best idea. As a boss, you have to look as who that employee works directly with; those are the opinions that matter. You should take the time to know every employee who is working for the practice. This may seem like a daunting task but in the long run you and your employees’ will be happier for it. Take an active role in the hiring process and schedule weekly meetings with staff, have a pre-evaluation, evaluation and a follow-up to make sure that employees needs have been met. Just using a few of these ideas will greatly improve your practice’s existing evaluation system or help you start an evaluation process in the future.