Working in a medical practice can be fun, stressful, hectic, rewarding, and draining all at the same time. After all, we are responsible for the health of our patients –they turn to us in their time of need and we in turn do our best to ensure that they are treated well and that their medical ailments are either cured or controlled. Sometimes it is hard to balance the provision of high quality medical care while also working on the growth of your practice.
It is therefore important that some time is set aside specifically to analyze current operations and to do some strategic planning for the future growth of your practice. Our team at Leading Management Solutions has put together a list of questions to get you thinking and possibly identify some areas for potential improvement at your practice.
Do you have a well-known mission, vision, and values statement? For a practice to achieve success, all employees must be on board with the practice’s overall mission and goals. It is important to instill your mission, vision, and core values in every employee, and to lead by inspiring your team to strive for greatness.
Do you have an existing strategic plan that lists your goals, actions, and identifies a responsible person and time frame for carrying out those objectives? Until it is formally written down, your strategic plan is nothing but a set of ideas that may never come to fruition. It is important to have a written plan identifying the goals that you are trying to achieve, the actions that will get you there, who will be responsible for those actions, and by when these actions need to be completed.
Have you identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Any organization must be self-aware in order to stay in business. It is important to know what your practice’s strengths are, as well as what areas of weakness exist that may be improved with new processes. Additionally, a practice leader must always be aware of potential opportunities or threats that may present themselves in the external environment.
Do you have a formal onboarding and ongoing training process? A formal process for employee training is key to providing high quality services to your patients and to reducing patient frustration from avoidable mistakes. Training must begin from the first day that a new employee begins work, and must be pursued continuously to ensure that your standard of quality is held up by your whole team.
Do you utilize productivity bonuses for your staff? Your providers? A successful productivity bonus system can help engage and motivate your employees to be more productive and more involved in their work. Additionally, a productivity bonus system for your providers can allow your practice to see more patients and increase revenue.
Do your former employees frequently file for unemployment?All practices must deal with unemployment cases very carefully, to ensure that the practice is not paying benefits that are not their responsibility. It is important to always keep thorough documentation of any employee incidents or disciplinary actions in their files, to protect your practice from such frivolous cases.
Do you address uncomfortable issues that may be causing internal workplace tension? Some bad habits exist within any organization, especially in employees that have been with the practice for extended periods of time and feel too comfortable or even untouchable. It is easy to turn a blind eye to such activities; however, this sets a bad example for other employees, as well as negatively affects your practice’s quality and performance.
Do you have job descriptions? In order to hold an employee accountable for their work, detailed job descriptions must be created and signed by the employee upon hire. This prevents employees from claiming that they were unaware of a task that they were responsible for. If an employee is promoted or transferred to another department, a new job description needs to be created and signed.
These are just some of the questions that we ask when conducting a practice audit for our clients. We have found that many practices simply do not set aside enough time for formal strategic planning and reviews of current processes. Without being aware of the weaknesses that your practice may be facing, it is impossible to correct those issues, and you may be losing out on existing or potential new patients without even knowing.
For a copy of our free Practice Self-Assessment Questionnaire, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leading Management Solutions is a healthcare management solutions company providing assistance and resources to healthcare management. Contact us today at (407) 674-1916 or visit www.lmshealthpro.com to learn more.
About the Author:
Sonda Eunus is the Founder and CEO of Leading Management Solutions, a healthcare management consulting company (www.lmshealthpro.com). Along with a team of experienced and knowledgeable consultants, she works with healthcare practice managers to improve practice operations, train employees, and increase practice revenue. She holds a Masters in Healthcare Management and a BA in Psychology.