4 Powerful Practice Tips to Improve Practice Leadership Part 1
4 Powerful Practice Tips to Improve Practice Leadership Part 1
Byadmin Oct 10, 2017

Why are some private practices successful and others are disorganized, inefficient and constantly putting out fires?

Ask yourself – which one does my practice belong to?

To become a high performing and successful practice, it is imperative to understand the importance of practice management and how strong leadership plays a vital role within the success of a practice.

Our Practice Leadership blog series will help you establish practice management systems and improve leadership within the practice.

In today’s blog, we look at 4 powerful practice tips that you can implement immediately in the practice.

Tip 1
Turn Your Business Plan into a One Page Plan

Most practices we visit have never created a formal or strategic plan.
And for those that have, there is a tendency to create a large cumbersome document that sits on a book shelf or in a draw somewhere and is never effectively communicated.

Our research tells us that the main drivers for ignoring the business plan are:

  • Lack of understanding how to communicate the plan to employees
  • Strategic plans are not converted into key measurable targets and action plans
  • Performance vs. the strategic plan is not reviewed on a monthly basis

The great misconception is that it is NOT the finished plan that is important, but it is the PROCESS of collecting and analysing information. It is the constant fine tuning of strategies that is important. I.e. A competitive review or patient research survey once a quarter will have a far higher degree of likely impacting profitability than a review once a year.

How you can change this in under 5 minutes?

A high performing practice converts the strategic plan into a simple one page action plan by extracting the key measureable success factors which are easier to share with employees.

  • The strategies are directly linked to these KPI’s and the business and the employees review their performance each month.
  • This in itself becomes a one page scorecard or snapshot of performance.
  • Each month the business should be reminding themselves and fine tuning their strategies for the next month. This turns the business plan into a dynamic living document.

Tip 2
If a Question has to be asked Write a Set of Procedures

Having a system in place retains all information in case a key staff member moves on from the company.

  • We get the feeling after visiting many practices, especially those that are experiencing above average stress, that their business operates from a mysterious black hole.
  • Something happens today that causes a fire fighting type response yet no procedures are ever documented to prevent this from happening again.
  • It is common amongst small private practices to have very few policies and procedures in place and to have no central place for keeping these procedures.
  • Confusion arises over which is the latest document or form.
  • Whenever a sick leave, commission, expense form or other document is needed someone will always ask… “Where is that kept again?”
  • Questions are always asked. People make mistakes by simply not following procedures. Potential litigation from safety breaches and HR legislation could ensue.

How you can change this in under 5 minutes?

  • Setup a simple policy – If a question needs to be asked then write a policy.
  • Upload these policies and procedures into a Document Management system, preferably a cloud based system where staff are able to gain access to policies and procedures

Tip 3
What gets measured, gets done

  • Most practices only monitor their sales and profitability. They do not however monitor other success factors that are essential to sustain growth and profitability within the practice, including non-financial areas.
  • As an example, all practices should be concerned with customer service but key metrics such as lost patients, calls to patients may not be recorded in a format that can be reviewed easily on a monthly basis.
  • We have seen some practices conduct an investigation in these areas but very few have metrics in place that must be reviewed on a weekly or monthly basis.

How you can change this in under 5 minutes?

  • Ask what do you need to do to keep your patient happy? Write down a list of service attributes, then work out actions and apply a performance criteria to achieve of these.
  • Similarly, if you want to double your business, how many patients at what average value sale will you need to achieve. How many calls will your staff need to make and how much marketing will you need to do to drive these inbound leads?
  • Choose the most important of these metrics and assign them to the overall company scorecard. Then have a look at who in the practice needs to deliver on these strategies and assign to them their own scorecard
  • Conversion rates are often overlooked, and in many cases increases in these is a simpler and more cost effective way of increasing patients i.e Web Enquiries received/Web Unique Visits.(Marketing Conversion rate)

Tip 4
Ask employees each week “What did you achieve last week – what will you achieve this week?”

  • We find that most practices do not have a regular systemised process for communicating with employees, resulting in feelings of lost control, accountability or morale and the perception of deteriorating performance.
  • Most Practice Managers or Principals do not talk “one on one” with their staff on a weekly basis in a formalised review and agreement on performance.

How you can change this in under 5 minutes?

  • A high performance practice has a formal weekly or monthly review with its employees and agreement on performance.

  • This will build morale in itself as you take an interest in what your staff are doing. Reward and congratulate them when they achieve. Encourage when they start to fall behind.
  • Build a culture of accountability

By implementing these invaluable 4 tips, you will be surprised at how quickly results will be achieved.

Nest blog, we will provide you with more valuable tips to improve Practice Leadership.

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The Author

Bernadette Beach

Bernadette Beach is the Director of Indigo Medical Consulting Services; specialising in business solutions, recruitment/HR and healthcare marketing. Bernadette has worked with specialists, surgeons and other healthcare professionals for over 20 years providing business and marketing expertise.

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