There you are in your car stuck in traffic. Cars seem to be backed up for as far as you can see. You are watching the clock wondering what the hold up is, and desperately trying to think of a way to get around the lineup of other drivers. Once you get to a certain point in the road, all of a sudden everything seems to open up and you’re moving again. There are no signs of an accident or stranded vehicles so you’re left wondering what the trouble had been in the first place.
Many times in practice we reach points where our growth will start to stagnate. There are invisible ceilings that restrict us and increase our frustration as we continually attempt to figure out ways to get around these evasive walls. The greatest danger that can occur when we are stuck in these positions is that we grow complacent, or burn ourselves out and lose interest in reaching our goals.
There are two main reasons for why we reach these road blocks in our practices, practice vision, and procedures. Figuring out which one of these you are experiencing can open up solutions for succeeding and moving on to your next challenge.
Problems of practice vision are much deeper to uncover and solve. They include things like patient education, technique, philosophy and business acumen. In order to create changes in these areas, it takes looking at your overall approach to your practice and deciding in which direction you are going. It may require studying new systems, redesigning your space and creating new communication that will be used throughout your practice. Choosing a mentor or coach can accelerate your learning curve and increase your likelihood of success.
When you have problems that require changes in procedure, you simply need to find ways to simplify tasks done by both the doctor and staff. The first step in this process is writing out a service manual so that the staff and doctors can be trained and held accountable. Secondly, creating checklists and calendars ensures that a record of completion can be tracked.
The simplest way to improve procedural issues is by using practice management software that eliminates many of the repetitive daily tasks. The best systems are paperless operating systems that eliminate routing slips, printing HCFA forms, pulling files, copying and preparing folders, making reminder phone calls, and many of the other tasks that both the staff and doctor despise. These systems can also improve the doctor’s capacity by improving scheduling, note-taking, collections, and communication with both the patients and the staff.
In the landmark book “The e-myth revisited” by Michael E. Gerber, he talks about the power of systems. He shares the story of a woman that transforms her business from a single person store into a multiple employee operation that is fun and profitable. At first this woman toils just to stay afloat, encountering numerous ups and downs, then later learns how to automate her procedures create an office manual and manage her staff to build reproducible results.
Listen to what one doctor has to say about the magic of using practice management software in streamlining the procedures in his office.
Have you hit that road block to growth? Do you know what is holding you back? This is your opportunity to recheck your GPS and find new solutions that can revolutionize the way you work. If you find that you are truly lost, or need help finding directions, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are a number of coaching groups as well as practice management software programs that can guide you back on the road to your dream practice.
Dr. Meinhofer is a customer sales representative for Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of the ChiroTouch Chiropratic Software; a complete practice management software system designed to make your job easier and your patients’ experience better.