Practice management is an area of our profession that has many different meanings. To some it is simple strategies and tools to follow to create a successful practice. It could be specific scripts, brochures and posters or materials. Another approach is to focus on the vision you create for your practice based on your philosophy of chiropractic.
My view is that practice management is an issue that is intertwined with practice leadership. From the business world there was the era of management strategies, and the fact that this was what made great companies. Then followed the approach that management was not the issue, it was leadership and vision. Now we are seeing the wisdom that in recent years most Fortune 500 companies are realizing that leadership is really the complete blending of leadership and management. When these two components are tied together it makes for companies that stand the test of time.
How does this impact us in the Chiropractic profession? From the level of student transitioning into practice, to seasoned practitioner, we can identify where our own strengths and weaknesses are regarding leadership and management. By incorporating both components in our practice it will create stability that will allow for growth, addition of doctors, and time off knowing that systems are in place and are working.
Whatever level of practice you are currently in realize that by honestly evaluating your skills and identifying weaker areas, this will allow you to grow. Too often we work to our strengths alone. If we are excellent at technical aspects of technique, we often spend 80% or more of our time focusing on learning more skills in this area. If you are already at a high level in this area, your future growth will not occur here. While your technique may be superb, you may lack team meetings and briefings to allow for successful communication with all team members. These management issues are imperative to an excellent practice. Focusing on working in weaker areas is actually your opportunity for growth and change.
To begin an assessment of your skills as a leader in your practice there are some key areas to consider:
- Service Excellence
- Staff Management
- Planning and Strategies
- Sales Management
- High Productivity
- High Profitability
- Practice Statistics to monitor trends and ratios
- Patient Education Strategies and Programs
- Personal Balance Issues
- Accounting and Taxes
In each category there are tasks that can be monitored. Under staff management some examples would be:
- Employee accountabilities are written and clear
- Quarterly employee reviews are conducted
- Team members report in written format
- Feedback is given continually to team members regarding their contribution and role
- Expectations are outlined for each team member regarding due dates for projects and tasks
- Each team members strengths are acknowledged and supported, and strategies are in place for training on weaker areas
- Team members are briefed on the focus of the day, the focus of the week
Obviously the list in each area will be wide and varied. Begin to ask yourself what would fit into each of these categories for you and your practice. Write out the components so that you begin a check list. If you need suggestions in each category then please feel free to contact me directly.
Contact Dr. Janice Hughes
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Dr. Janice Hughes is a leader, a teacher, an author and a coach to thousands of professionals world-wide. Her unique style of leadership has represented an extraordinarily valued asset to those whose lives she has touched. Janice’s blend of intuition, practicality and incredible focus has made her a role model for all professional women. It is those same skill-sets which she has translated into her key role in the new venture Curemark LLC. Janice is married to her husband David Boynton DC, with three children and lives with her family in Boulder,CO.