Doctors do not usually take any business classes during medical school – they are too busy learning how to save lives or how to heal people. Therefore, many doctors join a group practice, because it usually comes with its own management team to keep the practice on track.
But for a solo practitioner who wants to hang out his own shingle, and not join a physician group practice, where do you start?
Everyone knows the basics: Find an office and hire staff. However, being a newer practice, most doctors hire younger staff as they do not command a huge salary – and the staff and doctor learn how and what to do together. But this can cause financial and legal problems.
Hiring an outside professional medical management team to come in and get the practice set up properly is a superb way to get your medical house in order from the outset. Doing so doesn’t streamline the trial-and-error that comes with a new practice, it eliminates it.
Using an outside medical management company can help you get your medical practice up and running, and they can stay around as necessary in a consulting relationship. A medical management company can also cross-train your staff and the doctor, so if a staff member is out on vacation or is taking a sick day, it won’t bring the practice to a screeching halt.
Your staff will learn things like submitting all insurance claims every week rather than monthly. This maintains a steady pipeline of income, making cash shortfalls a thing of the past.
Staff education should include a formal orientation, cross-training on multiple systems and jobs, coaching, and both personal and career development. This helps to make your employees feel at home, like they are an integral part of a team – and valued as such.
It improves staff morale, making the practice run far more efficiently, and helping to foster a low turnover rate. When employees have job stability and satisfaction, they are more likely to be dedicated to your practice and your patients.
Patient satisfaction soars when office staff and medical personnel all have a positive attitude and can answer any question posed by even the most difficult patient. This keeps the patients feeling that they are in a good place, and it fosters loyalty to your practice.
It only takes one bad experience or one grumbly employee to ruin a decades-long relationship with a patient. Unfortunately, people who are dissatisfied with a business or product of any kind are more likely to leave a bad online review than are satisfied patients to leave a good review.
Having a high amount of employee turnover (resignations) also costs significantly. This is not only because it costs money to advertise to find a new employee, but also because the remaining staff have to pick up those extra duties in the meantime – thereby delaying service to patients, or providing less-than-stellar service.
This can be a real turnoff to patients if they perceive that the practice is “going downhill.” No one wants to go to a doctor’s office where the staff is new every time, so the patient has to re-explain some extremely personal and embarrassing condition.
If a practice has a high turnover rate, there is likely something wrong at the practice. A professional management team will be able to identify the problem and recommend ways to fix the issue.
If you have a medical practice, contact us at ProMD Practice Management to give your business an objective analysis. We have experienced medical practice management experts who can come and correct your practice’s errors so you can have a thriving practice again.
You can call us at 888-622-7498 or request a consultation online now. Let us help you get your practice to be working beautifully as it should be!