All successful businesses have systems. These are the defined steps and procedures used to complete the multiple tasks done daily by the employer or their employees. To have a highly successful medical practice you need to design and implement efficient systems that streamline operations, improve quality patient care, staff environment, minimize conflict, and stress, and increase productivity and profit. Successful medical practices implement efficient systems for these areas of practice management that are easy to train to do, to track and report to the physician.
Excellent systems should be created to meet the objectives of the overall strategic plan and goals of the practice. A podiatry practice will have dozens of systems and subsystems, that need to be created but there are a few that should be top priority to set up and follow.
Internal marketing – All staff should be trained to know what services and products their physician(s) provide. They need to be able to clearly communicate these to their patients when asked. This takes having a training program in place for continued education of all practice personnel. The internal marketing system should be generating patient referrals and raising the awareness of the practice services in the community.
Practice financials – Systems to oversee and report the practice's financials are necessary and will make a huge difference on the bottom line. Systems to monitor overhead control, inventory, payroll management, cash flow, and any outstanding debt need to be reviewed and reported on a weekly basis.
Patient financials – Cash services to insurance to collections, all aspects of patient’s financial obligations to the practice must be handled in order to receive timely compensation for services while maintaining good relations with patients. This should be a major part of all staff training as it plays a major role in the success of the practice. Role-playing and having “scripts” for staff when explaining to the patient their financial obligations will ensure staff are successful in their communication with the patients.
Patient service – How can we ensure that we deliver excellent patient service as it is the key to patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is a result of excellent clinical care and great patient service. There are two key elements to pleasing patients, one is to control their experience and making it as positive as possible, and the other is communicating with patients about what to expect at their visit and how the practice is run. Patient can tell immediately over the phone or when they walk through your door whether you are dedicated to “great patient service” or not.
When creating these systems for your practice, document them in writing step-by-step protocols and develop scripts and training programs to guide staff members in their use. This will put the practice on solid “footing” for excellent operation and successful results.
If you are a member of the Virtual Practice Management Institute there are several modules with templates to guide you in this process. If you would like a free tour of the VPMI library just email me at [email protected].