Having learned from my own mistakes as a board-certified doctor over the past 3 decades really helps put things into perspective when I go out to help those going through what I had not long ago. Growing pains are inevitable and even at one of my practices currently not all things are perfect but merely systematic enough to produce sufficient results consistently. Sometime being too nit picky can end up hurting us as medical practitioners because we have been taught not to make mistake by traditional education and to frown upon any mistakes that may be made. I have learned otherwise…

In this article however, my focus is helping you see the bigger picture and helping you realize the “business of medicine” and “practice of medicine” and how they differentiate from one another. When looking at my practice I didn’t use to think of myself as a business person rather as a practitioner of my craft, which undoubtedly is necessary but not particularly in the order I thought.

Despite what you may think about patients, insurance companies, and HMOs trying to destroy your practice, MD Peaks philosophy, when applied to your practice, will revolutionize your practice into an extraordinary one, to the degree you want it to.

There are two types of people I want to get across to you before we start however one of which is the person that shows up to their business and performs a job – process thinkers and tactical thinkers, process thinkers have an approach where they work on the business while the tactical thinkers are always stuck working in it and making the business dependent on their presence for its livelihood and survival. Working on your business is an entrepreneurial role while going in to work in the business is a doctor’s role.

Being able to break your business down to systems gives you the keen ability to start working on your business. When each part is looked at separately, you are truly able to understand how effective and efficient each part can be made. Let’s take just patient satisfaction as an attribute and analyze it in a greater depth. When asking the question how satisfied are patients? Which systematic approach is being taken to make sure the results are being documented and then analyzed and improved.

Whether you have one location or ten or even more, each locations employee may be determining your patients experience, do you really want to leave your businesses reputation solely in your employee’s hands? What if there was a better way. Well there is by implementing certain guidelines and procedures to client satisfaction you can better construct the overall experience a patient will have with your practice/practice’s.

Here’s a small checklist to get you started:

  • What means, or measures are currently implemented to successfully measure patients satisfaction?
    • If distributions are found, how are they treated on a case by case basis
    • If someone is satisfied, is there a system which encourages referrals through rewards? Are they happy enough to leave reviews…
    • How do you make sure patients are given accurate statements?
      • Vendors can be used which use anonymous surveys to collect information
  • Is the staff being periodically trained on sales and customer service?
    • Often in businesses we find certain team members performing tasks they are adequate at and could be performing other tasks better
    • Learn to differentiate roles you assign by someone’s ability and willingness to perform them, usually through benchmarks of some sort
  • What are the subtle subconscious ques your practice environment may be giving?
    • Often practitioners may try to cut corners on things such as furniture, well designed posters, business cards, website, décor etc.
      • While these ques on a conscious level communicate unprofessionalism and low care also invoke emotions in people
      • Emotions such as despair or envy (people do business with people they are alike usually because of the self-image they have)
  • Investing a little more on the ques that set the criteria for your customers is big
  • Is the staff hiding things? Are they adequate?
    • Often, we find ourselves at a moral dilemma when interacting with other people
      • Sometimes this is due to lack of training in the first part or too much of letting things slide which in return causes the new actions to be acceptable
      • “Any exception to a rule is the new rule”
  • Don’t be completely disconnected from your business, don’t micromanage but rather evaluate progress against benchmarks and always be improving
  • Once you have analyzed the issues with customer satisfaction what are the next steps?
    • Make sure your employees are clear on their expectations and responsibilities
    • Assign roles as necessary, if a good position isn’t found consider letting go because you are doing a disservice to your business and the employee because they could be at a better job they like and enjoy performing
    • Keep specific benchmarks to measure employees by and provide necessary training for weaknesses that may exist (the key reason is because you want employees to be competent in front of your patients because they are a big part of the patient’s journey)

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