“Change the way you look at things…and the things you look at change.”
-Dr. Wayne Dyer
In the current healthcare environment, it’s very common for medical professionals in private practice to feel both overwhelmed and under-informed. From the initial impact of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and the HITECH initiative to the development of the standards for achieving Meaningful Use, the medical field has been in a constant state of (expensive) change. The expenditures of time, capital, and talent acquisition metered against a steep learning curve and evolving software have created a very tense environment for many private practices.
There is an explicit need to recoup the major investment, in many cases, required to adhere to these evolving standards. The promise of Meaningful Use dollars is a slight condolence, but certainly not sufficient to cover the costs. Of course, failure to comply results in increasing penalties…
This has ultimately led to a decline in personalized medicine and the advent of “production line” treatment in many practices. Now as the shift continues toward interoperability, patient-centered medical home (PCMH), and continuity- of-care (amongst many initiatives) the next phase of growth and change has begun to take it’s toll.
It is my belief that every private practice should have an advisor who is well-versed in these regulations, the technology needed to adhere, and the processes and methods necessary to create a cohesive solution. At The Private Practice Consultant we utilize our experience, key partner relationships, and the natural talent of your staff to develop strategies that ultimately turn issues into opportunities.
The staff at your practice has their hands full to say the least, but your business doesn’t need to suffer as a result.
A physician, for example, having been thoroughly trained in their given specialty, continues to learn and grow throughout their career. They earn Continuous Medical Education credits (CME’s), conduct studies and research, publish findings, and attend seminars and symposiums among various other activities. They become brilliant in their field of expertise and excel at delegating administrative and business oriented responsibilities to trusted Practice Administrators/Managers in the hopes that they can focus on their craft, make a decent living, and do this without being immersed in the minutia of the day to day business operations.
The Practice Admin is generally responsible for managing the business side of the practice. She hires the staff, manages vendor relationships, inventory control, and staff issues. She forges relationships with local offices, provides executive summaries to the doctor(s), and is responsible for maintaining a full business plan, operational plan, and marketing plan (including social media strategy), safety protocols, policies and procedures.
This brief observation is far from complete, for the physician, the practice manager, or any other staff member because every office has its own unique “culture”, and this has a direct effect on roles and responsibilities and attitudes toward change for instance.
Now…add in the stress and pressure of selecting, implementing, learning, and (best-case) properly utilizing the selected EMR, which has its own unique limitations based on which software was selected (more on this in future posts). Throw in upgrades to current equipment, changing regulations, steep reporting requirements, updated standards (ANSI-5010, ICD-10) and it quickly becomes apparent, the private practice…is in pain.
Change the way you look at things…
Instead of treating the symptoms with over-the-counter or self-prescribing schedule II medications (Band-aid solutions), the root problem or disease must be identified, treated, and properly maintained. The practice needs a consult…Only then will we be able to truly identify the root cause and effectively begin treating the practice…
Now if I had constant pain, and I chose to medicate myself instead of seeking the expertise of a medical professional, I could develop a dependency or further aggravate the issue. More importantly, I may even cause permanent damage or worst-case scenario, death.
This is why I make the decision to request an appointment at your office when me or my family has a medical issue, and it’s why you would provide me with a consult, order tests, etc…and provide care for my ailment.
It is for this reason primarily that I have found my passion in offering my expertise in this tumultuous environment, and accepting the challenge of providing world-class service, vetting cutting-edge technologies and top notch vendors, and innovating with the private practice front-of-mind. I pride myself in turning pain into opportunity, resolving issues, implementing actionable solutions, and ultimately providing care for your business.
So let’s assume your practice is experiencing similar pain or discomfort, for the sake of discussion. Let’s also assume that you have decided to take me up on my offer to provide your initial consultation with no obligation, no pressure, and no cost. Our final assumption is that you have chosen to welcome me into your practice and begin treatment…
First we need to evaluate the practice…collect history, determine the problem list, order some tests, review the results, determine the diagnosis, maybe even refer to a specialist. We need to make decisions based on our observations, implement new processes, monitor the progress, and report on that progress.
…and the things you look at change.
Then…gradually…the practice begins to heal.
Suddenly, staff becomes more engaged. They are cautiously optimistic about this new take on their work, but they begin to offer feedback, and take an active role in change.
Patients begin to notice a change in the office, they comment on the decrease in wait time, their positive interactions with staff at all touch-points, and their involvement in their care. They feel included and engaged.
The entire system becomes more cohesive, the staff has more time to focus on patient-centered tasks, and the physicians and mid-levels have renewed vigor. They are embracing the change as well, and the patients are responding.
New services are added, new revenues are being generated, and the workload has…decreased.
Doctors, mid-levels, and administrative staff members are less stressed at the end of each day, the doctor is even able to spend more time with family, or…dare I say…golfing, sailing, flying, etc…
All it takes is a phone call, an email, or even a text to begin the process. If you would like to learn more, or explore your options please feel free to give me a call or text directly (Jason-Founder) at 413-355-3525 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers, please reach out and introduce yourself and tell me what kind of issues you may be facing in your business today.
Posted with the frustrated staff of the independent medical practice in heart and mind.