Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A wonderful article on "Wildly successful medical practices" on Medscape

Why Some Practices Are Wildly Successful?

Here are some helpful tips from a fascinating article, the link to the entire article is provided at the end.


Some practices struggle. Some bring in a reasonable income for the partners. And some --even in the current economic climate -- soar. They attract new patients and add new providers, and their revenues outpace those of their peers.
What's their secret? External factors can certainly contribute to a practice's success, and clinical excellence is a must-have foundation. But one of the keys to cultivating a wildly successful practice lies in understanding, accepting, and embracing the fact that a medical office, at its core, is a business.
We asked experts to describe what differentiates wildly successful practices from their peers. Here's their list of must-have qualities:

No Substitute for an Entrepreneurial Spirit

While some physicians focus on the uncertainties of healthcare reform, successful physicians look for opportunities.
"Successful physicians are often impatient," says David Zahaluk, MD, a Dallas, Texas-based family practice physician and author of The Ultimate Practice Building Book (Trafford Publishing, 2007). "They don't want to wait for organic growth, and they're positive."

Have a Strategy and a Plan

For too many practices, the plan for growth consists of little more than "doing the same thing over and over again and hoping to do more of it," says Dr. Zahaluk. "That won't achieve your ends. Seeing one more patient a day just means more energy, more man-hours."
Successful practices plan for long-term growth and have immediate and mid-range action plans that advance their longer-term objectives.

Visibility Is Imperative

Wildly successful practices know how to attract attention.
Some practices tout the expertise or specialized skills of individual physicians, who have name-recognition in their community. Others tap their social and professional networks to attract new patients. Still others differentiate themselves through effective advertising that highlights their unique offerings.

A World of Potential in Reliable Data

Rock-solid practices don't waste their time on guesswork. They depend on data.
They know when diabetic patients need to have their A1c checked. They know their charge volume and payer mix and how long it takes to get paid by a particular payer for a specific procedure. Success depends on "having the right data at the right time and trying to make the right decisions with it," says Scott Andrews. "If you don't, you can't and you won't."
A Patient-Centered Culture Makes a Difference
Of course, few tactics will work effectively if the practice doesn't keep patients happy. Word of mouth is still the strongest weapon in any marketing arsenal. That type of culture doesn't just happen; it's cultivated. Physicians hire with an eye for fit, ensuring that new doctors and staff share their goals and work ethic. 

Strong Leaders and an Outstanding Staff

Great practices have great leaders who set the direction for the practice, says Capko. That said, excellent leaders surround themselves with the right staff. A physician leader needs to have the office manager, support staff, and technological tools in place to effectively handle the day-to-day demands of running the business so that he or she can focus on clinical issues and the overall direction of the practice. Great physicians don't micromanage, because they know they've hired capable staff members and provided them with the training and education they need to help the practice excel. In a perfect scenario, a doctor is spending 95% of his time seeing patients, and the 5% of his time he spends on business is just monitoring and checking the state of the business. 

Willingness to Create Helpful Partners

Successful practices seek expert advice when they need it. 
Efficiency, Productivity, and Discipline
"Top-tier doctors know how to be efficient with their time," says Randy Bauman. "It's not that they're giving patients 2 minutes; it's that they're conscious of their time. They're doing simple things, such as not going in and out of the examination room more than once."
Effective practice management tools are essential to boosting efficiency, Dr. Wilhelm says, and the payoff extends beyond productivity. Because physicians and staff are using their time more efficiently, improved workflow creates a more professional, calm environment, which benefits staff and patients alike.
For the entire article I would recommend logging in to Medscape (free registration) & reading it here

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