From Burned Out to Booming: A Case Study

After being in practice for some years this doctor was seriously considering closing down his practice and pursuing a different profession. His enthusiasm for practicing had reached an all time low and he was feeling burned out. He missed those days earlier in his career when the practice was growing at a good rate and when he looked forward to going to work every day. But he wasn’t sure what would need to happen to revive his interest or the practice.

He was seeing 25-30 new patients per month on an average and producing around $28,000 each month. The practice was neither growing or contracting; it was hovering around these levels for awhile.

Conditions in the practice began to change after he made the decision to hire a management consulting firm. After a very thorough analysis of the practice the consultant noticed a non optimum situation with his personnel. The consultant looked into this further by interviewing and testing the staff members involved. He reached the conclusion that the doctor had failed to place some of his staff in the positions they were best suited for. A shift in positions took place and dramatic changes began to occur almost immediately. Not only were the staff members happier, but this change translated into an increase in new patients and collections right away.

The consultant then began to work with the doctor to train all his staff in management techniques that they needed in order to perform their jobs well. The first step he took was to ensure the office manager received thorough executive training. She was then able to take over the day to day management duties in the practice, leaving the doctor free to concentrate on treating patients.

The OM made sure all the other staff were trained for their positions and implemented all the office policies and job descriptions provided by the consultant.

It was at this point that the doctor and his staff were able to competently handle all aspects of the practice.

They implemented collections and finance policies which increased the cash flow. Financial planning procedures were implemented that put the practice in a condition of strong viability. This, alone, relieved the doctor of a great deal of stress.

The consultant developed marketing plan for the practice and worked with the staff to implement them. The number of new patients grew.

A sharp eye was kept on efficiency. With more new patients coming in and the cash flow increasing, it was vital that the practice remain solvent and financially secure. The consultant monitored all the activity and helped the doctor make key decisions about hiring, staff bonuses, major purchases and work loads.

The results:

The practice now stably produces over $100,000 per month. In other words, it produces in one week what it used to produce in one month. They average seeing 100 new patients per month. The doctor works less hours than he did previously and his morale, along with the staff’s, has risen tremendously. The practice has moved to a larger facility and other doctors frequently visit the practice to find out how he did it. It has become a model practice, with each staff member fully trained for the position they hold.

In the doctor’s own words, “Management training is the key to my success. I did not learn in school what I needed to know to establish a practice that was capable of flourishing year after year after year. I learned everything I needed to know technically and was very capable of delivering high quality of care to my patients but that only covered one aspect of owning a practice. I learned the hard way that technical training alone is not enough to sustain a successful business over the long haul. Thanks to the capable professionals of my consulting firm, I am a success, my staff is a success and my patients are receiving the best care and service available.” Dr. T.N.

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