Some ‘key’ mistakes while developing your practice plan can cause your new clinic to fail; lack of research and lack of preparedness. Avoid becoming another failed clinic by making sure you don’t commit to those mistakes and the following:
People throw around the term “process” quite a bit. In some circles, it has become quite the common word. However, it is more than just a common word. A process can be defined as the steps to go from start to finish to complete a task. Examples of processes could be as simple as how to write a blog post that will go on your healthcare clinic website, or more complicated such as writing a medico-legal report. In either case, there are specific steps to follow, guidelines to stick to, and a format to produce a well-defined outcome.
What I often hear are excuses as to why processes won’t, can’t or don’t work in a healthcare practice.
Sorry, I disagree.
Processes are a way to track and measure a task in your clinic. Through the analysis of tracking and measuring, indicators point to where areas of the process (whether it be admin or clinical) could be improved.
This is where the real power lies.
It’s not that a process, once developed is the end all, it’s that once it is developed and in place, it can be continuously improved. This increases efficiency, reduces costs, saves time and money, while increasing the patient outcomes. What’s not to love about well-defined processes in your practice?
The downside of not having a standard process for tasks in your clinic are plentiful. Here are 10 reasons not having a process will ultimately hurt your practice:
1. Without a standard model to follow, each team member whether admin or clinical feels the need to “recreate the wheel”
2. Not having a process guide written and detailed leaves too much room for interpretation
3. Without a process guide, the process cannot be quantitatively analysed to find areas of improvement
4. The process can be interpreted differently by new staff in particular, which may not provide the best outcome for your patients and or your clinic
5. Not having a process in place means that your clinic has no competitive advantage; except in price reduction and we all know being the cheapest clinic in town is NOT the best road to success
6. Without a process, both you and your reception and clinical staff don’t really know where you are with a specific project or goal.
7. Without templates and standards, your clinic spends much more time and effort than what it should.
8. Lack of internal communication processes causes unwanted drama in the clinic.
9. Without a process in place, team members (especially admin staff) roam free, putting more emphasis on areas that may not require so much attention
10. Not having a process or processes in place is a sign of weakness in the clinic
Having a process in place for treating a particular condition, writing a medico-legal report or re-activating inactive patients to name just a few may sound rigid. It may sound like it is final or concrete. The truth is, processes are what can define and separate and clinic from it’s competitors. Practices that embrace processes can grow and scale quickly, while those that continue to think of every task as different grow at a much, much slower pace, if at all. The problem for the second group is that when they do grow, the growing pains become all too real and it is apparent what has not been done. Don’t let that happen to your clinic.