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Is Your Medical Practice Thriving or Just Merely Surviving ?

January 30, 2013

Patients In Doctors Waiting RoomI was reading an article about the 12 Skills That Will Help You Thrive in 2013 and made an observation that these skills could be related to medical practices and practice managers. Let’s face it, the electronic age is not leaving us, so we have to learn to adapt to this new reality. Medical practices are transitioning to electronic health records in greater numbers. So, if you are going to stay in practice and be up-to-date, you must learn to put technology to work for you.

The following is my take on the skills that will help you thrive not only in your practice but also in your personal and professional life.

  1. Technology Know-How – There is a broad base of technology that practices can use to improve their workflow, patient communication, marketing and, of course, patient medical records. The tech-savvy practice manager is vigilant about protecting confidential patient information by ensuring a periodic risk assessment of medical practice technology, software and hardware, as well as assessing options for evaluating and implementing new technologies.
  2. Data-Driven Decision-Making – Data is an important element of any good decision-making process. You need to ensure that you are looking at all of the data available to you from all sources to stay ahead of trends, meet requirements and be sure you are doing what will best serve your patient population. You should be monitoring data from not only your EMR system, but also website analytics, patient surveys, insurance and financial systems, social media and/or other marketing efforts.
  3. Professional Networking Skills – Networking is just good business practice. It not only helps you in your professional life, but can also help you bring new ideas, processes and people to your medical practice.
  4. Lifelong Learning – In today’s economy, competitive environment and job market, survival is not based on longevity. Your medical practice must offer patients innovative services that are cost-effective and keep the patients’ needs at the forefront. To effectively manage your medical practice, you must be willing to seek out the knowledge that helps you stay one step ahead of the competition while providing more great services to your patient base.
  5. Continuous Improvement – Continuous improvement is a state-of-mind that will help keep your medical practice competitive. In everything you and your team do you need to be thinking how can we do this better, more efficiently, with less waste and give our patients the experience they desire? You should be setting aside time on a regular basis to ask these questions about every process. Start an incentive program for team members to submit suggestions. Be innovative and open to ideas and continuous improvement will become ingrained in the practice’s culture.
  6. On-line Marketing Strategy – I’ve written several posts over the last couple of months with ideas on ways to take advantage of Internet marketing channels to improve your ability to attract new patients to your practice. A couple of articles to review are: How Will Your Patients Find You on the Internet, Is Your Medical Practice Getting Good Reviews?, 5 Easy Ideas to Implement Today to Market Your Medical Practice.
  7. Adaptability – Change is happening at a faster rate than ever before. Being able to quickly identify and adapt to that change is a great way to make sure your medical practice thrives. “We’ve always done it this way,” is the wrong answer. Keep your eyes and ears attuned to the industry, anticipate change, and be ready to act quickly.
  8. Communication – Communication is the key to strong teamwork, happy patients and a healthy practice. Make sure that communication is both ways so that team members and your patients know they have a voice that can be heard.

Afterall, you really want to be “better than average”, don’t you?

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