Practice Owner Overview

Practice Owner Checklist for Adequate Practice ManagementA doctor has two main “hats” or zones of responsibility in a practice, the doctor and the practice owner. The doctor is the “clinician” performing the medical art, and the practice owner is the “executive” who runs the business.

Most doctors lump the two responsibilities together and become overwhelmed. Because they are trained as a doctor, they put their time, attention, effort and finances toward improving the clinical side of the practice.

Often, the essential business functions, like marketing, presenting and closing treatment plans, training staff, etc., are “put on the back burner” in terms of priorities.

The doctor must be able to separate the purposes, functions and activities of these two distinctly different zones of responsibility to achieve prosperity in an orderly, predictable manner.

Doctor Hat and Practice Owner Hat

As a doctor, your clinical training has prepared you for practicing medicine. We know the average doctor has very little training regarding the business side of running a practice.

In over 30 years of consulting doctors, we have found that the doctor is either “in control of their practice” or “the practice is in control of them.”

The doctor is either guiding and directing the practice toward a known destination, or internal and external problems are so great that the doctor doesn’t feel in control of the direction of the practice.

The practice owner is the senior executive. An executive being defined as “one who gets others to get work done.”

The practice owner is the senior executive. An executive being defined as “one who gets others to get work done.”

There are three tools that the practice owner uses to “run the practice.” They are the three pillars of “good management.” They are the guideposts that help the practice owner make intelligent, coordinated decisions which lead the practice toward prosperity.

  1. Business Plan
  2. Marketing Plan
  3. Financial Plan

Office Manager Overview

Doctors frequently tell us that a major challenge is juggling their time and attention between being a doctor and handling all of the executive functions of running the day-to-day operations of their practice.

A vast majority of this “time and attention” dispersal is handling staff issues and ensuring the practice is running smoothly and efficiently. This problem, if not handled, will put a ceiling on one’s practice growth.

So, the doctor is faced with the fact that they must delegate those labor-intensive, executive responsibilities to a competent office manager.

The office manager should assist the owner in developing policies that would forward the purpose of the business as a whole.

A well-trained office manager is worth their weight in gold if they can and will do their job, thus freeing the doctor to do their most profitable activity, practicing medicine.

The primary function of the office manager’s position is the accomplishment of the goals determined by the owner of the business.

The office manager should assist the owner in developing policies that would forward the purpose of the business as a whole. It is the office manager’s job to ensure that all members of the group are fully contributing to the expansion of the business and that a high level of communication exists between the group and the owner.

The office manager should run the day-to-day activities of the office and keep the daily distractions off of the owner/doctor’s plate. This would be accomplished by ensuring that the office manager is trained in the handling of staff and is comfortable in hiring, training, and correction of all staff members.

The office manager institutes and maintains compliance with policy, institutes and maintains compliance with job descriptions, and monitors all functions of the practice.

Again, the office manager must be trained in order to do his/her functions well.

There are distinct signs of a well-trained office manager in a practice, and they are the following:

  1. The practice is expanding and prospering.
  2. The doctor/owner is maximizing his/her time practicing medicine.
  3. Staff members, who know their jobs, are thereby productive and are operating together as a team.
We offer comprehensive training programs for your office manager.

There is an abundance of satisfied patients/clients who continue to come in for care and who refer others to the practice.

We offer comprehensive training programs for your office manager. It is vital to give your office manager the tools necessary to do the job and be effective.

Business Plan

This is not what you would submit to a bank for a practice loan. It is a carefully calculated plan based on clearly stated, realistic goals of where you want to take your practice, taking into consideration your staff, your practice’s stage, physical plant, your demographic patient/client base, and the unique nature of your practice.

At Silkin Management, we help you create a 1, 3 and 5 year plan which is a step-by-step, targeted-format program. We have the expertise to program each step of the business plan in a proper sequence to achieve your goals. Each step is established with “who” (staff) is going to do the step and “when” (date) it is to be completed.

Without a “who” and a “when,” a program never gets completed, much less on-time.

Marketing Plan

There are only two ways to get new patients/clients:

  1. External Marketing — advertising, mailers, billboards, internet, social media, etc.
  2. Internal Marketing — this means being proactive in getting referrals. It means having and implementing a proactive referral program.

The advantages of an internal marketing strategy are numerous:

  1. It is the most effective and least costly way of getting new patients/clients.
  2. You can control the type of patient/client base by asking for referrals from the kind of patient/client that you want.

We have researched and developed a tried-and-true proactive referral program which is getting stellar results with our clients, resulting in a marked increase in new patients/new clients.

Financial Plan

This would entail having the proper indexes for your practice. For example:

  1. What should your net percentage be?
  2. What percentage of your expenses should be allocated to payroll expense?
  3. What does it cost you to run your business on a monthly basis?
  4. When does it become economically feasible to hire an associate?
  5. What percentage of your expenses need to be set aside for future commitments, etc.?
A financial plan has to marry up to a business plan, so you have the rationale and a purpose to keep in the discipline necessary to reach a desired financial goal.

Then, once all of those expense figures are discovered, the emphasis focuses on how you allocate your funds.

Now, a financial plan has to marry up to a business plan, so you have the rationale and a purpose to keep in the discipline necessary to reach a desired financial goal.

Most financial plans fail because there wasn’t enough necessity to follow the plan due to unclear goals or lack of discipline.

Let us help you develop these three essential plans in a coordinated, comprehensive manner.


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