Seven Keys for Effective Practice Management

FACT: In the absence of good executive leadership, accurate job descriptions, and office policies, the staff will invent their own – usually based on whatever is most comfortable or easily done, not necessarily what is best for the practice. Often times the command structure in this type of practice is relegated to a “social pecking order,” in which the more predominant staff personalities “rule the roost.”

FACT: How good of a doctor you are often has little to do with how successful your career will be. It is common to find brilliant doctors struggling to make ends meet while less skilled doctors in the same area are making fortunes. How well you hire and train your staff, do case presentation, handle your finances, do internal and external marketing, and the accuracy of your decisions as an executive will be the primary factors in determining your career satisfaction and financial success.

FACT: What you don’t or can’t control loses income. To the degree that you are in control of key areas of your practice, you will have a lower stress, higher income practice. To the degree that you are out of control, you will have a higher stress, lower income practice.

The seven key areas exist in any practice, no matter what its size:

  • The Treatment Area: The doctor’s exclusive domain
  • The Executive Area: Delegation, leadership, planning
  • The Personnel Area: Hiring and training staff
  • The Enrollment Area: Treatment planning and case acceptance
  • The Finance Area: Collections, insurance and receivables
  • The PR Area: Marketing, new patients/clients and recalling
  • The Quality Control Area: Monitor and correct staff, quality of service

Of these seven areas, the treatment area is the one, and often only, area doctors are adequately trained in. The other six-sevenths of the practice can therefore become a sources of problems and difficulty as the practice grows. These problems cost the average practice owner tens of thousands of dollars per year, cause a decline in the doctor’s quality of life, and results in stressful work and home environments.

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