As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Although your medical practice is a fair bit smaller than a city, the principle holds just the same. Running a healthcare organization requires room for growth and ad hoc modifications, not to mention plenty of trial and error. If you're doing things right, you'll eventually reach a point where you need to implement change. And change can be intimidating at first, especially if you're asking your employees to eradicate old habits.
If you're methodical about implementing change, the process should go fairly smoothly. For example, carrying ample small business liability insurance protects your finances in times of transition and growth. Working with a management consultant can identify sticking points and inefficiencies so you can streamline operations. It's all about prior planning.
Consider these four tips for implementing change within your medical practice.
- Define Your Overarching Goals
There's a gulf between where you are and where you want to be. What do you see on the opposite shore? Your long-term goals will directly influence your short-term actions. For example, your approach to overhauling the waiting room will be different than your approach to reshaping job roles.
Start by writing down your goals—keeping in mind specificity and a clear timeline are key elements. Then break these lofty goals down into a list of actionable, day-to-day changes.
- Roll Out Changes Incrementally
Piling on too much change too fast can feel like pulling the rug out from under your practice. Let's say you hold an all-hands meeting to crowdsource dissatisfiers from your staff members. The hope is that airing these points of frustration will help you identify both what needs to change and why. At the meeting, one of your assistants mentions cancellations and no-shows are throwing a wrench into appointment scheduling. Does this mean you need to dramatically hike your cancellation fee effective the next morning? Or penalize your administrative staff each time a patient doesn't show up? No! Take time to consider problems and solutions from all angles. Rushing will stir up resentment and lead to possible pushback from patients and employees.
- Establish a Two-Way Dialogue
It's natural for talk of change to ruffle feathers, especially for longstanding employees. This is why it's so important to establish a two-way dialogue between management and staff. Listen to questions, concerns, and constructive criticism. When the time comes to implement changes, host orientation sessions for your staff to show them the ropes. Make sure there's a fair learning curve in place. Continue to check in with your co-workers over time for suggestions and feedback. The only way to truly improve your practice is to communicate about what's working and what could be better.
- Ramp Up Your Financial Safeguards
You may be adding equipment, employees, or commercial space to your practice as you grow. If you work to optimize efficiency, you may be increasing the number of patients you see daily. Are your small business liability insurance, property insurance, and workers' compensation coverage still a good fit? With growth comes new financial responsibility.
Make sure your commercial policies provide enough coverage at an affordable price point. It's always smart to shop around in an effort to ensure you're carrying the best coverage for your practice. Compare policy quotes from top carriers for free using CoverHound!