5 Keys to Effective Medical Practice Resolutions

Lea Chatham January 13th, 2014

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It is two weeks into the New Year and some of us are still thinking about those pesky resolutions. Most people pick the same things—lose weight, get healthy, save money. We do that because we know our own stats. We know how much we weigh now and what we want to weigh. We know our bank balance and that we should have three to six months in reserve. We have a strong foundation upon which to choose and plan for our personal resolutions.

What about our medical practice resolutions? Do you think about those in the same way? Do you have a strong, documented position from which to choose the most important goals for your practice going into the New Year? To make effective resolutions for your business there are 5 key things you need to do.

  1. Know Your Practice Stats: Before you can think about the future, you need to understand the past. You can’t make plans to increase revenue, number of patients, or visits if you don’t know what your numbers are now. Take the time to do a detailed analysis of your practice financials and productivity.
  2. Identify Areas for Growth: Once you finish your analysis, you should be able to easily identify areas that need work. If you consistently have open appointment slots, then set a goal to increase appointments and/or patients. If you are struggling with high patient A/R then look at focusing on bringing that number down. Seek out opportunities that will have a big impact! You only need to pick one or two and over the year you can see meaningful results.
  3. Identify New Opportunities: If your practice is in tip top shape then maybe 2014 is the time to look at new opportunities. You could spend 2014 evaluating what types of new services you might add or how you could build your practice through new marketing or other growth strategies.
  4. Make Realistic, Achievable Resolutions: Your ultimate goal may be to increase patients by 25%, but that might not be a realistic starting point. Set small, achievable goals as stepping stones to your end goal, like increasing patients by 5% in six months, or it could be as simple as identifying three ways to increase patients in the first quarter of the year. If your goal is too challenging, you are setting yourself up for failure.
  5. Don’t Give Up: If you get off track for a bit, don’t give up. In a smaller practice where resources are limited you may have times when you can’t focus on your goal(s) but that doesn’t mean you give up all together. Come back and evaluate your progress regularly and adjust your goal as needed—up or down. If you have achieved your goal to increase patients 5% then increase that another 5%. If you haven’t made it, look at why and figure out how to overcome whatever challenge is standing in your way.

Businesses are like people—if you don’t constantly reevaluate where you are and plan for growth, you can stagnate. Think of your practice as a living entity that needs constant care. Making New Year’s resolutions is a great way to make improvements, grow, and thrive into the future.

For more on evaluating and growing your practice in the New Year, join Kareo for one of our upcoming webinars: Position Your Practice for Growth or Nothing but the Facts: Find Out What Your Patients Really Think.

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