Friday, August 30, 2013

When Recruiting Physicians, Consider the Generational Issues

Hiring New Physicians
Presently, four generations are practicing medicine at the same time: The “Matures” (over 61 years old) make up 18% of the active physician workforce; “Baby Boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) comprise another 49%; “GenX” (born between 1965 and 1979) makes up another 33%; and the “Millennium Generation” (born since 1980) is only now emerging from training.

Boomer doctors are predominantly male - some 88%—while Xers are but 58% male. But for the first time in history, the Millennials are mostly female (54%). Each generation brings its own work ethic, values system, and priorities to the medical practice. Boomers, Xers, and Millennials each categorically expect something different out of their practices. And each generation brings plenty of opportunity for friction and misunderstanding. And each generation presents a different challenge for those trying to recruit physicians to their respective practices.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Six Tips for Improving Practice Efficiency and Patient Satisfaction

Practice Efficiency Patient Satisfaction
If you find your practice stagnating, your profit margin narrowing, and your physician incomes threatened, you would do well to step back and take a fresh, objective look at your operation. Enlist the help of every physician and every clinical and nonclinical employee. Here are a group of ideas that can serve as a springboard for developing your own ways to improve efficiency and patient satisfaction:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Your Patients and Their Safety: How Your Practice Can Help

patient safety
Little by little, your patients have become increasingly concerned about patient safety. Not long ago, most of the general public simply assumed that medical errors were rare. But more recently they’ve become aware of alarming statistics first published by the Institute of Medicine - that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people die every year due to medical errors.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Delegation for New Medical Practice Managers (or Managers Who Struggle with Delegating Tasks)

Medical Office Delegation
Many medical practice managers have difficulty in giving up or delegating projects because they’ve advanced their careers by doing everything themselves. They learned early on not to ask others to do their work for fear of being called a lazy employee...or someone who tried to push work on others.

Now that you are a manager, you need to delegate tasks. But, how do you learn to delegate if you’ve never had the experience?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Searching for a Reputation

Reputation Management
Just in the last few years, two leading dictionaries added the verb “to google” to refer to using a search engine to look up information on the World Wide Web.
Once considered something of an ego-trip, googling your own name may prove a wise business strategy as a way to discover what “they” think of you out there. Since more and more of your patients use the Internet for everything from ordering pizza to researching their medical care providers, don’t dismiss this idea as too far out for you. Consider these few suggestions for positively influencing your online profile.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Medication Errors and Patient Safety in the Medical Practice

Patient Safety

In days gone by, managing a patient’s prescription medications was far less complex than today. An adverse drug reaction or interaction is more likely today because of factors like:

Friday, August 16, 2013

How Can I Increase the Patient Loyalty in My Practice?

Patient LoyaltyToday’s patients may fill out your satisfaction survey with high marks for you and your practice, but they will leave you for another provider for multiple reasons not clearly revealed in their survey responses. This post shows smart practice leaders how to anticipate the factors that bolster patient loyalty and encourages them to develop a “branding” philosophy that cultivates and nourishes that allegiance.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Disruptive Physicians . . . and How to Deal with Them

How to deal with disruptive physician's
How to Deal with Disruptive Physician Behavior
This post is sponsored by The Journal of Medical Practice Management ®
Everyone has a bad day - even a bad week - now and then. How can you tell when you have a real problem on your hands? Seasoned consultant Randy Bauman, from Delta Healthcare Consulting, brings his years of experience to the thorny issue of physicians who simply “don’t play well with others.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

For New Physicians: The Do’s and Don’ts of Working in a Practice (Part 4 of a 4 Part Series)

medical office behavior
Quality of Care
Newly-in-practice physicians have a tendency to think that high “Quality” care is a measurement of how the doctor was trained, or where he or she attended medical school. This is not the case. From a patient’s perspective, quality of care is the full spectrum of care delivered in the practice. This includes how the patient is addressed and treated from the time they are welcomed by the receptionist to when they see the physician and other clinical staff…to their final clinical outcome.

Monday, August 12, 2013

For New Physicians: The Do’s and Don’ts of Working in a Practice (Part 3 of a 4 Part Series)

medical practice behavior
Documentation is the best protection for you and your practice in a malpractice suit. Good documentation also shows justification in your billing procedures should you be audited by either the U.S. Government or an insurance carrier. The “Golden Rule” in documentation is “If you didn’t write it down, you didn’t do it.” The physician’s professional conduct should be consistent with the analysis reflected in the medical record. The obvious ethical (and legal) rule for documentation is that a patient’s record should never be changed in an effort to alter situations after the fact. Altered records lead to allegations of fraud and “cover up” and put the credibility of the entire document in jeopardy. There may be times, however, when a change is needed in the record. If an order needs rewriting or should an entry be placed in the wrong patient’s record, the original entry should be able to still be read, along with the new edit and a note to explain the correction. The doctor’s signature, date and time should also be noted.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

For New Physicians: The Do’s and Don’ts of Working in a Practice (Part 2 of a 4 Part Series)

New Physician Behavior
Focus on Employees
Walk through the front door everyday, greet everyone and pay special attention to new employees. Don’t head in the back door and right to your office.

Don’t “skip” out of staff meetings because you have something more important to do. Staff meetings are an opportunity to connect with staff members and find out what’s on their minds. Staff meetings are important and you are expected to attend and participate in them.

Friday, August 9, 2013

For New Physicians: The Do’s and Don’ts of Working in a Practice (Part 1 of a 4 Part Series)

In many medical practices, newly-hired physicians delve into the specifics of their jobs without getting the lay of the land.  They do not always know what kind of attitude, conduct, perspective or administrative skills they will need in their new jobs.  This 4-part article provides some hints for the new physician joining a practice. 

Above all, observe all that goes on in the practice -- the workflow and the personalities of the practice employees.  Identify the physician-champions and the influential members of the administrative staff. By careful observation you will learn about the culture of the practice and your role and fit within the practice. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Collecting Patient Balances: Time to Reevaluate and Adapt

collecting patient balances
When it comes to collecting patient balances, methods that worked well just a few years ago might not be as effective in the current economic downturn. Many patients are struggling to pay their regular bills, and an unexpected doctor bill only adds to the load. Some patients may have lost jobs and health coverage; others may have had to cut back to plans with higher co-pays and deductibles.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hints on Medical Practice Start-Up

medical practice startup
With many medical practices merging or selling to hospitals, it is a pleasant surprise that one of our books The Medical Practice Start-Up Guide, continues to be a best-seller.  The book is by Marc Halley, CEO of The Halley Consulting Group. Following are highlights from an interview between me (NC) with Marc Halley (MH).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

In Your Medical Practice, is Your “Nice” Quotient Too High?

Take this short quiz.

medical practice behavior
Who doesn’t want to have a friendly relationship with staff? But in any medical practice, there are times when you have to be firm. Otherwise, you can undermine the smooth management of your practice. Your staff looks to you for direction and consistency.  

Ask yourself these questions to find out if your “nice” quotient is too high:

Picking Vendors’ Brains

medical vendor
Veteran practice managers and physicians have found a “secret weapon” in their daily battle to identify and absorb the essential information necessary to run their practices effectively.  Vendors.

Many of the vendors who want to gain or keep your business can become valuable information sources for you. Here’s how you can capitalize on these opportunities.