Let’s be honest, if you don’t have your systems and protocols in place, your entire workflow and the quality and consistency of your services can quickly become a mess.
Remember, it’s not just about what you offer, but the way you keep delivering your service. When you don’t take the time to establish and standardise your policies and processes, you will be unable to identify and maintain the ‘best practice’ guidelines. These guidelines are an essential part of scaling your business efficiently and transform your customers from one-time customers to loyal supporters of your business.
Here is how to transform your practice in 4 easy steps.
WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS, NOT IN YOUR BUSINESS
It’s easy to get lost in the day to day operations. In fact, this is one of the most prominent challenges practices face. Micro-managing everything inevitably leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, swamped with work and losing sight of our goals. It’s important to step back and realise you need to play to your strengths, and not get stuck working in your business, instead work on it.
Working on your business is all about maximising your resources, so you can spend time planning, leading and strategising.
So how do we work ‘on the business’, when we are bogged down with the day to day tasks?
- Get clear on where you want to take your business, your goals and why you want to get there.
- Define what quality standards and policies you will need in your business, and create standardised systems which will help free up and manage your time, your workflow and your employees.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate and hire people to do non-essential tasks, including assistance with setting up these systems. There are many options these days from employing in-house, to outsourcing for one-off projects to regular duties.
- Create on-boarding policies and workflows for your employees, so everyone is on the same page.
REDUCE THE RISK OF POOR SERVICE OR ADVERSE OUTCOME
When a customer chooses your business for the first time, they are taking a risk.
They don’t know if your service will deliver the results they are after, and if it will result in a quality experience. If you consistently produce a high-quality service, it will inevitably lead to creating trust and loyalty with your customers base.
Risk assessment is a vital part of proper practice management. It should be integrated into the philosophy, policies and the strategic plan of the practice. In today’s environment, a business needs to take into account a myriad of issues, including changes to trade practice, legislation and regulation in your industry, changes with Medicare and NDIS, social media and advertising guidelines. We also need to recognise the changing face of our customer demographics.
Here are some methods you can take to minimise poor service and adverse outcome.
- Keep up to date with all the necessary legislation and ‘best practice’ guidelines.
- Be aware of the strengths and limitation of your practice.
- Create systems and checklists to streamline and create efficiency throughout your practice.
- Provide training and education for your staff and encourage communication and feedback.
- Regularly monitor and identify areas where improvements can be made.
- Create a contingency plan for adverse outcomes or unexpected events such as complaints, a mistake in clinical care, or absence of staff members.
INCORPORATE EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE
Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients David Sackett (1996)
Our reputation and quality of service is key to creating a successful sustainable practice. Evidence-based medicine doesn’t just look at the clinical evidence. It encourages us to make more informed decisions about which health care program is best suited for our customers, in light of their individual health needs and preferences. Through applying the knowledge gained from clinical evidence to patient care, it’s possible to set criteria, measure, evaluate and find the optimal outcomes for our patients.
ALLOW FOR STREAMLINING
As practice owners, we often tend to over-complicate our business workflows, so more often than not, nothing runs efficiently. One resolution to this common dilemma is streamlining our operations so that even the most complex operational workflows are completed efficiently and efficiently.
- Take an inventory of your services and workflows. Document what needs to be accomplished, detail each process and who needs to be involved in that process.
- Find out how you can automate some of the business workflows. This can often be accomplished through software or through finding commonalities, through breaking down the process of what is involved. Slow computers, complicated login processes and an unclear protocol for obtaining information, or authority can result in reduced service quality.
- Streamline your tasks. To avoid cross-over of workload, look at allocating technical responsibilities to their respective departments. For instance, technical work is performed by technical staff, and administrative duties handled by administrative employees. Look towards outsourcing as an alternative to in-house employees for tasks involving finance, legal, IT and marketing.
4. Training and effective onboarding of staff is essential. It not only provides new employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to become better workers and more productive, but it helps to develop a healthy workplace culture, keeps everyone on the same page, and the practice running smoothly.