If you decided to embark on a home improvement project, you probably wouldn’t just start knocking down walls without first having a plan in place as well as the right people on board to handle the many tasks involved and a realistic budget to make it all happen. This analogy can also apply to improving and growing your ophthalmology practice. We’re not talking about upgrading your physical office space (although that would require the same amount of planning as home remodeling – if not more). We’re talking about planning to effectively structure and manage your practice in the ever-changing field of ophthalmology.
Current Organizational Structure Assessment
The first step in this process is to take a close inventory of your practice’s current organizational structure and managerial environments. These are the scaffolding of your practice on which you will rely to move onward and upward. Areas that are of greatest importance include human resource and fiscal management.
Human Resource Management
Your practice will thrive if you have happy, friendly, competent and energetic employees. In fact, employees can be one of your greatest assets. An outstanding staff can actually set you apart from your competition. Therefore, it’s important that everyone in your organization feels valued and appreciated: front desk staff, surgery counselors, technicians, billing staff, doctors, etc. However, this is a two-way street: employees must also be held accountable for carrying out their job descriptions. Having a strong human resources management department can ensure that your staff is well cared for and presenting the very best face forward to your patients every single day.
If your practice is struggling with creating the ideal team, an ophthalmology consultant can help you train your existing staff or recruit new staff members that have the experience you need.
Regardless of your practice size, fiscal management can either make or break your practice. Your profitability can suffer if you experience frequent breakdowns in your system such as:
- Insurance reimbursement problems
- Inaccurate or ineffective billing and collections
- Labor cost increases
- Medical supply cost increases
As your practice becomes more adept at balancing operational costs against your revenue stream, you will have more opportunity to grow. This will require frequent monitoring of your systems and devising innovative methods to reduce operating costs and improve revenue flow, possibly without having to increase the number of patients or surgeries in your practice.
If your practice is struggling fiscally, an ophthalmology consultant can help you not only identify problem areas but also implement specific changes to improve revenue. Staff training, new employees or even outsourcing medical billing processes may be recommendations that are given to your practice.
Audit Your Strategies
It is easy to become complacent in your corporate culture, allowing your processes and people to operate on auto pilot. Just as you would routinely check in with your contractor on a home remodeling project, it’s important to continually audit your practice to ensure things are moving as seamlessly and effectively as possible. External strategy consultants can help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your practice. Once this information is gathered, you may need to collaboratively brainstorm with your shareholders, physicians and the management team to implement key initiatives to help you maintain viability and expand your market share.
Set Realistic Goals
It’s important to have a vision of how you see your practice changing in the future. For example, you may want to:
- Add clinic locations
- Increase specialty offerings
- Prepare for retiring doctors
- Hire new physicians or upper management
With these goals in mind, you can begin to set up a strategic plan to move forward. Again, it may be helpful to hire an interim management team or an ophthalmology consultant to help you with identifying areas for improvement, creating goals and implementing strategic plans. Projects can be as small as budget development to as extensive as taking over as the CEO of your practice.
Advantage Healthcare Consulting: Ophthalmology Consultants
Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, offers ophthalmology practices the opportunity to get help for any number of organizational problems. Our consulting services are tailored to each unique practice. We’ve helped solo practices to large multi-specialty physician practices to academic medical centers make improvements to reach their goals.
In addition, we have developed the Administrative Advantage MSO®, a Management Services Organization that allows practices of all sizes to save money on the services and products they use every day. Members of our MSO can access one resource for virtually anything they need: consulting, staffing, billing/collections, EMR systems, marketing, recruiting, telemedicine and much more. Our team has identified some of the top companies in these fields, partnering with them to give practices group purchasing power. The more you can save on these products and services, the greater your bottom line will be.
To learn more about how Advantage Healthcare Consulting, a division of Advantage Administration, can help with organizational structure and management effectiveness your ophthalmology practice, contact us today.