How would you describe the systems that run within your practice? Is there a system for each task? Several for the same task? Have team members customized and instituted different ones for themselves? Maybe at the end of the day, you assume things are working just fine and everyone is doing their job – you, seeing patients and the rest of the team feeling that the office is essentially managing.
However, a persistent gut feeling that you could be doing better would be a reason to ask everyone to consider changing the current systems. And while all might seem on board, don’t be surprised if the inevitable learning curve possibly ruffles some team feathers.
Before you embark on changing your systems, it’s a good idea to assess what you already have in place, and/or what you might want to transition to. A good system infrastructure should comprise three significant categories:
Category One – Your systems need to provide clarity to everyone. Otherwise, it’s like asking your team to assemble a large item from IKEA without the accompanying diagrams. Customized, documented systems allow every team member to use them the same way, all the time. Usually what I find is too many offices contain a mishmash of systems transplanted by office workers from their previous office environments. But what works in one office may not fit in with yours – for example, your software may be reading the information differently. Yes, it’s challenging to look at your systems with an objective eye knowing that changes may have to happen. Choices must be made, and it can be uncomfortable. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an outsider provide an operational assessment of your practice along with valuable recommendations on how to clarify your systems.
Category Two – Your systems need to support an increase in productivity. When you’ve set goals for your business, these systems should take all the guesswork out of the process. Any new systems should streamline the everyday tasks of all team members, ensuring they clearly know what will happen throughout the day, decreasing the stress of an unpredictable workflow. Once your team becomes confident with a new system, not only will they realize how much easier their day and job have become, but they’ll also have a clearer sense of their role in achieving your practice goals.
Category Three – Your systems need to have accountability. This helps you and your team evaluate their effectiveness, make modifications if necessary, and ultimately improve. Your team needs to be aware of their part in the practice growth and what exactly is expected of them along the way. They need the teaching resources and the means to measure their growth. Accountability should be available in each detailed job description and reviewed during performance reviews. Measured results may also play a part in any financial increase they receive too.
Growth consistency is the key to long-term success. A steep initial increase that eventually plateaus for a few years won’t sustain your practice in the long run. It takes efficient, customized systems to deliver the steady proven growth and smooth operation that you want to see every day when you go to work. When I’m instituting these proven systems into your practice, I’m leaving you with all you need to ensure a happy and successful practice for years to come.