I have long been an advocate for considering the business process as a whole to identify opportunities for improvement and to establish a business case. I have talked with physicians and practice managers who share the opinion that the goal of the practice is to get the doctor in front of as many patients as possible every day. However, it is interesting how sometimes the other aspects of the operation in the practice can diminish that concerted effort when it comes to the bottom line in the financial statements every month.
A real pain point within the operations I hear about time and again is collections. After all, it is money that the physicians should have earned by providing care. But what happens when people in the practice think more like individuals than as a whole practice? The answer is that gaps develop and grow between people and their processes. Technology, such as an EHR system, can be a great tool for creating efficiencies within the practice. But those efficiencies are only as strong as your underlying processes for delivering care, managing collections, and every other aspect of the practice.
One key point that we consistently talk about with our clients involves the alignment of their technology with the strategy of the practice. The key here is that the strategy must be in place and everyone has to buy-in for best practices to evolve. Consistently measuring your process through key performance indicator reports will then facilitate improvements. Technology can help people become more efficient, but it’s only as good as the underlying processes. We provide our clients with a variety of performance reports for their technology. Further, we make time to discuss this information and the implications with them as well. What makes this work is a shared vision and commitment between our clients and us.
Here is an interesting article from someone I know and trust, Rosemarie Nelson, regarding the big picture view of collections for your practice: