Healthcare professionals are passionate about taking care of their patients but that’s not the whole story when it comes to managing your practice. There’s the business aspect to take care of as well. If your clinic doesn’t generate a positive ROI, then it won’t stay open for long. We’ve already talked about ROI here and you can also use the tool at this page. Play around with the numbers and see how the tool works for yourself.
Now that we are familiar with the term, let’s look at how you can change it. The goal of any business is to have a positive ROI overall. In other words, your practice should generate a reasonable return on your investment. You can also apply the ROI concept to individual business decisions like hiring an extra staff member or expanding the premises etc.
Practice Management and ROI
Managing your practice effectively is the key to increasing your ROI. It’s not just about healing patients, although that is the most important priority. Mismanagement in a few places can easily turn a successful practice into a failing one. Quite a few clinics fail financially even though they have many clients because they weren’t managed properly.
Take a good look at your office. Are there areas which could be improved? Maybe your front desk employees need customer service training. Or your claims processing could be more efficient. A good practice management software or application can help you with whatever task you set for yourself. There are many vendors who integrate their EHR applications with PM software, so you can easily transfer data back and forth. With health records moving to the digital realm, isn’t it time for practice management to catch up?
Effective Practice management
There’s a huge difference between successful and not so successful dental practices and it mostly comes down to practice management. The successful practice takes a proactive approach to managing all aspects of a clinic – from dental care, client service, billing to claims processing. Other clinics might be treading water and continuously putting out one fire after the other in a bid to stay afloat.
Before you can start any project, take a good look at the reporting sections of your existing practice management software. This should give you a general idea of which areas need changes. Are you struggling to find new clients or retain existing patients? Do your chairs remain empty more often than not? Then you might want to focus on marketing and client retention. Maybe you have the clients but it just takes too long to get paid. Then it may be time to look at improving claim processing.
Before you can get your practice to where it should be, you need to know where you are. Once you have a baseline to start with, you can work on strategies for improvement and then compare the results later on.
One feature that is often underutilized is tracking. Some EHRs or PM software make it difficult to enter data quickly. But you need to be able to track what’s going on in your clinic at all times. Do you know how many patients each dentist is seeing today? Do you know who is taking care of which patient at any particular time? These are the questions a good PM software should be able to answer. A quick glance at your screen should tell you if you need to reschedule some appointments or if you have a few slots free for walk-ins.
Effective practice management can make a world of difference to your ROI. In practical terms, it helps you anticipate issues and have solutions ready instead of only reacting to problems when they happen!