Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Growing Your Patient List with Smart Healthcare Software

Andrew Morozoff
August 30, 2018

Here's the second part of Andrew Morozoff's insight into the most effective ways to transform the clinic with the help of practice management software. You can check out the first part of the article here.

Workload doesn't always reflect the value of a given employee to an organisation. For example, one doctor might work 2 days a week at a workload of more than 90% and another might work 5 days a week at a workload of 75%. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to use healthcare software to evaluate which is more suitable from a business perspective.

Maximizing Revenue per Doctor with Healthcare Software

Evaluating revenue per doctor allows you to see how much money each physician earned for the practice. To start with, you can use the basic ABC method to rank your doctors by the money they are bringing in. Before you do so, it’s worth noting that the Pareto principle (that 20% of specialists generate 80% of revenue) doesn’t work here. In fact, if the Pareto principle does work in your clinic then it only goes to show that you have a couple of “superstar” doctors and no-one else who comes close, which is bad, of course.

There are a whole range of ways in which you can fix things with clinic management software, whether it’s by transferring some of the patient list to other doctors in your clinic or referring to other specialists. The problem is that this creates competition where it previously didn’t exist, and in the worst-case scenario, you’ll end up parting ways with the aforementioned “superstar” doctors.

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I myself split it 60-30-10. There’s a certain group of employees that work to achieve 60% of our revenue. Let’s call them “leaders”. The remainder is composed of “grafters”, who work hard but contribute only 30%, and “outsiders”, who contribute no more than 10% of our revenue.

If you want, you can use a more complicated method of evaluating your employees. For example, you can look at the patient list, average cheque per patient, or the percentage of follow-up visits. In any case, you can separate your colleagues into leaders, grafters and outsiders. Whatever you decide to call each category, the solutions I’ve found that work are as follows:

“Leaders”

You’ll shield them from our competitors, who’ll surely try to tempt your favourites away from time to time. In our clinic, we help this group to improve their professional qualifications out of our own pocket but only if they’re willing to sign a contract that ties them to us for the subsequent 3 years as a minimum.

We are happy enough to send them off to conferences to demonstrate our worth and to share their knowledge base with others, but the main thing is to make sure that leading physicians work only with your clinic and without any interference from other organisations. The best way to achieve this is to agree a high base salary with modest bonuses.

“Grafters” a.k.a Hardworkers

They are your potential. It’s easy to develop leaders from your grafters, or even to make grafters out of your “superstars” if you know how. First of all, you need to use clinic management software to work out why a given employee is a grafter and not a leader. It could be because they haven’t been given enough working hours to shine, it might be because you have assigned their services too low a price to be perceived as high-class by patients of a particular category, or it could be because you’ve not advertised their services very well.

The point that needs to be made is that you should teach your grafters how to sell themselves, and you ought to help them to do this by spending more on advertising their services, increasing the length of their workday, and internally referring patients to them whenever possible. For such doctors, you would be best advised to provide them with an average base salary and an average bonus package.

“Outsiders”

You don’t necessarily have to bid farewell to this kind of employee. Instead, you can develop them into grafters. They can fulfill roles that your clinic would otherwise be unable to offer when it comes to particular services or specialties. However, it’s not worth spending too much money on such people as they should be left to make their own way in the clinic. If they do end up helping you to boost your revenue, then you should pay them according to percentage of sales.

Case in Point

In one of our medical centres, 5 basic specialties brought in more than 80% of our revenue. On one rather pleasant (!) day, one of our competitors came along with an offer that couldn’t be refused for one of our “superstars”. This particular doctor chose to leave and took their client base with them. Our company took 8 months to recruit replacements and build back up to the same number of patients even with the help of healthcare software.

To be continued.

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