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Getting the Right People on the Bus!

Written by Edwin Brown
Sep 04, 2019

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Who you hire is the most crucial decision you will make in your private practice.

Tell me if you’ve ever heard something like this before “Life/work/relationships would be easy, if it weren’t for other people”. Relationships are hard. Leading people is hard. But leading the wrong people is really hard. We talk with clinic owners all the time who are struggling with different issues that they’d like advice on. Referrals are slow, processes are breaking down, patients aren’t happy. Typically these owners want to discuss tactics for improving referrals by investing more in marketing. They want more systems to streamline workflows or want to invest in a new feature that will improve customer satisfaction.

Typically when I probe into the real heart of the problem there is a deeper issue at play. Most practice owners don’t understand how many of their problems are simply because they don’t have the right people in the right positions. If your practice was a professional kitchen, your team would be the ingredients. Poor quality ingredients will ruin the meal of even the finest of chefs. All too often I see practice owners changing their recipes or buying new equipment to work around the fact that they are using subpar quality ingredients in their food.

Most practice owners don’t understand how many of their problems are simply because they don’t have the right people in the right positions.

Here is a perfect example. One of our clinics was really struggling with keeping their schedule full and stable. No matter how much the clinical director worked to get new referrals, the schedule never could quite fill up. Patients would show up for appointments not on the schedule and the clinical team was stressed. We streamlined the lists the front desk was using, we improved the waiting room to increase attendance, we even offered a bonus to the front desk if they could get everyone full and happy. But, after months of trying, we still had the same holes in the schedule and stressed out clinicians.

Then our main scheduler quit. We panicked. The schedule was already a mess and would only get worse when managed by someone who hadn’t been here for the past couple of years and learned all of the tips and tricks. But something amazing happened. Within six weeks of our new front desk person starting 90% of our scheduling issues magically disappeared. Schedules were full, appointments stopped disappearing, and clinician stress level was at an all time low. The only variable that changed was the person managing the schedule. None of the work we had done trying to fix the problem ever got down to what was really wrong. We had the wrong person doing the job. I know it sounds simple, but it was a lightbulb moment for us. No amount of systems improvement, training, or workarounds will allow someone who isn’t an A player to perform like one.

In our next article, we’ll reveal the system we use to make sure you are hiring the right person for the job almost every time (yeah, I said almost…)

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Edwin Brown

Executive Director

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