Assessing your practice

What is a successful practice? It is one that combines both business and clinical excellence. A practice assessment can help to identify missed opportunities and exposure to liabilities. It can also help you to develop a strategy for the future development of the practice.  You should be aware of the strength of the industry and the position of your business within the industry. Many GPs confine their perspective to general practice, but the reality is that we are part of the healthcare ‘industry.’ Stay current on the market and do a macro assessment and micro assessment. Can you benchmark against other practices?

Look at your financial statements. Regularly track how your business is running – monitor budgets and cash flow each month. This allows you to make early adjustments through the course of the financial year. Set realistic budgets and work within them. Be critical about your allocation of financial resources and expenditure. Is this producing the best value? Don’t under invest in the development of your practice

Check customer satisfaction – patient surveys. Are your patients happy and how could you make things better for them? You need to understand what your patient experience is in using the service.

Examine your day to day operations. How efficient is your appointment system? How do you deal with no shows, medical documentation and prescriptions? Look at your administrative activities and office automation. How efficient are your IT systems, phone systems, electronic health records and IT security?

Average how many new patients you got last year. Are you dealing with the same patients and do you want to increase your patient number? You may need to develop a marketing strategy to attract new customers.

Have regular performance reviews. These should be done at least once a year.  This allows evaluations of employees work performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses as well as setting goals for future performance. Communication is key to keeping your team happy.

Assess your expectations. How do you feel about the success of your business? Are you happy with how your business is doing? If not, then how can you change things.

Finally develop a clear vision for your practice. To be effective, the vision needs to be carefully crafted, individually relevant and communicate what outcome you really want to achieve. The vision describes how the practice will be in the future and is therefore important in determining personal and business objectives.