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The Next Set of Private Practice Roadblocks

 

 

 

This week in our Perfect Practice Tips series we’ll continue examining the six most common roadblocks to successful private practice management.  Let’s talk about the next two obstacles doctors frequently encounter:

Roadblock Three: Reimbursement Issues

You cannot survive if you fail to pay close enough attention to your Finance Department. If you choose to participate in any third-party plans, you must thoroughly understand what constitute covered and non-covered services, exactly what the expected reimbursement will be, and how long it will take for you to be reimbursed. You also need to be sure that your participation in these plans will not automatically obligate you to participate in other plans without your knowledge and consent.

Don’t make the mistake of failing to put a system in place for collecting payment from self-pay patients, or for collecting on non-covered services. This is where you really need to do your homework. You must thoroughly understand what patients today are looking for in a private practice owner, and you must know what services they will gladly pay for.

Roadblock Four: Patient Report of Findings and Care Plans

This is another potential obstacle.

Significant attention must be paid to how the patient report of findings and care plans are presented to the patient and administered. Right from the start, your entire team needs to communicate to the patient that compliance with your recommendations is essential if the patient expects to achieve a good result. Simply, truthfully and thoroughly explain to the patient why you have suggested a particular treatment plan.

Thoroughness during the patient’s first visit has a huge impact on a patient’s future compliance. Perform any essential diagnostic tests before treating your patients, regardless of third-party incentives not to do so. Patients and their families long remember the doctor who makes an accurate diagnosis, and who presents a care plan that gets the patient better within reasonable a time frame and facilitating the patient’s financial obligations.

We invite you to join us daily on our blog for continued discussion of these principles.

If you would like to know more about our how to create a Practice by Design, please visit our website at http://PerfectPracticeWeb.com

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

Private Practice Owners, Are You Telling Your Patients What to Do?

Without a clear call to action in every communication, private practice owners leave patients floundering in a sea of good intentions.

We have previously explored on this blog some of the reasons WHY you need a clear call to action in every single communication with patients. In other words, it’s essential for private practice owners to tell patients exactly what to do and lead them by the hand to the next interaction.

But don’t think that calls to action are limited to a “buy now” or “make an appointment now” button at the end of a blog post.

A call to action can take many forms—most of which are overlooked by most private practice owners.

And that’s good news for you, because it means your competition likely hasn’t figured it all out yet. You can get ahead of the curve by innovating with calls to action.

Start by making a list of every type of way that you communicate with potential and current patients.

Now, for each item on that list, look for an opportunity to tell them what to do next. Think about what you want to accomplish through that communication, and then craft a brief but clear call to action that urges the patient to follow through with a specific action.

Remember that patients are more likely to follow through on a call to action that addresses one of the patient’s own desires. Private practice owners need to be sure to craft the message with an eye toward psychological factors. And keep it simple!

Here are a few potential examples of calls to action that go beyond a simple “call now.”

  • Give patients the opportunity for a no-cost group consultation or Q&A with you at specified times and require registration.
  • Direct patients to a specific social media page or event.
  • Ask patients to subscribe to your blog so they never miss a post.
  • Request for patients to email you with specific questions on certain topic so that you can respond in a blog post or create an event around it.

Sometimes private practice owners need to be told what to do next in their marketing—is this you? Check out our mentoring and coaching programs. 

Private Practice Informed Consent

Private Practice, Best Practice: Informed Consent Every Step of the Way

In private practice, informed consent is more than just a piece of paper that your patients sign on their first visit—you should build it into every interaction.

Customer service isn’t all about providing perks that your private practice patients will like better than perks provided by the competition. It isn’t even limited to focusing on the quality of the provider-patient relationship.

Sometimes excellent customer service is about making sure you are giving your patients the information they need, every step of the way. You can think of this as making informed consent a priority in your private practice.

What does this look like? Let’s break it down into the basics.

Train your staff, and yourself, to provide a running narrative of what is happening now and what will happen next. Patients need to know the name and role of the staff they are talking with right now, along with the duration of the procedure or interaction. This works equally well for taking x-rays or for scheduling a new appointment. Likewise, make sure that phone interactions are given the same quality of attention and information.

Always provide an accurate estimate of time. (If you’re running an efficient private practice with great systems in place, this won’t be a problem.) As a courtesy, let patients know when the schedule falls behind, whether they are in the waiting area or already in an exam room—or go a step beyond and contact upcoming appointments to give them the option of arriving later or rescheduling.

Don’t leave patients hanging after the provider visit. Give them a specific plan or recommendation about what to do next. Make sure that your staff follows up appropriately after the visit.

An informed patient is an empowered patient, and when your private practice patients feel empowered by you, they’ll come back again and again.

Do you struggle with private practice questions like these? Get guidance and support from a guru! Read about our mentoring and coaching programs.

 

Private Practice and the New Word of Mouth Process

Private Practice and the New “Word of Mouth”

Does your private practice leverage the power of today’s “word of mouth?

Sometimes private practice owners seem to pine for the old days, when marketing simply took care of itself through an organic “word of mouth” process. Existing patients would tell their friends and family about you, and you’d get a phone call from those new patients based on nothing except your reputation for good clinical work.

That’s an attractive model because it is entirely passive on the part of the private practice owner. Just focus on being a good clinician, and patients will come!

Unfortunately, if it ever worked that way in days past, it certainly doesn’t work that way anymore. The passive private practice owner will not be in business for long.

That’s because today’s patient is well-informed, has high expectations of your marketing efforts, and has many local options other than your private practice.

The “word of mouth” process can still be a powerful one, but the process has changed. Now, almost without exception, the Internet is the middle man between you and new patients.

These days, when a patient speaks well of you to family and friends, those individuals won’t just pick up the phone and call you. If they’re interested in your services, they’ll pick up a mobile device and Google you. If they can’t find your website because it’s buried in page 25 of the search results—or if your private practice site is hard to navigate, you’ll lose that new patient within 10 seconds. You’re forgettable.
Worse, if the prospective patient finds your site and spends a couple of minutes reading what’s there, only to be disappointed because there’s no relevant content or call to action, that patient will only remember that you didn’t meet their needs.

Your private practice website is the missing link between “word of mouth” referrals and scheduling a new patient.

Not sure how to improve your website or other marketing tactics? Marketing for your private practice is a major focus of our mentoring and coaching programs.

 

Private Practice Owners and Content Marketing

Private Practice Owners, Are You Following These Content Marketing Guidelines?

Content marketing is easier when you follow these guidelines for private practice.

Most private practice owners know that content marketing is a key aspect of a successful promotion strategy.

Unfortunately, it’s also true that most private practice owners are making some major missteps in their content marketing efforts. That means their efforts are being wasted because potential patients just aren’t going to respond positively and engage unless content is done effectively.

Here are some basic guidelines that every private practice owner should keep in mind when planning a content marketing strategy.

Don’t push for the sale.

Yes, you want to include a call to action—but just ask for one baby step, not a huge commitment.

Keep it focused.

Know the purpose of every single piece of content you produce. What is it that you want the reader to do? Likewise, make sure that all of your content has a consistent message.

Keep it consistent.

If there is more than one person in your office coming up with content, it’s important for it to be filtered through only one person (ideally, the private practice owner) so that all content has a similar voice and style.

Forget about “going viral.”

Too many private practice owners get obsessed with the idea of producing something that will get picked up quickly and spread all over the Internet. The problem is, you can’t force something to go viral. The other problem is that going viral doesn’t lead to long-term exposure; there will just be something new in everyone’s Facebook feed tomorrow. Just focus on useful, long-term content.

Remember to focus on local.

The Internet makes it possible to access your private practice website from nearly anywhere in the world—but let’s face it, your prospective patients are local. So be sure to build local references into your content. Then prospective patients will view you as part of THEIR neighborhood.

Looking for a mentor who can support you in content strategy and other marketing questions? Check out our mentoring and coaching programs.

 

Private Practice Website Call to Action

Private Practice Website Not Generating Results? Here’s Why

The most essential feature of your private practice website is the simplest (and easiest to overlook): the Call To Action.

Patients have to be told exactly what to do.

You may have found this to be true in your clinical work. And it is most definitely true on your private practice website.

It doesn’t matter what else a patient finds on your website or how well you have established authority for your private practice by building a foundation with content marketing. All of that effort is wasted unless every single page features a specific Call To Action (CTA).

In other words, have you told the patient exactly what to do?

A CTA can take many forms. Sometimes it might encourage a patient to “read more about” a particular topic by clicking on a link. Sometimes it asks them to download a free report that details possible treatments for their symptoms. Or you may simply be encouraging a patient to pick up the phone and call your private practice to make an appointment today.

Without specific encouragement, most patients will not take these actions on their own. They will aimlessly click away.

The CTA is even more important for private practice now, in the days of mobile marketing, when a huge percentage of people looking at your website are doing so with the use of their smart phone or other mobile device. For this reason, you’ll need to make sure not only that there is a distinct CTA on each page but also that the CTA is linked and clickable.

Even better, build a contact form into your private practice website that makes it simple for people to put in their name, number, and reason for contacting you—then make sure that your office staff are checking this multiple times a day and can get back to new patients within a few minutes.

Wondering what else you may be overlooking when it comes to marketing with your private practice website? We talk about issues like this in our coaching and mentoring programs.

 

What You Need to Know About Branding in Private Practice

Private Practice Tip: What You Need to Know About Branding

Effective branding for your private practice goes far beyond just your logo. It’s important to build your brand message into your everyday patient offerings.

You can’t escape it these days, the endless buzz about the need for “building your brand.”

You may have wondered if your private practice even has a brand, or if it needs one. Most people think of branding as being about a logo, or good signage, or a brochure, or the content of an ad. But there’s more to it—much more.

This may be one of the most important things you read today: everything you do in your private practice is your brand.

Your private practice branding includes everything you do and who you are, day to day. That means how and why you do your clinical work, but it also means every possible aspect of patient experience, from phone calls to office visits to follow-up.

Successful private practice owners know this and build it into their work every day.

As always in marketing, the point of branding lies in differentiating your private practice from the competition, and then building trust with patients through repeated positive experiences.

The best branding, from a customer point of view, is authentic and consistent in every aspect. There is a thread of integrity that runs through your private practice so that what the patient expects, based on your visual branding, is what they receive in their office experience and follow-up.

That’s one reason that branding doesn’t begin and end with the private practice owner. In fact, a huge percentage of the patient experience lies in the hands of your office staff, so it’s vital for each and every team member to understand your brand concept and strive to exemplify it in their day-to-day work with patients.

Looking for guidance about branding for your private practice and other tricky marketing topics? Check out our mentoring program, 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery.

 

Content Marketing for Your Private Practice

Top 3 Myths About Content Marketing for Your Private Practice

Don’t let these myths about content marketing mislead you—here’s what you need to know today about content marketing for your private practice.

Most of what you’ve heard about content marketing for your private practice is, well, inaccurate.

Let’s jump right into it: the top 3 myths about content marketing for private practice.

Myth #1: Content marketing is about promoting your private practice.

Fact: Content marketing isn’t about you; it’s about your patients (both current and prospective). Thus, the content you feature on your website and on social media has to appeal to the specific needs and interests of your patients. Sure, at times, you’ll want to talk about yourself and what makes your private practice unique. But always be sure to bring it back around to a focus on the reader, your potential patient.

Myth #2: Your private practice needs to produce a ton of content in order to look authoritative.

Fact: It’s better to have a small amount of high-quality content, rather than a large quantity of average or subpar content. Authority doesn’t come from quantity, but from quality. You earn your patients’ trust by providing substantial and trustworthy information every time. Start by improving or redoing the content that’s already out there with your private practice name on it. Then make sure every new piece of content lives up to that standard, too.

Myth #3: Content is only effective when it goes “viral.”

Fact: Everyone seems obsessed with viral content these days, but no one seems to know how to “make” something “go viral.” That’s because you can’t actually force a phenomenon like viral sharing to happen just because you want it to happen. In truth, what makes content effective (and what sometimes, but not always, leads people to share it with others) is usefulness and relevance to the people who are reading it.

Ready to learn more about effective marketing for your private practice? We’re looking for committed private practice owners for our Independently Affluent 90 Day Transformation program.

 

Doctor listening to patient

Effective Communication Is The Key To Growing Your Practice

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy private practice and good patient outcomes.

A great website…

Expensive patient brochures…

A direct mail campaign explaining the virtues of good chiropractic, physical therapy and medical care…

These are all good options and they all serve to do the one thing that you need more than anything else to market your practice.

They communicate with both current and future patients.

Communication is vital to building patient trust and removing doubt from the minds of your patients. If your patient information materials are too one-sided or unclear, your prospects may lose faith in your ability to treat them effectively.

But communication is about more than just educating your patients. It’s about listening to them as well.

Here are some things to remember to enhance patient communication and further your efforts to live and practice by design:

What Exactly Is Effective Communication?

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy practice and good patient outcomes. Remember that good communication goes both ways. While we normally think more along the lines of how we express ourselves and our ideas, good communication also involves being a good listener. That’s especially important for private practice owners. Effectively communicating with your patients determines:

  • Whether or not a patient will actually come back to you for treatment after the initial consultation
  • Your ability to properly diagnose the patient’s problem
  • Whether or not you can determine if the patient will actually follow the treatment program

Good communication skills build patient trust. If the patient feels that you’re genuinely listening to them, they feel like you’re really working in their best interests.

Poor Communication Can Destroy The Doctor/Patient Relationship

On the other hand, if you communicate poorly with your patients (i.e., lecture instead of listen, fail to explain the treatment program in a way that your patient can understand, don’t address patient concerns openly, etc.), the doctor/patient relationship may suffer irreparable damage. You don’t get more than one chance to truly build trust with your patients.

Design your client communications with the end result of open dialogue and mutual trust in mind. Approach your patients like you would any partnership, with respect, commitment and make sure you stay on the same page with the end result of treatment foremost in both your minds.

How Do You Create A Strong Dialogue With Patients?

Treat creating effective patient communication as a step by step process. This is another by-product of living and practicing by design. Know what you want to achieve from the very beginning. Think of the process along these lines:

First Impressions

As with any other initial meeting, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Start with a warm greeting and treat the patient like a personal friend. Check your own attitude or mindset before you enter the treatment room and think about how you can best serve the patient.

Initial Consult

Your initial consultation with a patient will set the tone for the entire relationship. Really make an effort to connect with the patient and listen carefully to what they tell you about their current problems. Ask questions in a way that encourages them to give you more information.

Designing Treatment

After you start treating the patient, communicate with them as thoroughly as possible. Pay attention to body language and attitude. The patient may be unhappy but not forthcoming about their complaints. If you really pay attention, you may be able to address their concerns and salvage the treatment program.

Final Consult

At the end of the treatment program, it is vital to communicate with your patient about the success or failure of all portions of the treatment protocol. This is an especially important time to listen to the patient. Don’t just railroad them into agreeing with your perception of how the treatment went. Pause and let them get a word in where they need to. Then learn from this and add appropriate changes to your private health care practice.

Following these communication guidelines will help you build patient trust and build your successful doctors rapport at the same time. Your stiffest competition is doubt on the part of your patients. Learning to effectively communicate with current and prospective patients will help you design effective marketing programs and address concerns before they become problems.

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Private Practice Website Call to Action

Start Taking Back Control of Your Private Practice

As private practice owners, we must continually view ourselves as the CEO both of both our practice, and even our entire lives!

One of the most common areas we see private practice owners get into significant trouble is relinquishing certain aspects of decision-making—and, thus, control over their futures.

Perhaps you find yourself in this position and are uncertain as to what to do.

In the beginning, signs such as unhappiness in the office and poor attitudes among staff manifest. These are common, and then come the ultimate stresses like decline in revenues and expanding overhead.

Left unchecked, this becomes just like a malignancy. The longer a situation like this goes without treatment, the more difficult it may be to eradicate.
So often this is the result of an incompetent or overaggressive office manager. Just like in any organization, management must continually be responsive to the needs in the direction of the private practice owner. Too often, as a result of laziness or lack of focus, staff loses direction, creating a myriad of problems for the private practice owner very quickly

As private practice owners, we must continually view ourselves as the CEO both of both our practice, and even our entire lives!

In on a regular basis, politely but firmly make sure that subordinates, including management staff, understand completely who is the CEO, and that they are responsible for top level decisions.
The first place to begin is to make sure that you have 100% compliant staffing and office policies and systems in place. This is where excellent practice management systems and consulting go such a long way.

One policy that also should be instituted is the requirement that all staff re-read the owners manuals and policies.

Lastly, if you find yourself going through this dilemma more than occasionally, you really need to take a hard look at the entire organization of your private practice—and possibly even your private life!

Remember, just like health problems, business problems are far easier to prevent than they are to treat.

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4 Aspects of Private Practice Marketing

DO and BE Something Different- Be Extraordinary!

As everyone else STRIVES to be the same, DO and BE something different in your private practice!

When was the last time you planned something extraordinary—and actually pulled it off?

For many of us, this is likely to be a vacation, or maybe just a long weekend. Maybe it’s just finishing a great course, or running a 10k or triathlon.

But do you think about extraordinary in your private practice too? If not, why not?

The reality is, in private practice extraordinary hours and days make extraordinary lives. Yes, still filled with ups and downs. But the more extraordinary you CREATE, the better your satisfaction, income and happiness.

So why not start with extraordinary today?

Have you ever had a patient tell you your care was extraordinary? Of course you have! Think back to that time and recreate it over and over again.

How about your best week ever? Same deal here.

And believe me, it’s not the big things. It’s the little daily nuances that mean the most. To this day, patients of well over 20 years tell me it’s a friendly caring staff, or a warm environment and decor.

The reality is, it’s the incredible systems behind the machine or practice that allow you to do this in a systematic, profitable way! Try and do it without great systems and unique services in this day and age, and you’ll be toast very quickly.

As everyone else STRIVES to be the same, DO and BE something different!

But, most of all, practice being the very best you can be, each and every day!

If you find yourself stuck, let us help! There is nothing like CEO training, some great mentoring and marketing skill sets to put your entire future back on target!

Just don’t expect different results from same old action. That, of course, is the hallmark of private practice owners’ insanity!

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Creating Private Practice Policies that work for you: get some help!

Far too often we find the #privatepractice owners are targeted for one reason or another.

Medical exam

 

 

One of the most important things about running any particular business but most especially a private practice in healthcare, in this day and age is compliance.

There’s compliance with federal laws a well as state laws, which vary greatly and change from time to time. Nonetheless we still encounter in private consulting private practices who are walking a fine line either with made up for antiquated policies.

This can really come back to haunt you greatly.

Unfortunately, it also opens you up to all types of liability. Even relatively small practices think sometimes they are immune from lawsuits, government intrusions etc.

Here’s a little wake up call, no one is immune to state laws or federal laws!

As a consultant, every day we get to see the affects these actions have on private practice owners lives. Perhaps you have been even confronted by some of these issues.

This is likely not the topic you want to read first thing on Monday. But I will tell you as the owner of your practice it’s something you need to be aware of and discuss openly and frequently with your visors. Like all good CEOs, you have got to have a team you can call on. This is your future! if you haven’t learned to cover your ASSets this is the time to do so.

Start by taking an inventory of policies and systems that need to be in place. Now of course there are numerous patient care standards and issues but beyond that you often need to look at policies  includes hiring, firing, HIPAA, bio-hazard etc.

Depending upon where you live depends on how many and how strict rules and regulations are. Often times your states website can be a valuable resource of information. But above all, unless you are an attorney, get some professional assistance and help in this regard.

You’ll sleep better and practice much more freely.

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Are You Guilty of Underpricing Your Future in Private Practice?

A key business skill is pricing and collecting for your services appropriately.

Hands with scissors cutting money

If you work inside a public health system this article is not for you.

Here at Perfect Practice Web, our concern is helping those who have decided to stick it out in the private sector delivering healthcare services to their community directly day in and day out.

It is a sad fact that physicians and other healthcare providers often times have been vilinized by the press as overpaid uncaring professionals.

Now of course as with any profession you will find some of this for sure. But the bottom line is that most are dedicated professionals with years of schooling whom have given up massive amounts of their personal lives to help the patients they serve every single day.

But many end up unfulfilled as so many private practice owners lack both the freedom and income to support this professional life style, which is so essential in todays world.

It doesn’t make a difference what letters come after your name.

It’s no secret this is now more challenging than ever before.

Why though?

Despite the fact of massive government and third-party rules, regulations, reimbursement, and schedules, many private practice owners continue to thrive.

But why do so many find it’s so difficult or worse yet, fail in private practice? Nowadays it’s because of the lack of effective marketing and most especially the lack of current or inappropriate business skills. One of these key business skills is pricing and collecting for your services appropriately.

Harsh words? Yes, of course. Make no mistake about it this is your future! AND IT’S THE COURSE YOU CHOSE FOR YOURSELF!

Remind yourself every day that it is a decision to stay in private practice or to try and secure a job in the public sector.

So why not fix what’s currently not working in your practice today?

Provide yourself and your family with the future you so deserve. Make a decision now to get the business help you need to order to move forward in a constructive and profitable way!

That’s why we are here. Let us help. Facebook !

Better Time Management for Private Practice Owners

One of the most challenging and difficult things about running any business let alone a private practice which has such continuous contact with the public, patients, staff, and patient care emergencies is the management of our personal time.

father using laptop as son jumps on sofaBut after consulting with hundreds of private practice owners I can tell you this: Unless you take charge and decide exactly when you see and do not see patients manage staff perform your ancillary duties and the like, practice will be stressful, and unproductive.

The reasons for this in health care of course are legendary.

We live in an age of constant distraction. Never ending potential interference to our days, everything from the telephone, to cell phones, to social media, to sales reps and staff interruptions etc.

In fact in all walks of life businesses, cultures and countries it now takes a much higher dose of self-discipline to maintain your proper schedule.

One of the most essential things to understand is this downtime is actually necessary for your personal growth and development.

We must also fully understand the effects of continuous distraction on our own nervous systems.

The bottom line, is it is not healthy.

So here’s where I’d recommend you begin. Start with a time assessment of your practice day. See what you can do to practice tighter scheduling, and set times for all the potential encounters you may have including things such as attending to phone calls, reports, staff meetings etc.

Unless you approach your business in this way, you will find moving forward to be extremely difficult.

It’s highly unlikely that the amount of distractions we are faced with on a regular basis will decline significantly.

In fact, they’re likely to increase, so unless you put your foot down now and decide when and how you’re going to use your days, and your most productive personal and private practice time.

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What Does The New Year Hold for Private Practice Owners?

What Does The New Year Hold for Private Practice Owners?

Party Design Illustration

The beginning of the year is always the time that many people look forward to. After all, it’s kind of like Spring, where we get “New Chances”.

Chances to compound upon the wisdom of our years, do some things better, do others differently while eliminating both stuff and activities which no longer serve us.

Make no mistake about it the impact of our choices seems to magnify with each passing year. And this is increasingly more apparent in a world which holds little room for error.

So the question I have for you is what will be different in the New Year?

Your health, focus, lifestyle, and private practice business activities?

New experiences which help you grow?

Will you take advantage of all the new opportunities that are now before you?
Will you spend all the time needed to be working on and improving the quality of your life and those around you?

Hopefully the answer to all of these is yes!

My team and I stand ready to help you!

Let’s make this New Year your best yet!

PS for those of you are ready to ACT NOW, our team is available until noon EST on Tuesday to help you make a fresh start!

Just Go To http://Perfcet PracticeWeb.com NOW!

What can I do today to prepare for the future of my Private Healthcare Practice?

Too many private practice owners ignored once timely advice and are now faced with trying to play catch-up.

This is a question I have been answering since 2005. As I’m sure you understand, private practice has become a vastly different animal than public lady looking over papershealth care. No more readily is this apparent that in primary care medical practices. And now, physical therapy and chiropractic practices are faced with the same decisions.

But as naturally smaller and more fragmented organizations, we do not have a lot of the advantages of hospitals or public facilities. We are not supported at all by taxpayer dollars. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

Unfortunately, too many private practice owners ignored once timely advice and are now faced with trying to play catch-up.

Perhaps the most critical thing that too many private practice owners have failed to recognize is that the way patients communicate both with one another and other providers is vastly different than ever before.

This coupled with deep economic uncertainty as well as uncertainty regarding healthcare plans has made staying ahead of the curve much more difficult on private practice owners than ever before.

So here are some key points to be thinking a lot about on this Thursday morning.

Have you instituted all the marketing and positioning changes necessary to ensure your success? You have invested an incredible amount of time money and energy in your career. Are you taking the critical steps now necessary to preserve that future?

If not, I would strongly suggest you start by taking a hard look at your patient’s perception of your practice. The quickest way to do this is simply survey your patients.

Often times the easiest thing to do is to have a contest at the front desk. Take a very simple suggestion box which can be easily managed by your front desk person and decorate it. Let your patients know that those who participate and give their input will be put into a drawing for some type of rewards. Make it simple, make it fun.

But the most important thing of all?

Continue to pay attention and provide your patients not only what they need but what they want and are asking for from you their private practice owner.

Your future in private practice depends upon this.

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What Do You Like Least About Practice…and why you should be doing this first!

I find there is at least one thing clinicians intensely dislike about private practice.

Very often when consulting with clients I find there is at least one thing they intensely dislike about private practice. This usually centers around staffing, marketing but more often than not, confronting patients about compliance, and of course money.

Here’s a secret. It’s been worth millions to me over my career.

That is identify, then write out what you dislike about your practice the most. And then make it your number one priority to deal with that one thing first thing every day!

Lets say you hate disciplining staff the most. Remember though, it’s likely your staffing systems that are at fault here. But that’s another story.

But anyways, Judy who you know is not showing up on time, or putting forth her best effort seems to be walking all over you. And you know it and are still intimidated by her behavior.

It eats at you but you still don’t act.

What’s an easy way to deal with this? Simple calm, polite confrontations at a morning meeting with the rest of the team, as the first thing you do every day! [Of course, you do have a policy and compliance manual that Judy has read and signed, so she knows she’s pushing your buttons.]

And simply approach the rest of your daily business and personal duties in this way too.

The last few times together I’ve talked about writing everything down, and keeping really good lists. Lists that you work off and delegate from.

By now, you should really see the value this has, and how simple it can make your life.

But accomplishment only comes after action.

So just make sure you understand that all the lists in the world are useless, unless you take command and do what you dislike first.

Why not start fresh today, both as a private practice owner and in the rest of your life?

Learn more at http://perfectpracticeweb.com/home and http://neuropathydrprofessionals.com.

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The Most Important Thing Private Practice Owners Can Do During the Holidays

This is one of the keys to making private practice support the realities of the life you wish to create for yourself.

The holidays can either be a tremendously stressful or enjoyable time of year. Your private practice is no exception. 

For many years, our top-performing clients have enjoyed the extra special December marketing programs and promotions that help keep the fun quotient up, and actually drive holiday sales of care.

It is a choice, and it does take a powerful strategy.

This is also the time year where you need to take a very hard look at what has worked well, and focus on improving and doing more for the year to come.

For example, patient types, care plans that patients endorse readily, as well as complementary services including consulting, telemedicine, and expanded self-care your patients may have requested. What do you do more of and what you let go?

The same applies to to staffing, and maybe even some of your office systems.

This year, it is perhaps more important than ever before.

You should use any extra downtime you have the holidays to work on your plan, so that going into the first week in January your plan is already full in place.

Seriously, take a hard look at your office hours, your fee schedules, questionable third-party participation, etc.

Don’t be afraid to set new goals for yourself. This is one of the keys to making private practice support the realities of the life you wish to create for yourself.

Now, this won’t happen by itself.

It doesn’t make a difference if you are new in practice, or have been there for a long time.

Plan now to begin the New Year with excitement, rather than dread.

You can do this—let us help!

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New Hope for Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Nervous systems may be more “plastic” than we ever thought, in the hands of a highly trained and experienced professionals in private practice.

One of the rarer acute types of peripheral neuropathy is Guillain-Barre syndrome, sometimes called Landry’s paralysis or Guillain-Barre-Stohl syndrome.

Guillain-Barre turns up most frequently in people who have recently had an infection, like a lung or gastrointestinal sickness. Unfortunately, it can also be a consequence of some immunizations.

GB has just been in the news again as a direct complication of the Swine Flu vaccine.

Fortunately, the condition affects only about one or two in every 100,000 patients far fewer than the more common neuropathy types. Most affected by Guillain-Barre syndrome are between age 30 and 50.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is diagnosed through nerve-conduction studies and by studying the cerebrospinal fluid. History taking is critical! Early medical intervention like plasmapheresis can save the patient years of suffering. But, you MUST be alert to its possibility!

Most sufferers experience ascending paralysis (loss of strength in the feet and hands that migrates towards their core), along with typical polyneuropathy symptoms such as pain and tingling in their extremities. Typically, the duration of onset is short, and it’s progression rapid. I remember how quickly Louise’s condition progressed- a delay in treatment may have killed her!

Perhaps most serious of all, Guillain-Barre syndrome often comes with autonomic neuropathy. These patients will of course then suffer multiple autonomic related issues that will challenge the most seasoned clinicians!

There is still a lot we don’t know about Guillain-Barre syndrome, such as why it attacks some people after an infection and not others, or what actually sets it in motion to attack the nerves. We don’t have a cure for GB yet, either, but there are now treatments available to help manage symptoms and restore quality of life to those suffering from the after effects of the acute illness.

A Case Study: Two Decades of Guillain-Barre Symptoms – Finally Improved!

Our patient Louise was initially diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome over 20 years ago. The onset was sudden; Louise just woke up one morning and her foot felt funny. By the end of the day she was having trouble walking unassisted. In only a few days, Louise needed two canes just to get around. My staff and I pleaded with her HMO to take her complaints very seriously. Her condition was initially “blown off” as just aging or related to her B-12 deficiency. And it was an aunt of mine, an RN who finally got them to do so! Fortunately, she was admitted for plasmapheresis, but only after astute medical doctors I worked with really took a hard look at her rapid progression.

Now, this was 20+ years ago. For two decades, even despite regular chiropractic care she lived in constant discomfort from the neuropathies common with Guillain-Barre, every day worried her condition would degenerate and her legs would suddenly stop being able to bear her weight (even with support). Even simple activities like crossing her legs or driving were difficult. She was emotionally devastated. Her mobility had continued to deteriorate and she was experiencing frequent pain in her lower back and difficulty turning her neck.

After developing or neuropathy specialty protocols a few years back, we began treating Louise with NeuropathyDR® methods to help restore mobility in the affected areas, and the use of a couple different frequencies of neuro, mechanical and electronic stimulation. It was touch and go, because as we’ve since learned, GB patients are very often hyper sensitive to many forms of neuropathy therapy. We also began an oral and topical supplement program, which was very challenging to get just right! During her treatment though, Louise’s painful post GB neuropathy symptoms subsided drastically and mobility began to re-emerge in her legs and back. Now, all of this was after 20+ years!

After experiencing these improvements, Louise wrote to us that, in light of her newly regained mobility, she found herself afraid to hope that she would get feeling back in her legs after all this time. She has been following-up with us as scheduled, and by the grace of God she is now 95! And still comes in for diversified Chiropractic care!

As you see, there is often hope, no matter how long a person has been living with Guillain-Barre or many other types of neuropathy. Chiropractors especially know how even damaged nervous systems may be incredibly more “plastic” than we ever thought.

But only in the hands of a highly trained and experienced professionals in private practice.

References
Dugdale D, Hoch D. Guillain-Barre syndrome. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. 2010 Jun 15.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome Topic Overview. WebMD. 2011 Apr 28.
NINDS Guillain-Barré Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2011 Aug 19.

Do you Back Down From Selling What Patients Need Most?

Far too many in private practice are operating at nowhere near their financial capacity!

Yes, I did say sell! Like it or not, if you are the owner of any business, you are in sales! Big problems arise when we think otherwise, especially in this entrepreneurial world of private practice. So why does “Sales” become a negative term when talking to private practice owners?

Medical ProfesionalsHonestly, I find it’s usually because of a poor financial or “worth” image set by the practice owner. Don’t underestimate this–it’s huge in some cases. If your staff and practice don’t look and feel the part, you’ll back down on effectively pricing, laying out care plans, and enforcing collections policies.

You do have a.) Financial policies, right? Written, placed in staff manuals and b.) Handed out to each patient, c.) Discussed at each staff meeting?

You have studied wealth creation, financial independence and marketing to the affluent? (All of these critical things we have gone over in great detail at our recent Summit Closed Doors for Members and Client Days.)

You get my drift here. Far too many offices are operating at nowhere near their financial capacity because one or all of the ABC’s are not designed, implemented, then paid attention to on a regular basis.

There is good news though! Identifying the problem areas are half the cure.

And when you spend time fixing these, the sales process becomes so very simple, you’ll be astonished at how much you’ve just forfeited in financial reserves by not paying attention to these details.

It’s critical to your future that you learn to price, sell and collect your correctly priced fees on all your services!

And if you need personal help with any of these let’s work on them together!

In upcoming teleseminars, we’ll be interviewing some exceptional clients as they run through the precise steps that simplify the sales process.

Sales is, after all, the lifeblood of any business. Your private practice is no exception!

John

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