Healthcare practices are under pressure to cut costs, improve delivery, focus on patient satisfaction, comply with regulations, use EHR’s expertly and make money. Not to mention treat patients on a daily basis in a way that improves their quality of life. The office staff must be friendly and helpful, the nurses prompt and efficient, the physicians all-knowing and take time to listen to patients.
Our expectations of healthcare practices are really quite amazing. They must deal with emergencies and routine visits, know all the current medications and treatment options and be experts on a computer. Keeping up with technology, compliance, clinical advances and federal and state laws becomes part of a practice daily routine. The complexity of billing and carrier rules is a daily challenge to minimally paid front end receptionists.
The successful practices take all this in stride as they continuously look for opportunities to improve the patients experience at their practice. Organizational effectiveness, service excellence and high performance become the driving forces behind successful practices. It’s not finding a secret to success that boosts practices from good to great…….it’s the consistent review and refocus of practices in a seemingly relentless and unending pursuit of excellence that’s the real secret.
There are no magic keys to success; indeed, as the targets keep changing, so do the “keys”. It’s not so much about what practices do as it is about how consistently they look to improve that really counts….that brings real excellence to a practice.
The critical issue in any healthcare practice is how to sustain continual improvement efforts. How to continually motivate staff to look for opportunities to positively change work flow, become effective and efficient, and provide excellent care to patients is the function of leadership. Driving cost cutting in innovative and new ways is a function of management. Expecting excellence has to be the focus and refocus of every practice…..every day.
Continual improvement is a cultural paradigm. It requires creativity, commitment, and a passion for excellence.