Blog Post

How to run a physician practice assessment?

How to run a physician practice assessment? A physician practice medical assessment scenarios performed by an experienced medical practice consultant can help uncover if your practice is doing great or experiencing operational failures. Most medical practices that have been surveyed are performing below their potential. The physicians are earning half their potential income despite working long hours and experiencing high-stress levels. In addition to the primary focus on patient care, they must also keep up with compliance updates, reimbursement requirements, and staff management. Here’s where the Physician Practice Assessment comes into play.

  1. It helps you have a clear idea of your practice’s financial standing.
  2. It reduces the feeling of ‘physician burnout’ and increases productivity.
  3. It increases patient satisfaction and reduces patient wait times.
  4. It helps enhance your net profitability.

A vital step towards the financial success of any business is conducting a competitive analysis. Physician practices around the globe have been using comparative metrics to evaluate individual performance and plan for necessary changes long before ‘big data’ and ‘analytics’ were the buzzwords in the healthcare industry. In the ongoing effort to improve the services, products, or methods that an organization uses to accomplish increased effectiveness and efficiency, physician practices become the prime environments for applying the concept of continuous improvement. The assessment of the current state of the practice is the initial stage of the cycle, while also looking at the market, financials, culture, and operations. Here’s how to run a physician practice assessment:

  1. Market Evaluation: In this step, getting an objective view of your practice in the marketplace in comparison to other similar practices is important. The thing to do first is to define the current service area using your patient origin data, and then graphically map out your service area and practice along with those of your competitors’. Include additional elements such as ZIP codes or the drive time radius to conduct a market assessment of projections by age groups and population statistics. This information can be useful when considering how future changes in demographics might impact the practice.

  2. Practice Workflow Assessment: Your office’s flow is essential to practice success, from the most effective use of one’s time to creating the best patient experience. Efficient workflows are earned; they do not just happen. It is essential to have documented processes for each functional area of the practice. The workflow documentation process sheds light on which areas can be improved by providing staff training or reassigning work. Additionally, insight regarding various office roles is often provided by having key employees in different departments complete a SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat) analysis. Also, feedback regarding tasks that a provider might not see, such as the scheduling process's efficiency, can prove invaluable from those on the frontline.

  3. Comparison with Industry Benchmarks: The process of comparing a practitioner’s performance against external standards is called benchmarking. When trying to understand how one practice’s performance compares with the others - nationally or locally - benchmarking is an important tool. The source to go-to for comparative benchmarks for physician practices such as wages, staffing, revenue, overhead expenses, and patient flow is the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The ratio of staff members and their earned income to providers should be calculated by practice and compared against the appropriate benchmarks.

  4. Examining the financials: A healthy revenue system is a requisite of every medical practice. With any physician medical practice assessment, a proper analysis of the finances is in order. The financial metrics that should be included are the total collections and charges by the provider, net and gross collection percentages, collections and charges per visit, and the number of days the bills sit in accounts receivable. These metrics help establish your profitability and identify and eliminate mistakes in your billing department.

  5. Considering your culture: What creates an enviable workplace and a patient-focused atmosphere is one’s ability to retain top talent and cultivate a family feel. The dynamic nature of the practice culture should not be ignored, despite it sometimes being the most difficult item to measure. Insight into the physician practice perceptions can also be provided by conducting research online and through social media. These are the best medical practice assessment tools.

    1. Practices can begin to improve the operational areas that will most impact the practice by selecting the right metrics and appropriate benchmarking numbers. A full practice assessment can be invaluable in providing a balanced view of the practice's internal and external factors. This is how to run a physician practice.