A great way to boost your practice and make it the best in your town is by conducting internal audits or, as I like to call them, systems checks.
What Are Systems Checks?
Systems checks are simply (scheduled) reviews of your procedures and how well they are working for you — or, more importantly, how well you are working them.
Running a high volume, stress-free, income-producing chiropractic office (business) doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of preparation and training but if you take these small steps now and begin implementing a system of checks and balances (and practice them diligently), you will be well on your way to becoming one of the offices that everyone talks about.
What are Procedures?
Procedures are how you do things. They are the step-by-step instructions you use to run your practice and every area in it. Everything in life is a procedure, from starting your car to making a pot of coffee. Sound too simple? Just try missing the step where you put the coffee into the filter and I guarantee that the cup of hot water you just made will not make you as happy as the cup of coffee you wanted.
Your practice is no different. It needs written procedures, and they need to be followed.
Think of your practice as if it were a Broadway show in which you are the lead character and your staff is the supporting cast. Each morning when you step into your office, the curtain goes up and the show must go on. To give the best performance possible, every step and every action in your practice needs to be scripted, choreographed and rehearsed. That is where systems checks come into play as they will determine if you are going to be on Broadway, off Broadway or way off Broadway.
So how do you make it to Broadway?
Practice, practice and practice some more. If you want to give your patients the Broadway experience, you and every member of your staff need to practice, drill and rehearse until you have it down cold. There is no other way!
If you do not have procedures in play yet, don’t worry, you can create them as you go. Here’s how:
· Begin at the front door - As soon as you walk into your office tomorrow morning, scan the front room for general cleanliness and clutter. Clutter is a sign that you or a staff member is unorganized, and patients will spot that immediately. The front desk area should be warm, inviting and free of clutter.
· Enlist the help of your team as you look around to (prefer and)get them involved. Everyone wants to be on a winning team, so use this time to build team spirit. (Try is a failue word – I prefer do to try)Try to avoid placing blame or pointing fingers when doing systems checks. You build your office by building your team spirit.
· Ask your team what improvements (can)
could be made, and then make them. Check your brochure racks and posters. Are the filled and straightened? Do they portray the message you want to be identified with? Systems checks are about making little corrections in order to get big results.
· Now simply move from room to room and repeating the same procedure.
· Then move on to the next act. Let’s use new patient intake as an example. This will require some role-playing, so grab your team and let’s get started. Put everyone in their positions while you act as the new patient. Walk in your front door and take notice of how you were greeted – did you feel welcome? If not, correct it right there, and don’t move on until you are happy. Systems checks are about catching and correcting, so catch it, correct it and perfect it. For maximum effect, systems checks must be done in real time and with the same enthusiasm you would use on a real new patient.
· Next, move though every area and procedure in your office until you are ready to give the ultimate Broadway experience to your patients.
Here are some other areas you will want to create systems checks for:
· Telephone, marketing and billing procedures
· New patient exam process
· Re-evaluations and re-examinations
· Patient education and TIC talk
· Asking for referrals
· Patient recalls and reactivations
· Gifting patients (WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?)(Those who know, would know. This could be a whole article, so keep it or toss it – no problem)
· Personal and office integrity
Systems checks are not simply straightening up the office; they are a consistent way of keeping you and your staff on your toes and on top of your game. Do them weekly and watch your practice grow.