If you’re a plastic surgeon looking to take your practice to the next level, chances are you’ve asked yourself ‘why does my practice suck?’. Well, it may not be as bad as it seems. In fact, there could be multiple reasons why your practice isn’t quite hitting the mark – and in this blog post we’ll look at some of these potential issues and explore how you can start making changes today to give your business a much-needed boost. Ready? Here we go.
It is tough owning and running a plastic surgery practice. Like any business, there are standards to meet, customers to attract, and of course revenue that needs to be earned. The twist is that in this business, medical standards and requirements need to be met also. Like I said, this business is tough! So, where do you start? Like most unpleasant situations, questions and honest answers will help you arrive at the right decisions.
What are the major red flags to know that your plastic surgery practice is in trouble?
There are several red flags that may indicate that your plastic surgery practice is in trouble:
Declining patient volume
If you’re seeing fewer patients than usual, or if you’re losing existing patients to competitors, it may be a sign that your practice is in trouble. Try not to use justification as an excuse ie: economic conditions, poor staffing, wrong patient clientele. Patients are having surgery somewhere…just not with you. Often times we have to start with the man/woman in the mirror.
If your revenue is declining, it could be a sign that you’re not charging enough for your services, or that you’re not maximizing your billing and collections processes. Not knowing your numbers is a practice death sentence. Everyone in the practice needs to know your numbers. How much does it cost to acquire a patient? Is the staff selectively calling the leads? Are you relying on marketing channels that are not really working? Do you know how to determine true ROI? You can not measure what you will not manage.
High staff turnover
If you’re experiencing high staff turnover, it could indicate dissatisfaction among your employees, or a lack of clear expectations and accountability. People are the number one reason for success or failure YOU choose, which you will feed. Keeping the wrong people is just as dangerous as letting the good ones leave. When is the last time you had a sales training for your staff? Who leads practice culture in your practice?
Negative online reviews
Negative reviews from patients can hurt your reputation and make it more difficult to attract new patients. If you’re seeing a high number of negative reviews, it may be a sign that you’re not providing the level of service that patients expect. All reviews and not true. All reviews are not lies. Balance is key. Are you responding to every review? Even negative reviews are a learning opportunity for prospective patients if answered properly.
If you’re not following all relevant regulations and laws, it could result in fines or legal action, which could harm your practice’s reputation and financial health. The medical compliance is a legal requirement. Not paying attention and missing compliance deadlines could be costly. In plastic surgery especially in a private cash-pay practice medical compliance can be overlooked until deadlines are missed. Compliance should be a specific assigned task with associated deadlines that are clearly understood. Legal compliance is also important. What you staff says to patients and how they carry out communication could cause legal issues. We have a very sue-happy landscape. While law suits in general are rare in elective plastic surgery they do happen. When they do, it can have a negative impact on the day to day operation of your practice.
Inadequate patient follow-up
If you’re not following up with patients after their procedures, it could lead to dissatisfaction and negative reviews, and could also result in lost revenue. We see this constantly within practices. Without the right oversight and management it is impossible to truly assess what happens in the practice with YOUR money. A spreadsheet is the preferred method in many practices; however, without management reviewing each patient and offering suggestions to close patients more effectively, it is of very little value. Are there consequences for the patient coordinator if patient follow-up is not done in an effective timely manner?
Lack of cash flow
If you’re not generating enough cash flow to cover your expenses, it could be a sign that your practice is in trouble. I know this sounds like a no brainer …but without a concrete accounting plan practices think they are doing better that they really are. Medical practices have the second highest theft level of non-retail businesses. Proceeded by churches (yes human beings can steal when any opportunity presents itself). Everyone does not steal but no one should be given the unmanaged opportunity.
It’s important to be proactive and to seek the help of experts, such as consultants or financial advisors.
How can hiring a consultant help me grow my plastic surgery practice?
Hiring a consultant can help you grow your plastic surgery practice in a number of ways:
Marketing and Branding Expertise
A consultant can help you develop a strong brand image, create effective marketing strategies, and improve your online presence to attract new patients and increase visibility.
Financial Planning and Analysis
A consultant can help you analyze your financials, develop a budget, and create a plan for financial growth. They can also help you optimize your pricing and billing processes to increase revenue. They can find any opportunities for theft and advise on any theft you may have not recognized.
A consultant can help you identify areas for improvement in your practice’s operations, such as streamlining your patient flow and reducing wait times. They can also help you implement new technologies and best practices to increase efficiency. Be prepared for a recommendation that will likely include investing in new technologies. This can be daunting especially when you are already paying the consultant. Technologies change rapidly and being in front of these changes is critical to improving your practice.
A consultant can provide guidance on how to manage your staff more effectively, including hiring, training, and retention strategies. The people are the most important piece of strategically improving your practice. Weak leaders get weak results. A weak leader will not attract (or choose) strong performers. If by some stroke of lunch they are hired, they will not stay. Strong performers do not stay in an environment that does not reward their achievements and is chaotic.
Legal and Compliance
A consultant can help you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and laws, and ensure that your practice is in compliance with all relevant standards.
A consultant can help you understand the patient experience and identify ways to improve it, such as creating a welcoming environment, providing clear and concise information, and building a strong rapport with patients. A consultant can help create, monitor and implement performance standards that will help lead to increased revenue.
Overall, a consultant can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to your practice, and help you to move toward your goals more efficiently and effectively.
What are the major pitfalls to hiring a consultant for a plastic surgery practice?
While hiring a consultant can bring many benefits to a plastic surgery practice, there are also some potential pitfalls to consider:
Hiring a consultant can be expensive, and it may take time to see a return on your investment. It’s important to carefully consider the cost and potential benefits before deciding if a consultant is right for you. You do not need to like your consultant you need to respect them. It is not their job to save your practice. It is up to you to implement the strategies that are recommended.
Lack of Fit
Not all consultants are a good fit for every practice. It’s important to carefully evaluate a consultant’s expertise and experience before hiring them, to ensure they are well-suited to your needs. Also, understand the belief they have in you and your practice and make sure they align.
Resistance to Change
Some staff members or stakeholders in your practice may resist change, even if it is recommended by the consultant. It’s important to manage expectations and communicate the benefits of the consultant’s recommendations to minimize resistance. The consultant must have your backing and endorsement. If you are not willing to do this then, be honest with yourself…you are not ready to change.
Dependence on the Consultants
Relying too heavily on a consultant can lead to a lack of ownership and accountability within your practice. It’s important to balance the consultant’s recommendations with your own expertise and judgment to ensure the success of the project. This is an important step to ensure that you want a change and not someone to blame.
Implementing the recommendations of a consultant can be challenging, especially if it involves significant changes to the way your practice operates. It’s important to have a clear plan in place for how to implement the changes and allocate the necessary resources. No one likes this part. You are not hiring a yes-man/woman. If that is what you want …don’t waste your money.
Conflict of Interests
Some consultants may have conflicts of interest, such as working for a company that sells products or services to your practice. It’s important to be aware of any potential conflicts of interest and to carefully evaluate the consultant’s independence and objectivity. Recommendations of products, devices, people should always be disclosed and ultimately your decision.
It’s important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of hiring a consultant for your plastic surgery practice, and to choose a consultant who is well-suited to your needs and has a proven track record of success.
How can a consultant help clients be more receptive to implementing new concepts and ideas?
It is your responsibility to determine if your consultant is following best practices . A consultant can help clients be more receptive to implementing new concepts and ideas by following these best practices:
Building rapport and trust
The consultant should establish a good relationship with the client, demonstrating their expertise, and building trust through their actions and words. This will make the client feel more comfortable and open to considering new ideas.
Identifying and addressing concerns
The consultant should listen carefully to the client’s concerns and objections, and address them in a thoughtful and constructive manner. This can help the client feel heard and understood and can increase their willingness to consider new ideas.
Demonstrating the benefits
The consultant should clearly communicate the benefits of the new concepts and ideas, and show how they can help the client reach their goals. This can increase the client’s motivation to implement the changes. The consultant should present ideas with benefits and stand strongly by their recommendations. A consultant should make the client aware in writing when the client chooses not to accept your recommendation. It is an ineffective relationship when the consultant provides a recommendation and changes it because the client pushes back. This is hiring an audience not an effective consultant with the guts to make changes to improve your practice.
Providing practical solutions
The consultant should provide practical, actionable solutions that the client can implement easily and effectively. This can help the client see the feasibility of the new concepts and ideas, and increase their confidence in implementing them. The consultant should have a what-ever it takes attitude to WIN.
The consultant should encourage collaboration between the client and their team and help facilitate a culture of open communication and teamwork. This can help build a shared sense of ownership and accountability and increase the client’s willingness to implement new ideas. The consultant should be readily available with boundaries. The scope of work should be in writing and clearly defined.
If your practice sucks the first step is to ask for help. Elite Med Listings offers an in-depth sales and marketing training that is developed for the practice team and each individual staff member. The material includes the critical steps needed that enable the sales and marketing team to increase revenues for the practice by zeroing in on qualified, professionally screened prospective patients.
Ultimately, it is up to you and your practice team to get out of your own way and recognize that asking for help can be game-changing. Elite Med Listings understands the importance of soliciting outside help and offers an exceptional sales and marketing curriculum that has proven results in boosting numbers and revenues for practices across the country. Our program will not only train the practice team together but each staff member as well, ensuring that everyone is educated on the essential tactics needed for successful outcomes. If your practice could benefit from such a transformation, now is the time to take action. Reach out to us at Elite Med Listings to set up a complimentary assessment meeting; we look forward to helping you unlock your practice’s untapped potential and lead you along a path of increased success. Schedule your meeting now!
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