If Itís Good Enough for Bill Gates, Itís Good Enough for You!
I recently watched Bill Gates being interviewed on the Sunday morning news. I find him fascinating, but even more so this time because he spoke about “Measurable Progress” and how surprised he was that organizations and companies don’t apply this approach, which he discussed in his 2013 letter to the Gates Foundation. Why would I care about this? Because it is what McKenzie Management teaches our clients, as you know if you are or have been a client. He states in his annual letter that “setting clear goals and finding measures that will mark progress toward them can improve the human condition.” Let’s take his annual letter and apply it to you.
In this analogy, the “human condition” is your practice. How many of you have a goal? If you have a goal, do you have a form of measurement to see if you are achieving your goal? Do you share your goal with your team? I have worked with many dentists who report to me that they have an “idea in their head” of how much they need to produce for the year - but what good does it do if no one else in the office knows what the goal is? And how do you plan to achieve your goal? Simply picking a number and hoping it happens would not be a Bill Gates approach. He indicates that all those involved need to know what the goal is as well.
In a dental office, there can be a variety of goals - increase profit, reduce stress, grow the practice in order to bring in an associate, sell the practice, and so on. All of these goals must have a measureable plan to succeed. Let’s start with a goal that is relatively easy to set and measure - Decreasing your Accounts Receivable.†
Step 1 - You must understand what would be considered a success if the goal is achieved. In this case, a healthy Accounts Receivable would be 1x the practice’s net production. For example: if your net production last month was $75,000, then your AR (not including the credit balances) should be $75,000 or less.
Step 2 - Now that the goal is set, there must be protocols implemented that will allow the business assistant assigned to this goal to succeed. These are the tools that are placed in the toolbox, along with the training that is needed to use the tools. An example of a tool would be a “script” to use when calling a patient with an outstanding balance that is more than 45 days past due. Another example of a tool would be a well-written letter that is mailed to the past due account holder offering various payment options such as CareCredit.
Step 3 - Measuring the goal. After a month, how will you know if progress is being made towards the goal? The business assistant should generate the Accounts Receivable Report and reflect on whether the accounts over 45 days have decreased.
Step 4 - Sharing the success with the entire team (especially you) encourages your business assistant to keep up the good work and motivates him/her to continue their efforts in order to achieve the goals.
McKenzie Management’s offices set goals and monitor a minimum of 34 business measurements every month. Everyone in the practice knows what the measurements are and how they were established. At the monthly meeting, each person responsible for the measurements will report their results to the team so everyone can share in the success.
Measuring for success can make a difference. Can you imagine taking a road trip and not having any idea where you are going, where you will stay and when you are going to get there? Owning a dental practice without measured goals, training and systems to reach the goals would be just like that.
Would you like to change your practice results from last year? Start with establishing management and measureable goals for tasks such as outstanding insurance claims, unscheduled time units, daily production per provider, number of new patients, etc. and begin to measure them monthly. Better yet - call us at (877) 777-6151and talk with one of our Practice Solutions experts on how we can help you be a Bill Gates and “measure for success.”
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