Here's How to Do It in 3 Easy Steps When Running a Solo Practice
In part one of our blog, we discussed how to gain more precious time in your solo practice by eliminating redundant tasks. But what about activities that you can’t simply ignore?
That’s where delegation steps in. Smart task assignment doesn’t have to be costly. Outsourcing some of your day-to-day duties to a reliable person or services provider will allow you to focus on priorities, enjoy your work, and keep your practice flying high.
Let’s see how you can deal with task delegation:
As you have already indicated tasks that don’t require your direct coordination, think how best to delegate them to an external provider or your assistant, if you have one.
Here are a few duties that can be easily delegated at low cost:
Thorough bookkeeping is critical for any business, but you don’t need to do it all manually. Apart from issuing invoices, sorting out reimbursements, and billing your work, you have to balance personal and practice finances, keep taxes under control, and plan your expenses. Not to mention staying up to date with the frequent changes in legislation.
Hiring an accountant to help you with your financials is one option. Expect to pay $150-250 per month for this service. When you think of how much of your time you’d need to devote to do the same work, this is quite affordable. If you still have some doubts, check accounting software such as Quickbooks, PracticeSuite, or Cloudbooks. You will have to do some accounting on your own with this option, but these applications help you with online invoicing, time-tracking, payments, monthly statements and reports, bills and expense tracking, and financial overview. You will only need to provide entries for expenses and generate a monthly report. Delegating your accounting either to a professional or a software can help you save up to 40 hours of paperwork per month!
You spend countless hours providing care to your patients, yet your workday doesn’t end when your practice closes. Your patients reach out to you at day and night. It’s impossible to be always on duty, yet a missed call can cost you a patient. On the other hand, you also have the right to enjoy time with your family, pursue your interests, and unwind. Voicemail is not an option, as patients expect personalized care and immediate help, which a digitized, recorded voice cannot offer.
The optimal solution to respond to all your patients call in a professional and caring manner it to outsource call handling to a 24/7 medical answering services provider. Look for companies who specialize in the healthcare industry, otherwise, you risk your patient calls being mismanaged by unqualified personnel. Check if the provider is HIPAA compliant. Explore the pricing options to select the most cost-efficient strategy for your practice. By liaising with a trusted telephone answering business, you take care of your communications with patients while allowing yourself some time on your own.
Paperwork, orders, taking stocks,... Those are not the typical tasks of a physician. If you cannot afford to hire an office manager who could help you with these odd jobs, consider a virtual assistant. Remote assistants are less pricey than on-site staff, and you can usually work with them on a freelance basis, as needed. They will take over the tasks related to basic bookkeeping, office supplies, database entries, or managing your emails. You can leave schedule management to them, too.
Track the time you spend on these activities, list the ones that can be performed by another person, and start searching. Some sites that specialize in virtual assistant search are Zirtual, TaskPigeon, and UassistMe. You can also look for freelancers at PeoplePerHour or Guru. Cost-wise, you’d be looking to pay $15-30 them per hour, depending on the scope of duties.
For a solo practitioner like yourself, it is critical to always put your patients first, instead of wasting time on activities that can be easily performed by someone else.
While outsourcing tasks may seem challenging, especially when you’ve just started a career in the healthcare industry, that’s an investment that will pay off in no time. And your patients will notice the difference, too.
Now, there’s only one more step left that will drive your practice towards success. Check out part three of this article to learn what it is, gain more time, and increase your revenue.