Huddle Up for Operations Success

By Paul Martin, PT, MPT, CBI, M&AMI

As we continue to be challenged by declining reimbursements, physician-owned practices, corporate competition, and the Affordable Care Act, we need to have our staff focused on driving operational results—the key business metrics to ensure your practice is at the highest level of operational excellence. We suggest two strategies to make this happen:

  1. Create operations budgets and targets for your staff. Consider the key metrics that will drive the financial success of the business, such as visits per new patient, charges per visit, units per visit, and visits per professional per hour.
  2. Do a weekly huddle! A huddle is different from a meeting. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos offense do not sit down and take notes in a huddle. So your operations huddles should be done standing up around the leader. Demand participation, and let everyone know how important it is to meet and exceed operations targets.

This week set your operations targets and call for your staff to….huddle up!

Knowledge Amplification

By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

We have all thrown a pebble into a calm lake—the transfer of energy creating ripples that move outward from center until all visible reaches of the lake have been touched. It is a beautiful thing. In a similar way, the transfer of education and knowledge throughout the workplace also often starts from a single source, and done correctly can also touch all corners. While it does not have to be difficult, it does have to be intentional. Educating yourself or your staff is an investment. There is virtually no circumstance in which it does not cost time, money, or both. As such, the return on your investment is going to be greatest if there are many ripples, and they extend far throughout your practice.

Make an Action List

By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

If you are like virtually every other business owner in America, I know one thing about you: You try to do too much. Yep, I said it. You are an overachiever. You work too hard, you don’t like to say “no,” and you try to do everything at once.

One other thing I know about you is that sometimes you fail. Pushing yourself to your limits means that things fall off the plate from time to time, and sometimes you might not even know it happened.

While I know no cure for the overachiever, one simple trick that has helped many Type-A personalities is an action list. We have all heard it before, and there is a reason—it works.

Making an action list looks like this:

  • Commit to using an action list every day. This can include revising an existing list, or creating a new one from scratch. Write down an actionable item, which can be completed in its entirety that day. An example of an actionable item may be: “Return call from Mrs. Smith” or “Complete documentation for all daily patients.” If the action item pertains to a large project that will not be completed that day, write down only the portion that you will complete before nightfall.
  • Prioritize your list so that the most important and/or most achievable items are completed first. There is some psychology to this act: It is important that we see ourselves making progress throughout the day on our action items. Focusing on bigger, intimidating items, such as writing a new contract, before smaller more achievable items, such as returning a phone call, may be an inspiration killer that can demotivate even the most passionate go-getter.
  • Cross off items as you go. I am a techie and as much as I love my gadgets and apps, I make paper lists for one important reason: Nothing feels better than drawing a line through something I have accomplished. If you prefer to do this electronically, more power to you. However, whatever the method, make sure it brings you immediate pleasure that you want to replicate again and again.
  • Carry your list over from day to day. If you do not get something accomplished on your daily to-do list, do not despair. Also, do not forget it. Carry it over to the next day so that you have a means for not letting any important items fall from your radar.
  • By taking a few minutes each day to create an actionable workflow around your important to-do items, you’ll find that this small investment reaps big rewards toward your new end-of-day mantra, “Hey, I actually got something accomplished today.”

    Try it and let me know how it goes!

The FOE Meeting

By Paul Martin, PT, MPT, CBI, M&AMI

Strategic Planning is vital to the success of any rehabilitation company. However, in our experience the biggest challenge is not “creating” the plan, it is “staying” with the plan. I would like to share a strategy that will help keep you on track in the execution of your plan.

Dennis Bush, our senior vice president of consulting services, has developed a discipline with many of our clients called a Finance/Operations and Executive (FOE) meeting, in which senior leaders of the company such as the chief executive, chief financial, and chief operating officers participate. These meetings are held quarterly and should be scheduled when all of the previous quarter financial and operations data is ready to review (middle to end of April, July, October, and January). The agenda should include a review of financial and operations data, staff performance, clinical performance, service performance, and any upcoming projects and deadlines. A review of the progress against the strategic plan should be performed at this meeting as well.

The Huddle

By Bill Pfister Jr, PT, MPT, CLT

Creating a positive clinic culture fosters personal and professional growth. A growing practice can have many challenges that can distract and cause a team to lose focus. One strategy I have implemented in my clinic to prevent this from happening is the “Huddle.” Every week, my clinic has two, 10-minute huddles. The huddle is a time of reflection and focuses on personal and professional growth. A leader presents the team with a specific topic during the huddle, which usually reflects our company values: integrity, communication, quality care, exceptional service are just a few. The leader chooses another team member to lead the next huddle. The huddle encourages engagement of the whole team. This action has proven to be an excellent way to engage in positive clinic culture as a team and is a great way to fulfill your team members, build strong relationships, and create leadership opportunities for your staff. This 10 to 20 minutes a week will prove to be invaluable to your team’s cohesion, while helping them focus on company values and goal execution.

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