Saving Money Within Your Practice

We can all agree that saving money is a good thing. Cutting down on expenses, increasing revenue and making your practice more efficient all sound great. However, this is often easier said than done. The typical overhead for a family practice is around 60% of revenues. This means that working to control practice expenses needs to be a main concern.

Chances are, you are spending a lot on your employees. As the largest expense in any family medicine practice, staffing needs and expenses are a good place to start cutting costs. Besides just their salary, there are many more medical practice cost savings to take into consideration.

First Step

This first thing you should do is get baseline measurements for your practice. Get with your accountant to see what your overhead percentage is and generate an expense report. On that report, you should have categories like staff salaries, supplies, and building and occupancy costs. From there, you can see where you need to cut spending and costs and come up with an action plan.

Staffing Needs and Salaries

First, look at you staff as a whole and start thinking about anything that could be done more efficiently. Think outside the box here. Is there a task that takes up too much time? Is there a full-time employee only doing the work of a part-time employee? Are all employees essential?

Next think about their salaries. Compile information about the normal salary rate for the positions in your office. Next, develop some policies that will set salary ceilings and that will control the amount of an annual raise.

Even though these medical practice cost savings decisions can be hard to make as you might have to let go or demote a few people, they are important for your practice in the long run and should pay off.

Health Insurance

With health insurance costs skyrocketing, it’s important to get yours under control. First, review your current health insurance coverage for your employees. Do you offer plans with lower deductibles? Do you offer plans with dental? Have you tried negotiating with your health insurance company or looked for a less expensive one all together? Depending on what you can afford, you will need make some changes. You may have to offer employees a plan with higher deductibles or insurance without dental.

Sick Leave and Overtime Payment

What are your written leave and overtime agreements with your staff? Do you have these policies in place?

The industry standard for sick leave is about 5 days a year and 2 weeks a year for vacation time. If you are offering more than this, re-consider your policy. Also, re-consider offering employees cash payouts for unused sick time. Since this is a contingency benefit, a cash payout is usually not required. If your employees grumble at this idea, you can offer to have their unused sick days carry over to the next year.

Don’t forget to think about your overtime policy as well. Make sure that you have written policy and that employees are held accountable for the amount of overtime used. It’s a good practice to have your staff let you know when they are going to stay beyond their shift so that you can control how much overtime pay they use.
Make sure that all of your policies are written and agreed upon by your employees. That way, there is no room for speculation or misinterpretation.

While it can be difficult to begin medical practice cost savings with your employees, it’s often the best place to start. After the initial tough changes, you should be able to see more profitability that will hopefully make the cuts worth it.

Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. We have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because we understand that every practice is unique, we can provide a custom space for your office

Top Mistakes in Management and Leadership

We all know that mistakes can be great learning experiences. However, wouldn’t it be great to gain the knowledge learned from a mistake without actually making it? With this list of common movement mistakes, managers can learn what not to do so that they can become successful leaders.

Not Giving Feedback

Whether it’s positive or negative, your employees probably would like to know how they’re doing. Giving regular, constructive feedback is one of the keys to being a good manager.

According to a survey of 1,400 executives by The Ken Blanchard Companies, the most common mistake for leaders to make is to not provide feedback to their employees. Learn how to provide regular feedback to your employees, and make sure that it happens more often than just a year-end review.

Not Making Time for Your Employees

Even though being a manager means that your calendar is filled up almost every day, you still need to make sure to spend time with your employees. Learn to actively listen to them, become aware of their needs and make sure to keep an “open door policy” with employees. To make it easier on yourself, you can block off time on your calendar to check in with your team.

Taking a “Hands-Off” Approach

Despite popular belief, one of the more common management mistakes is being too hands-off. Most managers are fearful of becoming a micromanaging leader, so they take a completely hands-off approach. This isn’t the best method for several reasons. For example, one of your employees might be completing a project in the wrong way, but you wouldn’t know until that project is completed because of your hands-off approach.

It’s best to strike a balance between micromanaging and a hands-off approach. Experiment with different methods until you find what works for your situation.

Being Too Friendly

Yes, you need to be friendly and approachable with your staff; but be careful of overdoing it. When your relationship is too friendly with employees, it can get lead to uncomfortable situations. For example, an employee might try to use your friendly relationship to take advantage of a situation. Another employee might get jealous of a relationship you have with their colleague. In other words, things can get messy fast.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need to be completely aloof with your staff. Again, a balance needs to be struck between friendliness and indifference. Make sure to set clear boundaries and stick to them.

Being Hypocritical

When you set rules and guidelines for your employees, make sure that you follow them too. Walking the walk is important because you need to be a role model for your employees. If you don’t allow personal phone calls during work or gossiping, don’t do it yourself. Your team is watching you more than realize. Make sure to be a good role model, and they will respect you more for it.

Not Delegating

Sometimes, managers feel like no one can get the job done better than they can, so they don’t delegate. However, when you don’t give out tasks to your employees, you are creating more stress and, obviously, more work than you need.

Delegating might take more work up front because you will need to train your employees, but the process should become easier with the right feedback.

Motivating Your Employees the Wrong Way

One of the most common management mistakes is wrongful motivation. It’s important to know what exactly motivates your team. Most of the time, its more than just compensation. Some people seek fun events at work, some seek a work/life balance, some might be motivated by telecommuting, etc. Find out what motivates your team most, and reward them for their hard work.

Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. We have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because we understand that every practice is unique, we can provide a custom space for your office. ‬

Becoming a Better Office Manager

Becoming a better office manager should always be on your mind, there is always room for improvement. While you are most likely already doing a great job at managing your medical office, take these office managing tips into consideration to help you become the best manager for your employees.

Move Around the Office

Try not to just manage the office from your desk. Rather utilize one of the most important office managing tips, walk around your clinic or office to interact with your staff face to face. By doing this several times a day, you can observe your employees to make sure that they are functioning properly and that they know you are available to help. Interacting in person with your staff is vital to the success of your office or clinic, and it is the only reliable way you can see how your employees are doing. You can even try doing your work from a work station outside your office, and only reserve your office for meetings.

Communicate

Communicating effectively with your employees, patients and the general public is also very important in becoming a better manager. Answering phone calls, responding to emails in a timely manner and returning voicemails should be common practice. We all know that managers are very busy, but you should not need to be reminded multiple times to respond to a message.

Meet with the Salesmen

Before you move on from this section, hear us out: meeting with representatives and thoroughly reviewing their proposals is important because there may be missed opportunities or new technologies that could greatly improve your office. Many opportunities that are beneficial to patient care and to your office are lost every year because managers say they are too busy. Part of your duties as a medical office manager is to find ways to increase revenue and provide the best patient care possible. Make sure you at least give these representatives a chance to tell you about their service or product, you never know what they can offer your office.

Say No to Gossip

Create and enforce a no-gossip policy in the office. Office gossip is not conducive to a healthy, productive office environment – it can even lead to a toxic work environment and cause employees to leave. Make sure that you are creating a comfortable, welcoming environment for your staff with a no-gossip policy.

Get Your Hands Dirty

A good office manager will know how to do every position in the office (to a certain extent). If you are short staffed or overloaded with patients for the day, you should be able to help your staff complete their tasks. If you don’t know how to do certain duties, just ask an employee to show you how to do it.

Remember Marketing

Don’t forget to help market your medical office. There are a few ways for you to effectively market your practice; the best way is to network with other medical office managers. There are multiple groups and organizations for networking among your colleagues, and often times these groups will offer educational resources too. networking is important because it allows you to discuss with other managers what works for their office and allows you t market your physicians and staff. Good networking can lead to great opportunities.

Set a Good Example

Hold yourself to same standards you hold your employees. If you require everyone to be in the office by 9am, make sure you are there on time too. If you require everyone to do a certain task, you should do it as well. Your staff will respect you more if they can see that you work just as hard and as long as they do.

Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. We have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because we understand that every practice is unique, we can provide a custom space for your office.

Creative Summer Office Party Ideas

The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the great outdoors beckon your employees while they are working in the office. To boost morale and help your employees enjoy the summer while at work, think about throwing a fun office party. It can be a great way to help employees enjoy the summer while still working, and you might even see an increase in productivity. Bring the sun with some of these Summer office party ideas and games.

Scavenger Hunt

Split employees into teams for a fun scavenger hunt around the office. To encourage bonding among employees, make sure to pick the teams and put people from different departments on the same team. You can hide items for employees to find and include riddles as to the location. When they find the item, they can snap a picture on their phone. The first one to take a picture of all the items wins!

Bring Your Child to Work Day

Chances are, your employees’ children are out of school for the summer. Consider hosting a “bring your child to work day” to help parents spend more time with their kids and to liven up the office environment. You can have games, fun presentations, scavenger hunts and tours of the office for the children to enjoy.

This is a great event to help children understand what their parents do at work, and can even get them thinking about their future careers (depending on how old they are). It also promotes work-life balance, and is a great way to show your employees your dedication.

Ice Cream Social

Hosting an ice cream social for employees is a great way to bring the summer feel to your office. You can invite all employees to meet in the kitchen area to make their own sundaes. Make sure to provide a few different flavors of ice cream, and all the toppings: chocolate and caramel syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, nuts, candy, cherries, etc. Remember to ask employees about any allergies and accommodate them accordingly.

Potluck Lunch

Potlucks are a great way for employees to show off their cooking skills – and eating skills. You can ask employees to bring in food for the potluck a few weeks before, and put out a signup sheet so that people can see who is bringing what. To liven up the potluck, consider making it themed or even hold a contest for the best tasting dish.

Game Day

Hosting a game day is a great team-building event that can help boost morale. Depending on how many employees you have, their interests and how much space you have at the office, there is a variety of games to play. You can use your office’s parking lot or an open space nearby for sports, like soccer, kickball, volleyball, etc. To see what your employees are most interested in playing, send out a survey a few weeks prior to the event.

If the activity is outdoors on a hot day, make sure to provide employees with water and sports drinks. You can even offer snack or host a barbeque after the games are finished.

Theme Parties

Make your employees feel like they are on a mini-vacation with a summer-themed party. There are lots of summer themes for a party:
• Clam bake
• Luau
• Barbeque
• Fiesta
• Beach
• Fourth of July

Once you have picked your theme, find food, drinks and decorations that align with it. You employees will love bonding over great food and drinks while having fun with the theme. As you can see, Summer office party ideas are a great way to bring any team together for the warmer months.

Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. We have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because we understand that every practice is unique, we can provide a custom space for your office. ‬