Be the Captain
When we are busy with patient examinations, treatment protocols, documentation and issues that always come up during a busy day, it is easy to want to delegate certain functions to your staff. With the proper training and continued oversight, this is as important to your practice as patients! There is no way that you can continue to grow unless you have systems in place to handle the administrative infrastructure. A common mistake, however, is that we often depend on staff to take ownership and put as much effort and energy as we did when the practice was a one person show.
The reality is the staff member will look at you in a daze when you tell him/her there will be an additional task added to his/her list of responsibilities. You will assure him/her that he/she will be trained and it will not take too much time. He/she can do it! Inevitably, you schedule time to meet and train him/her. The day of the training you run behind with patients visits, so you start 15 minutes late. Then the reminder for the meeting you forgot about pops up on your phone. You sit with the staff member for 2 minutes and say, “Read through all of this and if you have trouble, let me know and we can talk.” He/she does not take ownership (And why should he/she?) and nothing gets done. The best case scenario is that he/she understands it, does an awesome job for 6 months and just when you are relying on him/her…he/she takes a new job!
Okay, you get the point. This is the same with the MD Referral Program. There are certain portions of this program that can and should be delegated to your staff. There are certain jobs and duties that you, as the doctor, must do on your own; they are your responsibility. Always keep in mind, the entire program needs to be directed and monitored by YOU. You are the captain. It is your ship and you are ultimately responsible for its success or failure. It takes a while to build solid relationships in your community and the key is showing your expertise in a consistent manner. Say you have a marketing person and they split on you. If you don’t know what they did last week, the entire program comes to a halt and the MDs forget about you. All that previous time and effort is wasted and you have to start over again.
Here is the short and best answer. You need to do the following to keep your finger on the pulse of the program and make sure that it works for you:
As soon as you are registered with the program, call me to review the contents and your reporting style.
1. Have your staff email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to access the Administrative and Marketing Portals [free to Elite Members, there is an up-charge for this service for MdR Members] and how to get started. Those portals contain new updated information on a regular basis. They will be notified when new content is posted.
2. Personally read ALL the consultations and listen to ALL the audios.
3. Designate a marketing person. It can be a staff member or you, the doctor. It is not hard to do this as the doctor. You just need to start small and be organized. You also need to establish an Administrative hierarchy, there has to be a front desk leader in your practice.
That is it…It is imperative that you have a system to monitor progress and to hold people accountable. Without it you are missing a rudder and will be starting over every few weeks. The MDs in your community want to work with a professional, so if you need to, start with a small group and be consistent.