How do you know how well you are doing? I learned of some local businesses leaders that were touring a factory to help them with lean manufacturing ideas. They looked over the processes of the subject company and made recommendations to improve their processes as well as taking home a few ideas of their own.

How many medical practices complete this type of site comparison? Why not send out your office manager to a medical practice of another specialty? This works especially well in the case of referring and receiving partner practices. When practices are able to ask questions about process and patient flow, understanding improves and processes can be improved.

Another key benchmark is the annual benchmark reporting performed by MGMA. Each year, they compare measures like physician productivity, cost structure and starting salaries for physician practices. As part of your professional community, why not have your office manager submit your data to MGMA and see how your practice’s cost structure compares and your income. Are you working harder? Sure seems like it, but maybe not. Check with your colleagues to see if they submit. The more that submit, the better the analysis.

It doesn’t end there though, once you find out how you are doing, you need to adjust your practice to maximize your income without sacrificing quality. Find out which practices are doing well and what you can learn from them. Often this is what a consultant brings to your practice. They know what others are doing well and how you might benefit. They can shorten the learning curve so that you can receive benefits from their knowledge today.