We just returned from working with a practice so tight . . . . yes, they are so tight with their staffing that their staff are forced to hide things from them.   Why?   Because their hours are limited.  Maybe there is a legitimate reason for the lack of trust, but the physician is now paying and the new employees are suffering.

What are the employees to do?    Well one great resource is looking at the MGMA cost reports for their specialty.   Based on volume of work, there are typical benchmark norms.  You know what?   They can then take those numbers to the physicians,  because you will find that the most productive practices are those with the highest staff to physician ratios.  “Well of course” you say, “they run mills”.   Not necessarily.    Many times they use extenders.   Do you think that the large law firms are less efficient than the one man shop down the street?    Which one has more time on research and building their practice?   Do you think that at the large law firms, the attorneys prepare the briefs?   Never, they leverage!

American business has taken “lean” management to an extreme, cutting assistants and secretaries and when medicine does it, it becomes inefficient.

Take that example of secretaries or executive assistants further.   If you have one, you know how efficient that they can make you.   Although you may enjoy lining up your own meetings and you are perfectly capable of doing it using outlook or google or some other scheduling program, is it the best use of your time?  What about calling that referring doctor, are you waiting on hold or is your assistant.   Which is more efficient?

You look at the staff and sometimes they are not nose to the grindstone.  Know what?  That’s ok.   People cannot work at full capacity their whole lives.   So when you think that your staff are not working full bore the whole week and you are going to cut some of the “fat”, make sure you don’t slit your wrists.   Get some help determining the best way to leverage your time,  your life could change dramatically.