Medical Practice Spotlight: Dr. Shields

How One Practice Creates Happy Patients, an Engaged Staff, Has Fun…
…And Makes More Money

Think patient scheduling is a mundane task? Not for the staff at the office of Dr. Shields. They simply think of it as a game. A game with real $$$ attached to it.

“We have several goals for our office,” says office manager Becky Rose, “so we created a game that would help us achieve all of them.”

  1. Make sure patients get the right care.
  2. Grow the practice.
  3. Create happy, engaged employees.
  4. Have fun.

The idea is simple and easy to execute, which is one of the reasons it is so successful. Here’s how it works.

The office staff is well informed of the number of patients they need to see in order to pay the bills and make payroll. They also understand the patient-per-encounter earned for each visit. This creates a monthly goal target for the number of patients the practice needs to see each month to be profitable.

“We looked at this number and compared it to our other goals of patient care and employee engagement. By simply making sure that we keep the schedule full, we could see that it would be easy to achieve all our goals,” said Becky. “Dr. Shield’s likes to keep a full schedule so we started paying more attention to this. If a patient needed to cancel an appointment, we were more proactive about rescheduling their appointment and finding a replacement rather than let that time slot get wasted with idle time.”

Dr. Shields established a target goal for the number of patients that would be seen each month, and a bonus for every employee if the goal was reached. This created a great incentive for the staff to achieve the goal. Everyone reviews the numbers during monthly staff meetings and the bonuses are paid quarterly.  “Not only does everyone enjoy the quarterly bonus, it’s a lot of fun for our staff because everyone is more engaged in the practice. We’re all so busy and the time just flies by!” said Becky.

“Our patients are happier too because they know we are conscientious about scheduling their follow-up rather than waiting for them to reschedule. Too often appointments fall between the cracks and they forget.  We have an obligation to make sure patients get the right care and this helps us track that.”

The name of game is patient care; and in this game everyone is a winner.

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