WHAT MAKES FOR SUCCESS IN AN ANESTHESIA PRACTICE?
In our competitive society we all want to know how we are doing. Few of us are so confident in our endeavors as to not want some kind of feedback or approbation, especially those of us in the service business. The challenge is knowing what sources to trust. Too often, ulterior motives or our own naivetÃ© cloud reality, making it hard to distinguish the important from the trivial. How often do we only hear what we want to hear? At least in our business we have some objective measures of success. So long as we keep growing and our clients maintain their franchises we are happy. The question is, what makes for success in an anesthesia practice? The persistent dissonance and drone of life in the operating room tends to dull one's senses to everything but the matter at hand. When the case goes well all is right with the world, or so it seems. How often, though, is the rising tide a harbinger of a major storm? Perhaps more often than most of us would care to admit.
Our clients used to obsess about their collections. A good month was defined simply in terms of a high deposit. Heaven forbid we came in below expectations, though. Little did I know that those were the good old days! Now, we are all so focused on the underlying factors that generate those collections that the actual numbers on the reports are almost anticlimactic. The world of anesthesia practice management has definitely evolved from its cash-based accounting roots to an accrual-based model of cost accounting. Sometimes I feel like a stockbroker: even a hint of bad news can send clients in paroxysms of anxiety. Disaster seems ever-present. As an organization we spend more time than ever helping our clients formulate strategies that will turn adversity into opportunity.
The entire vocabulary of practice management has changed in the past few years. Discussions of gross and net collections rates have given way to talk of manpower and staffing models. We hear much more about productivity and benchmarking than we do about Accounts Receivable management performance. But if there is one topic which defines the new era by virtue of its novelty and lack of understanding; it is customer service. As each topic unfolds across the country it is ever more clear that we must all be constantly updating our toolset if we want to succeed and thrive in the years ahead. As always, we hope you find our authors' treatment of these new frontier topics timely and informative. We go to great lengths to tap into those industry observers who we believe have their fingers on the pulse of the market. May you find ways to put these invaluable ideas to effective use in your practice!
President & CEO