A Clinician's Guide to Private Practice Wastage

Uncategorized Oct 09, 2018
Often times, we are able to see some of the practice wastage as it's glaringly obvious. However, in all the years we've worked in private practice, we know there are more subtle, costly aspects of wastage.
 
Practice wastage is any aspect of the business that isn't running "lean" or as effectively as it can be. Blatant ways to identify practice wastage is reviewing your profit and loss and identifying that your expenses are too high.
 
Wastage can include:
1. Time 2. Resources 3. Inefficiencies 4. Mismanagement
While you may feel these areas are under control, we want to get you thinking outside of the box. How can the term "wastage" be applied to private practice?
We find practice wastage in a variety of places. Instead of looking at the business as a whole, we're going to focus on any wastage specific to private practice.
 
Too many referrals to clinicians
Not possible you're saying. I respectfully disagree.
 
Let's use this example:
Practitioner 1:
Available 5 hours a week.
18 clients on their caseload (active clients)
works with clients fortnightly
56% of their clients reschedule booked appointments
1 new referral a week
 
Rescheduled appointments:
If we use Practitioner 1 as an example, 56% of their client's need to have your administration work with that client more than a client who doesn't reschedule. Yes, you may be able to book another client into a rescheduled session and yes you may be able to still have a billable hour, but it costs you more on average to manage that client.
 
Fifty - six per cent of their clients reschedule their appointments. That's ten clients per week rescheduling. If the Admin uses 3.4 minutes to find a new booking for said clients, that's 34 minutes per week. Multiplied by the number of clinicians in the practice. It gets costly.
 
Non-Attended First Appointments:
Most practices will track the number of new bookings they have into their practice. However, are you tracking how many of those new bookings are attending their first appointment?
 
Depending on the practice's training with their reception team, client attendance for new bookings can be as low as 50%!
Wastage is found in Google AdWords spend, reception time to rebook/cancel appointments. Room utilisation if the practitioner isn't billing that hour. Practitioner's job satisfaction because they aren't billing a session.
 
Cancellation Policies:
If you have this policy and aren't collecting a fee or if you're losing clients because of it get rid of it!
It's taking space on your client registration form. It's taking up time every time the client cancels or reschedules. It's taking up time when they make their first booking. It's causing the client to stop treatment.
This very policy can be the most detrimental part of private practice. Up-skilling the whole practice on ways to address this policy is the most effective way to minimise this wastage.
 
Your first step is to understand the baseline of the wastage. While our list is by no means extensive, you will find that with a few changes within your practice, you can help address some of this wastage.
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