Align your practice around shared goals and challenges

July 30, 2010
Arun C. Jethani

Are you ready to engage your partners in a serious conversation about aligning your practice around shared goals and challenges? If so, here is a series of steps you can take that move the practice in that direction.

Are you ready to engage your partners in a serious conversation about aligning your practice around shared goals and challenges? If so, here is a series of steps you can take that move the practice in that direction.

But first, a caution. In my last blog, I suggested that you and your partners have similar fundamental concerns. If you believe this is not the case, you should revisit this subject before taking any action to move forward. It does not make sense to be in conversation about aligning around goals and challenges if you think that you and your partners hold vastly different concerns. You may want to hold a serious, offsite meeting before you move any further.

If you think you and your partners have similar fundamental concerns, how can you team up together?

Here are three practices that have worked for our groups: 

  • Quarterly meetings: Take time to meet quarterly to discuss the state of your business, opportunities you have, and what risks/threats you are looking to avoid. These meetings should be properly structured with a specific agenda that has some or all of the following topics: 1) partner concerns/achievements, 2) customer/client satisfaction, 3) financials, 4) milestones/outcomes you are looking to achieve. Try to avoid administrative items such as new healthcare plans and vacation schedules.

  • Leadership and administration: Respect that someone needs to be the leader and that administration is important. If you are running a large practice with multiple hospital/imaging center contracts, then you need to make sure there are radiologists on the ground feeding your lead managing partner information. Do not criticize or challenge your managing partner during the course of the day. Write down specific issues and present them to him or her during a designated weekly or monthly session. Remember that your managing partner holds multiple concerns (profitability, administration, client delivery, interpretation, etc.) and that you have elected her/him to make the best decision for the group at that specific moment.

  • Strategic plans: Come up with plans (no more than two a quarter) that will allow you to thrive. Get help where you and your partners may lack specific knowledge on how to make improvements. Get your partners involved. Here are a couple of examples. 
  • Situation: Your hospital client is losing volume due to operational issues. Solution: Invite the hospital administration to join you in putting together a strategic plan to address the issues. Set specific outcomes (improve volumes by 5%, quality metrics by 6%, etc.) and track your progress.

  • Situation: Your monthly collections are down due to an increase in self-pay and patient-due issues. Solution: Work with your billing department to take steps to improve collection of patient-due revenues. Ask other groups or your hospital clients how to improve. See what others are doing.

Mr. Jethani is CEO of Medical Imaging Specialists. He can be reached by e-mail at jethani@medicalimagingspecialists.com.