Methods To Advance Your Practice

Methods To Advance Your Practice


By: Ivan Delman, DC

As the doctor who owns the clinic, you are the big dog on the porch. You are top management! The buck is supposed to come to a screeching halt at your desk. You're the person who must come up with creative,
inspirational, and feasible solutions to practice problems.

It is natural, after several years in practice, to get "comfortable." This is dangerous, because it can stall then retrogress the growth of your practice. When your practice growth starts to slow down, a decision must be made. As the owner/manager, you have to make a conscious effort to raise the level of your practice. So, how do you do that? There are several routines you can institute to get you there. Constantly question and re-evaluate your practice in all its aspects.

Be aware of what's going on in your office. This doesn't have to be a formal affair. Just keep a small portion of your awareness consistently focused on clinic operations during your normal day (If there is such a
thing as a normal day). As you move around the office, if something gets your attention, don't
ignore it. Your subconscious is ringing your alarm bell; listen to it and investigate.

My staff was aware I knew what was going on in the office which kept them alert and involved. The more involved they were in office operations, the better their performance.

Periodically step into your staff's shoes. You may be surprised how well they are doing despite all their interruptions, including you.

Do this also with your patients and any one else with whom you deal in your office. Experience what it is like to be in an exam room for 15 minutes in a flimsy gown, listening to the staff laughing and having a grand time outside the door while you tap your bare foot wondering when you'll be seen by the doctor and wondering what might be wrong with you. This knowledge will greatly enhance your sensitivity to the needs of both staff and patients.

Encourage your staff to take notes. Look at both sides of your operating coin. Have them note both good and not-so-good patient relations. They should bring these notes to the weekly meetings so you can work at
repeating the good things and correcting the not-so-good.

Always know the current operating status of your practice. Plan is NOT a nasty four letter word! How can you operate your clinic without a plan? How can you plan if you have no data? As a successful doctor, you already systematically gather the operating statistics of your practice such as services, collections, new patients and patient visits. I strongly recommend this be done on a weekly basis. Instead of looking at a series of numbers, you will get a better picture of your progress (Or lack) by turning that jumble of numbers into simple pictures. I charted our data in line graph form because it is easier to see trends on a line.
(See Chapter 15, below.)

Your data should be graphed to show the trends for a week, month, quarter, and the year. We followed these procedures during the 18+ years we were in practice. By studying our clinic trends, we were able to predict and correct problems before they knocked on our clinic door.
Ask yourself. How can I manage "it" unless "it" can be measured? Surprises are acceptable for a birthday, not a business!

I wish you total success in your chiropractic service,
Ivan Delman, DC

If you have any questions, please contact Ivan Delman, DC at

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