Why Doctors Should Not Pay For Advertising!

Advertising

I don’t think that doctors should ثنائي خيارات التداول نظام التحميل striker9 pay for advertising.

I have got no problem with doctors advertising.

It is just paying for advertising that I think is unnecessary and wasteful for most of us.

I actually think that advertising is to be encouraged, although it seems to have a bit of a bad name.

تداول الخيارات الثنائية في كينيا My version of advertising is different to what most people might consider advertising to be.

I see advertising as letting people know that http://investingtips360.com/?klaystrofobiya=%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA&c17=05 اسهم الطاقة في الامارات we exist and what we are able to do to help them.

Advertising is not coercing people to buy things that they don’t need or pushing a buy one, get one free offer.

When the NHS gives out leaflets about prostate cancer or runs a television commercial about heart disease, this is advertising.

So I think that كيفية تكسب المال على شبكة الإنترنت advertising is good and we should all raise awareness by providing information to patients to allow them to make an informed decision.

…but I don’t think that we should be سعر قوالب الذهب paying for advertising.

Not because of any moral or ethical standpoint, but because it is a الاسهم الجديده في السوق السعودي waste of money.

I don’t think that advertising in general is a waste of money, in fact it is a very powerful and effective way to communicate.

It is just that if you’re a doctor in private practice and you want to enter site communicate your message, there are much more effective ways to do this rather than paying for advertising.

Most doctors think that the problem with their private practice is that not enough people know about them and so paying for advertising will remedy this.

When the problem is usually that they are not looking after the people who already know about them .

When I look at doctor’s private practices I am shocked at the الخيارات الثنائية XO lack of processes around dealing effectively with enquiries.

This is the most basic area to focus on and in fact is just the tip of the iceberg.

We all have a go to link database of patients:

  • who have enquired but not come to the clinic,
  • who have come to the clinic but not gone on to have a procedure
  • and who have had a procedure but not had a repeat procedure or left a review.

Not to mention our database of GPs and other doctors.

http://www.dramauk.co.uk/?arapyza=%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%AA%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%87&6b3=1d There is gold in the database and we just need to nurture it to find it.

There is no point in paying to put more patients into the database if you are not looking after those that are already there.

It is easy to put an advert in a magazine or pay for SEO or online advertising – and there are certainly enough companies out there who will convince you that this is what you need to do.

….but don’t be surprised when you realise that the £1000’s you put in, comes back as only a handful of enquiries worth only a fraction of what you put in.

http://gl5.org/?prikolno=%D9%83%D8%B3%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B3&5f9=c2 And then you think that advertising doesn’t work.

It is not that advertising doesn’t work, it is just that you are not maximising your opportunities.

I have mystery shopped many doctors practices and it is very common for اسهم مطروحة للبيع لشركات المساهمة العامة ا٠emails not to be responded to or the phone not to be answered.

So don’t be surprised that if you put an advert in, you don’t get a return on your investment if you are get link not answering the phone when someone calls!

You’re much better off making sure the phones are answered and the enquiries are followed up on before trying to get more enquiries.

Not only does this make good financial sense, but it also leads to you building a better practice which is giving a better service to your patients.

الخيارات الثنائية احتيال فرانكو Money spent on improving the infrastructure and systems in your practice is much better than money spent on advertising.

So start by looking at how you can improve your communication and engagement with the people who already know about you, before taking an ad out on the back of a bus!

Medical Conferences Need To Be More Relevant

medical conference

I have registered for a couple of conferences in the next couple of months (the  الخيارات الثنائية إشارة تداول مجانا BAAPS and ISAPS conference in London and http://theiu.org/?alisa=%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AE%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA&d91=de CATBBAS in Belgium).

These conferences are enjoyable because you get to see old friends and you may pick up a الخيارات الثنائية نصائح استراتيجيات التداول titbit or a nugget that you can take back to your practice.

However, I am becoming more and more frustrated as I look through the programs of these conferences as I think they are missing a huge area when it comes to http://investingtips360.com/?klaystrofobiya=%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%88%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA&372=ff تحويل العملات practice development that none of these conferences really tend to address.

There is a small section about practice management where clinic owners talk about their experience of owning their own clinics, and of course this is of interest to me because I own my own clinic, but I don’t think it is particularly helpful for the majority of surgeons who do not have the desire to have their own clinic.

It is not about owning your own clinic

…the struggle that most of us are facing can be boiled down to one sentence –

how do I get and keep customers?

Since opening my clinic, I had to rapidly start thinking of my practice as a business.

I spent a lot of time going to seminars and meetings with other business owners, and I have realised that it doesn’t matter what business you are in you need to spend time working on getting and keeping customers.

This is true for car mechanics, shopkeepers, accountants, lawyers, builders and doctors. 

When it comes to getting and keeping customers, of course doing a good job is a crucial part of it.

…and medical conferences cover this aspect very well.

However, the gains that you come away with are marginal and will often be aimed at making your clinical work more efficient or easier in some way

…only rarely will there actually be a tangible effect on the outcome experienced by the patient.

I would like to see more time spent on looking at the patient experience as a whole.

This would encompass a much wider remit and would mean looking at all aspects of customer service,

  • how enquiries are dealt with whether they are by telephone or e-mail
  • what can you do if you miss a call or can’t get hold of someone
  • what your system for reminders are
  • what details are sent to patients before consultation and before their procedure
  • how patients are treated during and after their consultation
  • what ongoing contact you have with patients before, during and after their operation

These are areas that we never talk about but I strongly believe will have a much more profound impact on your patient’s satisfaction and ultimately your patient’s result.

The stunning thing is, that by looking at these aspects and by engaging with patients at every level, you will actually achieve a better outcome.

This is because, results are so often subjective,

…so it is not enough to just give good clinical outcomes,

…it is important to make the patients feel they are being treated well and that they are being looked after

…and if you combine this with a good clinical outcome – rather than just having a happy patient you will have a raving advocate that will spread the word and promote your services better than any advert ever could.

We all spend a lot of time learning how to do surgery and perform procedures, and I think it is quite right that we continue to develop professionally and keep up-to-date with the latest techniques and products.

However, in my experience, most patients are happy with the results of their surgery and whether we like it or not, the fact is that most patients will get an average surgical result.

I have found that the difference between the poor, average and good results, comes with the other aspects of their care.

For instance,

  • if they have spoken to someone on the phone or at the hospital who has been rude or unhelpful
  • if they haven’t been sent the right invoice or been treated well on the ward
  • or haven’t got the appropriate information following their discharge

…these are things that can turn a good surgical result into an unhappy patient

…and the flip side is true, that an average surgical result can be turned into a happy patient when all of these things are done right.

I am constantly thinking of ways that I can get and keep customers and dedicate large portions of my working week to this end.

Yet I find that many doctors give absolutely no consideration to this aspect of their practice at all, and are subsequently delivering less than optimal results for their patients.

I believe that this is all part of good medical practice and that doctors in the independent sector need to spend a lot more time considering the service that they are delivering and making sure that their patients are happy with the whole process.

It is the lack of this kind of support and information that is currently available that has led me to offer support and mentoring to other consultants in private practice.

If you are interested in finding out more and would like to come to a discovery day at my clinic in Birmingham, you can find out more here and we can arrange a time to talk.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to the conferences, but am not looking for any major breakthroughs.

…the only major breakthroughs in my practice in the last couple of years have been from learning about how to run a business rather than how to do surgery.

Can You Afford Not To Take On More Staff?

I’ve got a few members of staff here at the Clinic.

I’ve got a PA, a clinic manager, a front of house manager, a nurse and an IT guy.

We are having a bit of a rocky time at the moment with the front of house manager and are currently trying to recruit someone in to this role.

I have to say that I have found recruitment of staff to be the most challenging aspect of running my clinic.

The interesting thing is that it has been a month or so since we have been without the front of house manager and everyone has stepped up and is covering the work, but I have noticed a significant drop in revenue.

When I look at January, February and March, we were doing a lot better than we are now.

When I speak to other doctors about building their practice, they often feel that they cannot afford to take on more staff.  They think they need to share their secretary or can only have them on a part-time basis.

Because I have been in the position of having a full-time front of house manager and I know that she was always busy – I realise that I can’t afford not to have someone in that role.

It is great that everyone is chipping together to cover the work and on the face of it, you might think that I would not need to spend another person’s full-time salary on the post, because we can cope without them.

…but the numbers don’t lie and I have seen a definite drop in work.

The thing is, whenever I went to speak to the front of house person, it was difficult to get a word in, because she was constantly on the phone and so who is making those calls now?

We are coping with calling up enquiries and answering the phone just fine, but what about all of the other stuff?

…the stuff that it is more difficult to see.

Things like calling up the enquiry from a few weeks ago or having a chat with the person who came to clinic last week.

What about the fact that more calls are going to the call minders and we are having to call them back because everyone is busy.

It is hard to put a value on these things and I wouldn’t know what it was worth if I hadn’t already had it and lost it.

You don’t know what you don’t know

…but I would urge you to think about these things.

It is really important to make sure that initial enquiries are answered and dealt with promptly and sometimes you might be on the phone for an hour chatting with them – your staff has to have the time to do this.

It is absolutely essential to FOLLOW UP with people.

This means calling back if you can’t get hold of that enquiry when you first ring.

…or catching up with the person you spoke to last week to see if they have any more questions or would like to come to the clinic for a consultation.

…or checking that the patient you saw in clinic on Monday has received the quote and the copy of the GP letter and see if they need any more information or would like to come back for a second consultation

This stuff can take hours and it is very easy not to do it – it would not be missed.

…but as I have found – it can have a profound effect on the bottom line.

I have found that my bank balance is going down since the front of house post has been vacant, and rather than thinking that I need to save money on that salary, I am actually desperate to appoint someone because I know that they will make more money than they cost.

The next trick is to find someone good.

…and that is another story.

You Get Out What You Put In (So You Need To Put In)

antiques-road-trip

I am loving Antiques Road Trip at the moment.

In case you haven’t seen it, two antiques dealers travel around the country with a budget of £200 and they have to buy antiques and then sell them at auction with the aim of making the biggest profit.

They go around and look for antiques that they like, but more importantly, that they think will make a profit at the auction, because they are not buying the antiques to have at their home – they are doing it to make money.

Their budget is set, so sometimes they see pieces that they can’t afford, so they don’t buy them – but only because they are told how much they are allowed to spend.

If they were left to their own devices, if they saw something for sale that they thought they could bring to an auction and make a profit on, they would buy it.

Who wouldn’t?

If you can buy something for £x and sell it for more than £x, then you would do it, wouldn’t you?

That is what investing is.

Putting money into something with the aim of getting more money out.

I talk to some doctors about my Discovery Days and they think it sounds great and they would love to spend a day really focusing on their private practice

…but they can’t afford it at the moment.

I totally understand this as it is a big investment at £997, but what do they mean when they say they can’t afford it?

Do they mean that they can’t physically get their hands on £997 at the moment?

….in which case, fine.

The Discovery Day probably isn’t really for them anyway.

…or do they mean that they think it is too expensive?

I think most people think it is too expensive.

But what you really need to think is

am I likely to get more than £997 back from my investment?

If they answer is yes, then do it

…but if not, then don’t

That is the question you really need to ask yourself .

It is the same with advertising.

People say that it is too expensive to advertise, but that is nonsense.

You either get a positive return on your investment or you don’t.

If you get a good return then it is worth doing – the problem is that most people don’t know if they are getting a return on the investment and don’t have processes to measure it, so they just dismiss it.

When I am looking at advertising and PR, I really want someone to say to me,

if you pay me some money, I will guarantee that you will get substantially more money back

In other words – you will get a good return on your investment.

You see, this is not about buying something nice for your home.

It is not a question of ‘can I afford this’

It is a question of ‘will I get a good return on my investment’ – plain and simple.

I have spent a lot on advertising and promoting my practice and I have learned what works and what doesn’t.

…but I have learned the hard way!

Spending thousands on an advertisement in a magazine and nobody calls the number!

I wish they had given me a guarantee because I would have got my money back (or they would have made sure that people would have called the number before allowing me to place the advert).

That is why I am offering you a guarantee

If you are accepted on a place on the Discovery Day, then I will guarantee that you will get a return on your investment.

Not only that – I guarantee that you will get a return on your investment in 2 months.

You will make at least £1000 in the first two months after the Discovery Day by implementing the plans that we make.

…and if you continue to implement – it will continue to pay dividends and you can expect to make a more significant return on your investment.

I am offering a no-risk guarantee.

As part of the Discovery Day, I will keep in touch with you every fortnight to make sure that you are on track with your plans and we can make adjustments along the way.

We will track your monthly revenue for the 2 months after the Discovery Day and compare it with your revenue in the preceding month.

…if you haven’t make at least £997 extra revenue in the 2 months, then I will refund your original investment IN FULL.

So, you can’t lose.

You may ask, why am I doing this?

Surely it is a  risk for me.

I am doing this for two reasons:

  1. I don’t want anyone to feel short-changed or ripped off because I rely on my reputation and so in the unlikely circumstance that you do not benefit financially from the Day, at least you will not have to pay for it.
    I think that the likelihood of this happening is very slim because I have an application process to make sure that I won’t waste your time and will only see people who I feel that I can significantly help.
  2. I want to prove the value in working on your business.
    I want to show you that the best way to grow your practice is to focus on looking after your patients, not necessarily from the clinical input.
    I hope that you might want to carry on working with me and join my Private Consulting Class, which is a mastermind group of Consultants who meet regularly and have regular contact to make sure that things are progressing towards their goals.

If you think that might be interested in coming along to a Discovery Day, then you can find out more by clicking here.

Whether or not you come along, just remember, that if you want your practice to grow – it is not going to just happen.

Well, actually, it probably is going to just happen, because most people’s private practices do grow organically over time – but it takes years.

If you don’t want to wait until it is time to retire before you have a thriving private practice, then you need to invest in it.

That means investing your time or your money (and probably both).

Only then can you expect to get a return on investment.

You reap what you sow – so if you don’t sow anything, don’t be surprised when nothing grows!

 

How To Get To The Moon (And Back)

Space Shuttle Landing

I’ve heard it said that, if you want to go to the moon, all you need to do is to plan how to get there and how to get back.

The trick is to plan both before you leave.

The problem with many doctors with a successful private practice is that they believe that it is worth something when they want to retire or stop operating.

Unfortunately this is not the case.

If you are running any business, you need to accept that at some point, you will want to retire or stop doing it.

This may not be for many years, but you need to start thinking about it early.

If you start thinking about selling your practice when you want to sell your practice, you are toast.

Why would someone pay you for your practice?

What would they be buying?

Think of it from their point of view.

You may have a very successful practice with busy outpatient clinics and theatre lists, but why are people coming to see you?

Is it because you are a nice person and well known in the region and you produce good results for your patients?

If so, what is your practice worth to me?

Answer: not much!

If you want your practice to be an asset that is worth something when you retire, rather than a liability (because you are worried about who will look after your patients), then you need to start thinking about your trip back from the moon now, not when you are up there.

You need to develop a brand.

You need to build assets in to your practice that sets you apart from others.

Of course you need to be a nice person and deliver good outcomes, but there is so much more.

This is what my next ‘How To Grow Your Private Practice’ Meeting is all about.

How to build a brand that will differentiate you from your competitors.

How to run a practice that delivers fantastic outcomes and that people want to come to whether or not you are a nice person and well known locally.

How to deliver a consistently good service to your patients that is independent of how you are feeling that day or whether they happened to enquire in the school holidays or when your secretary was off sick.

The meeting will be dedicated to helping you to build your own personal brand and to develop assets in your practice that will have value and be worth something when you retire.

This stuff is not easy and it takes commitment and dedication.

But it will payoff in the short-term and in the long-term.

In the short-term, more patients will want to come to see you and you will be able to treat them better and give them better outcomes.

…and in the long-term, you will have a system that you can pass on and allow someone else to gain value from, so that you will be investing in your own personal pension.

Click here for more details about the next meeting, but remember, places are limited, so register today.

You Drive For Show, But You Putt For Dough

drive for show but putt for dough

I have just been to the 2017 BAAPS Conference (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) held at Kensington Olympia every year.

I was lucky enough to be on the faculty and was presenting about my experience of running my own clinic.

It is interesting talking to friends and colleagues because they like to talk about Google AdWords or Internet Marketing.  Whilst I talk about the coffee in my waiting room and sending out text reminders for appointments.

I am happy to talk about the more advanced stuff, but I do not think most doctors need to worry about this.

There were some good talks on PR, managing your online reputation and using social media, but I think a lot of this is people trying to run before they can walk and spending time on the drive rather than worrying about the putt.

“You Drive For Show, But You Putt For Dough”

My talk was a lot more basic and revolved around the steps that I have put in place in my clinic and the message is very simple:

design processes around every step of the patient’s experience and make sure that you follow-up.

You can get a copy of the 5 steps that I have built my practice on below:

5 Steps To Building A Valuable Practice

Download my FREE guide where I share the lessons that I have learned while setting up and building my own clinic.

Check out your inbox for a copy of my guide.

In fact, I would go further because I think if doctors are spending time, money and energy trying to promote their practice but have not got robust systems to deal with patients who are already in their practice, then they are wasting their time.

If you have not got a robust system for dealing with enquiries as well as a process for following up on those enquiries, then there is no point in trying to encourage more people to enquire.

You should be sending out information demonstrating your values and ethics and explaining to patients what sets you apart from others providing a similar service.

These systems are very basic but, you need to spend time and careful thought to discover what your values are and then communicate these to potential patients .

The problem with most doctors is that we are so terrified of looking like we are using hard-sell tactics that we tend to ignore patients altogether.

How many patients have made an enquiry through your website but have not heard from you following your initial response?

In fact, I have performed ‘mystery shopping’ of many doctor’s practices and there are a huge proportion of us who do not respond to enquiries at all and so this in itself needs to be looked at and processes put in place to ensure that these are not missed.

If you have not followed up on your initial response you are ignoring patients who have asked you for help.

You have to realise that most patients make enquiries to several practitioners at the same time they are enquiring to you.

It may be that your email gets lost in the sea of emails that we all get.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending another email a few days later saying:

I hope you got my email, here are some further details about me and my training

.. or

…here is some more information that other patients have found helpful who are considering the same procedure.

Similarly, after people have been to the clinic, do you follow-up with them?

How about sending an email saying:

I hope you got the quote we sent to you, it was nice to see you in the clinic and I hope I answered all your questions.  If you have any more questions I would be very happy for you to contact me directly, or you can visit me on my social channels.

It is all about follow-up

  • before patients come to clinic
  • after they have been to clinic
  • and after they have had the procedure

Follow-up, keep in touch and show that you care.

Forget marketing, PR or any other fancy and expensive techniques you might hear about. 

Get the basics right first before you start worrying about trying to get more patients to know about you.

Buyer’s Remorse

We are looking at revamping our website and have taken on a new web design agency.

It is quite a big investment and we interviewed a few before making a decision.

Now that we have chosen a company, we are talking to them about some ideas and they have been a little less responsive and enthusiastic than they were before.

I don’t think they realise what a dangerous time this is.

Just after anyone makes a major purchase, there is always a tendency towards ‘buyers remorse’.

If there is even the slightest hiccup, you will have a feeling that perhaps you have made the wrong decision and you should have gone with one of the other providers you were considering.

It is important to acknowledge this and compensate for it by over-delivering in the immediate period after purchase.

A few years ago, a patient cancelled her surgery a couple of weeks before surgery.   She had booked the surgery a few months in advance but had not heard anything from the hospital until a few weeks before the procedure.  She then came from a pre-admission appointment and booked an appointment to see me in my clinic after the pre-admission visit.

I was operating that day and my list overran, so I started my clinic 20 minutes late.  The lady’s pre-admission appointment had been a few hours earlier in the morning and so she had been hanging about for a while.  The receptionist phoned me on my mobile phone to see where I was when I didn’t start the clinic on time.

The call went through to my voicemail (because I was in theatre) and the receptionist told the patient that I wasn’t in the hospital.

The patient was angry and left without seeing me. She then went on to cancel the whole procedure (a breast reduction) and posted a zero star review on a popular forum.

I could be the greatest surgeon in the world, but it doesn’t matter, because as far as this patient was concerned, she had lost confidence and didn’t want to have surgery with me.

I now realise that she was expressing ‘buyer’s remorse’ and I understand how she must have felt.

Having surgery or a medical procedure is a major undertaking and there is a wealth of options for patients to choose from when making a decision as to who they want their doctor to be.

You have to be aware that, no matter how good you think you are, from a patient’s point of view, there are a number of other suitable doctors out there that they could have chosen.

If you are lucky enough to have a patient choose you for their procedure, then you should be aware of the risk of ‘buyer’s remorse’ and acknowledge that the patient may be wondering if they have made the right decision.

This is the time to overdeliver and make sure that you leave no doubt in the patient’s mind that they have made the right decision.

Don’t rely on the hospital to send out comprehensive and timely information about the patient’s forthcoming admission.  In my experience, the hospital only contact the patient a week or two before their admission, even if you put the booking form in months in advance.

This is an area that needs systems on your part to ensure that there is a consistent process to deliver prompt and relevant information as soon as the booking is made.

A simple letter or email can be sent out thanking the patient for booking and outlining what will happen next.

If the hospital organises the admission, then you can let the patient know this and give them the direct contact details for the admissions office in case they don’t hear anything or if they have any special requirements.

Maybe a phone call from your secretary to say that you appreciate them and you are there if they need you.

Perhaps you could send something out in the post. A guide to surgery or a personalised note.

It is just about keeping in touch and letting your patients know that you are there for them.

Patients fear that once we have their money, we won’t be interested in them anymore.

We need to make sure that this fear isn’t allowed to fester and grow.

Nip it in the bud and let them know that you are one of the good guys!

Be aware of it and put processes in place to make sure that your patients don’t suffer from buyer’s remorse!

 

If you are interested in building a better private practice, particularly by using systems and processes to ensure that you can consistently deliver a great service, join me at my next Private Practice Growth Meeting.

You Don’t Need Doors On A Go-Kart!

I was reflecting on the ‘How to Grow Your Private Practice’ meeting that we had recently and thinking about how I could improve things.

We spent the morning talking about the most cost-effective way to get more patients and then in the afternoon we went through the importance of setting goals and having brand values and priorities that encapsulate what your practice stands for.

I thought that I could perhaps tone down the part about the goals and values.

You see, this is an area that I have spent a lot of time working on in my own practice, but that is because I want to develop a national brand and to grow my practice in to something that is bigger than myself.

However, I realise that this is not for everybody.

There are many surgeons who just want a more efficient and slightly busier private practice so that they can perhaps drop some sessions in the NHS, or maybe pay off the mortgage or send the children to private school.

Whatever the reason, they are quite happy to continue to be a sole practitioner and have no intention of having a significant number of staff or being in charge of a large team.

So, I though that perhaps my time spent on goals and values could be cut short and we could spend more time on the getting more patients bit.

However, my brother made a good point.

He said

it is like building a car

You can show people how to make wheels and doors and an engine, but you need to start off by deciding what sort of car you want to build.

Do you want a family saloon or a racing car?.  Because the parts necessary to build each of these are very different.

I mean, you don’t need to bother with doors if you are building a go-kart!

You need to decide what sort of practice you are trying to build.

If you are happy being an individual surgeon and are comfortable with what you are doing at the moment but just want a little more, then maybe you do not need to think too much about engaging in social media or developing referral partnerships with allied services.

However, if you want to leave the NHS and focus solely on building your private practice, then you might need to think more carefully about how you can develop and open up these other referral sources and avenues.

You reap what you sow

And the more time and effort that you put in to building your car, the more it will be worth when you sell it.

If you have the chassis of a mini with the body of a 4×4 and a motorcycle engine, don’t be surprised if no one wants to give you much money for it when you come to sell.

If you are interested in coming to the next meeting where will talk about how to go about systemising and streamline your private practice, then click here to join the Priority List and I will make sure that you know the details before anyone else and get the opportunity to take advantage of priority registration.

Hospitals can learn from Disney

I visited a friend of mine recently in a local private hospital close to where I work (I do not practice in this hospital).  She had just had an operation and I saw her on the morning after her surgery.

It was 10am and the nurse was with her and she had obviously been crying.  The nurse was explaining how busy they had been that morning as they were discharging a patient who lived a long way away.

It turns out that she had been pressing her call button since 7am because she was in pain and was uncomfortable in the bed, but no one had responded – FOR 3 HOURS!

It was a real eye-opener for me, to see the other side of the story.

As a Consultant, my contact with my patients while they are in hospital is usually through short visits to check that all is well.

The majority of a patient’s hospital stay is managed by the nursing staff and the other members of staff on the ward.

In my friend’s case, it was actually one of the catering staff who had been kind enough to take an interest in her, that had finally resulted in a nurse attending to her.

There was not any emergency problem or complication, she simply needed a sympathetic ear and some painkillers.

She wasn’t going to complain, so her Consultant would never get to hear about the event.

How often does this happen without us knowing?

Now that I have my own clinic, I work hard to put in to place systems and processes that ensure that every patient is treated like a VIP.

I am constantly looking for more ways that I can add to the experience that they receive when they come to see me because I want everyone to feel like they have had the best treatment possible.

Doctors will often baulk at the idea of systems and processes, because they say you need the ‘human touch’ and you don’t want it to feel like they are being treated by a machine.

But they have got it wrong.

It is essential to have robust systems and processes to ensure that you can consistently deliver an excellent service.

You cannot build any business on scale which relies on the whims of whether or not an individual chooses to go the extra mile or not.

I went to a meeting last year about how Disney manages to deliver a consistently magical experience for the millions of visitors despite having a huge workforce, which often consists of students and other temporary workers.

They have very clear and robust systems and processes that are drilled in to the workforce when they arrive and reinforced by daily meetings.

There is a hierarchy of priorities.

For instance, ‘show’ is one priority, which means it is important to put on a good show and always make sure that you are ‘in character’.

However, ‘safety’ is another priority and ‘safety’ is more important than ‘show’.

This means that if you are dressed as Buzz Lightyear and you see a trip hazard or you notice someone who might hurt themselves, you can go in to the Prehistoric section to help because although you will be breaching the ‘show’ priority, you will be fulfilling the ‘safety’ priority.

Remember ‘safety’ trumps ‘show’.

You would think that this wouldn’t be needed in a hospital because clinical need should always come over making sure someone is discharged on time, but in an environment where there may be a lot of agency and temporary staff – maybe they need to make this more explicit.

Maybe they need clear priorities which are drilled in to everyone when they start and at each daily meeting, so they all know where they stand.

‘Clinical need’ trumps ‘timely discharge’.

If there is a patient who is day 1 post op whose buzzer is going – then that needs to be attended to before the patient who lives far away is discharged.

I am glad that I only have 4 members of staff in my clinic because it is a lot easier to instil the values and ethos in to everyone.

I don’t envy the hospitals, but if Disney can do it, then so can they.

Systems and processes are essential and without them, we are at the mercy of individuals using their own discretion, which in a large institution can be dangerous.

Please let me know if you want to find out more about my Consulting Class where I work with a small number of Consultants to build and grow their private practice so that it is more efficient, delivers a better service and is worth something when you retire.

Get in touch.