Group of doctors standing in corridor on medical conference, looking at camera.

Practice Management

According to an article from AOPA, “O&P providers are collecting data on performance-based and patient-reported outcomes as a way of improving clinical decision making and providing better care.” But the article says we have taken “disparate approaches” to collecting that data and talks about the need to standardize the data. At OPIE Software and OPIE Choice we recognize the importance of data, both in O&P clinical decision making and in practice management. To that end, with significant input and refinement from your peers, we identified and defined “The Six Pillars of O&P Practice Management” to help you make your company better. 

The Practice Manager is responsible for “everything else” (non-clinical) that occurs during a patient encounter — from the organization and optimization of patient flow and office workflows to the implementation of policies and procedures. The job has a massive impact on business profitability.  

  • Organizing and optimizing patient flow 
  • Organizing and optimizing office workflows 
  • Financial Management 
  • Risk Management 
  • Human Resources Management 
  • Quality Management 
  • Business Operations 
  • Implementing policies and procedures to achieve the above 

What we realized is that there is a great deal of commonality in the way these responsibilities are executed. And while there is a good variety in the details, the basic objectives are very consistent across practices.  

To improve profitability and efficiency, we needed to break practice management down into logical categories so we could focus our efforts to understand and then solve common challenges. We learned that no pillar stands alone. You can be better at one than another, but failure to address any one pillar will prevent your practice from excelling.  In no particular order the pillars are as follows: 

Administrative 

  • Accurate patient intake 
  • Documentation accuracy and completeness 
  • Patient scheduling 
  • Practitioner 1-1’s  
  • Patient outreach 
  • Referral source outreach 
  • Weekly planning 

Clinical 

  • Complete clinical documentation 
  • Does it demonstrate the value? 
  • Does it demonstrate medical necessity? 
  • Patient goals and progress 
  • Patient outcomes 
  • Patient-reported  
  • Clinically obtained 
  • Practitioner collaboration/cooperation with admin 
  • Practitioner efficiency 

Patient Satisfaction 

  • Moments Of Truth 
  • Patient Engagement 
  • Service Quality 
  • Survey provision rate 
  • Survey completion rate 
  • Patient Education 
  • Voice Of the Customer 

Materials & Fabrication 

  • Remake and repair frequency 
  • Cost of Materials 
  • Technician productivity 
  • Workflow tracking…where are backlogs? 
  • Order process…tied to the patient? 
  • Parts tracking 
  • Manufacturer recalls 

Strategy 

  • SWOT Analysis 
  • Environmental Scan – Referral sources 
  • Visit mix – Patient Funnel 
  • Focus on what makes you unique 
  • Understand your customers 
  • Know when to say “no.”  
  • If you are not moving forward, you are falling behind 

Financial 

  • Accounts Receivable 
  • Cash flow 
  • Understanding the cost of doing business 
  • Contracting 
  • Revenue per visit 
  • Cost per visit 
  • Revenue Cycle Management 

Our education program was redesigned around these pillars and seeks to identify and then teach best practices in each of these areas.   

Now that we have a really good understanding of the workflows in each pillar, we have been able to create data analysis tools that allow hosted OPIE users to rapidly identify trends, either positive or negative, and then Choice members are able to drill into that data down to the patient, claim, or Rx level to understand what is happening in the practice. 

Next week, I will reveal some interesting findings from the data. 

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