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Don't have a nightmare before Christmas

Posted by Matt Connor on 13 December 2016
Don't have a nightmare before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except...

...for the GP who'd woken in a panic because she knew there was something she should have done before her practice closed for the year, but couldn't remember what it was!

Like everyone else doctors deserve a good break at Christmas. And by December the last thing most medicos want to think about is practice administration. But if you don't tie up all your loose ends, you could find yourself with a serious New Year's headache - and not the fun kind!

There are a few simple things you can do however, to make sure you finish the year in good shape and hit the ground running in 2017.

Communicate your shutdown period

Letting your patients know is obviously step one, but don't forget your referral partners, suppliers and anyone else in your network. Sending a small gift with a short note is a great way to get the word out and also build good relationships.

Get your bills sorted

Your practice may be taking a break, but that doesn't mean your invoices are. Make sure you're fully across anything that is due before you're back in the New Year. It might be painful, but sometimes the easiest solution is simply paying bills early.

Take care of wages

Another way to start 2017 on a sour note is to neglect to pay your staff over the break. Set up an automatic payment for any wages that are due during your shutdown.

Do some business planning

This one may be a little unpopular - after all, you're supposed to be relaxing and recharging! Unfortunately, the end of year shutdown is one of the only times you can turn your attention to your finances and business processes without having to balance it with patient demands and practice administration.

Set aside a few days to really interrogate your financials. What services are the most lucrative? What expenses are really dragging you down? Think about how you run your practice. Are there any opportunities to introduce new systems or software to improve efficiency?

Commit to a day or two - perhaps somewhere between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve - and really interrogate how you do business.

With a little foresight and planning, the only thing that will wake you in the middle of the night will be the sound of Santa's sleigh touching down softly on your roof.

Author: Matt Connor
Tags: Budget Owning a medical surgery Staffing Planning Risk management

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