It is not uncommon for any business to develop a ‘key person dependency’, where the day to day running of the business is done by one individual. It also isn’t uncommon for smaller medical or dental practices to have only one administrative staff, or one that works 90% of the time, and a part time/casual working the half day (or less).So what happens when they leave unexpectedly? People move on for a variety of reasons, and if they are not happy they are not going to go out of their way to smooth the transition to a new person. The fallout for the doctor or dentist can be significant, from both a financial and goodwill perspective.
Without a properly documented procedure manual, the only place you’ll find things to run the business day to day is from one person’s head – a big problem when they aren’t there!
A client recently had their practice manager leave in unhappy circumstances, with no notice, as the business owner was leaving for an interstate conference. Luckily they were able to find a replacement quickly, but without any sort of handover, it has been a bumpy ride these last few weeks. We have been able to assist with the management of their payroll and general accounting ledger, but the management of billings, scheduling bookings, dealing with suppliers has been a journey of discovery.
In light of this bad experience, anyone operating a surgery would do well to try to look at their operations manual and see how up to date it is. If things are not documented as well as they should be, the cost of hiring a consultant to assist fine-tuning and documenting your internal processes could be a fraction of the cost if you don’t.
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