Zed Williamson

Why Business Matters: A How-To Guide for Specialty Medical Practices

Business strategy meets specialty medical practice. Discover how you can build momentum within your practice to proactively meet your goals.

paper handshake operating system

Every growing medical practice faces a combination of common challenges. And a number of them are not challenges that can be solved by simply providing “better patient care”.

So what can you do?  

In the latest episode of our Growth-Driven Practice Series, we invited Cullen Talley, founder of Exit Momentum to join the conversation. With a history of helping entrepreneurial clients optimize their business, Cullen details how specialty practices can benefit from and build momentum towards their specific goals with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

It starts by shifting from being reactive to proactive. But first, let’s talk about those challenges.

Typically, specialty practices can group their pain points into one or more of the below buckets, it’ll give you a little more guidance for where to start and what to do next.

common pain points for medical practices

What can I do better?

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day. In fact, medical practice owners are not unique in struggling with “working in the business” vs “working on the business”. However, that’s the first step – getting you out of the patient work to do a bit of evaluation.

Examining the Core Competencies of Practice Management

These key areas of business will help you determine where you shine and where you could use a little polish. Take a second and do a self-assessment.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, where do you score in each of these areas?

1. Vision

Do you have one? Does everyone at your practice clearly understand it?

2. People

Simply, do you have the right people to meet your vision? And do they have a clear picture of their role in your practice’s success?

3. Culture

What are your core values and are they being accurately represented across your team?

4. Data

Are you analyzing the data from a leading or lagging perspective? Are you looking at data across the spectrum of your practice – from marketing to billing to patient history?

5. Ideal Patient

What is your ideal patient and what percentage of your patients meet those requirements?

6. Execution

Are you doing what you say you will do? Is your team (yourself included) able to fulfill your goals?

7. Planning

Do you have a plan? And are you setting aside time to continuously update your plan based on new goals and objectives?

8. Process

Do you have a standard process for execution?  And is that process repeatable?

9. Money

How are you managing your money? Are you using it as a tool for your practice to ensure ongoing success?

Pro tip: You don’t just have to focus on your weaknesses. Look at where you scored in the mid-range and see how you can improve.

Cullen Talley quote about creating excellence

Deciding What You’re Going to Work On – and How to Do It

There’s a common saying that applies here: “A problem well defined is half solved.”

This is true in all areas of life. The process of finding the solution is almost as important as the solution itself. It can be almost too easy to get caught up in the latest new technology or trend. Don’t fall for the hype. Instead, focus on finding the right fit.

In our discussion with Cullen, he shared this valuable decision making framework that every physician should adopt and run with:

The 3 Decision Gates

1. Issue or Opportunity Gate

This is your opportunity to identify what you want to solve. Based on your self-assessment score there may be a few different items you want to tackle. Take them one at a time. And like it says in the name, this doesn’t just have to be an issue. Opportunities can be even more beneficial than fixing an issue.

The important thing in this step is to determine if this is something you want to do now or in the future. Not everything is urgent, make sure to pace yourself.

2. Advisor Gate

You can’t be the best at everything. It just isn’t feasible. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a back seat and let a 3rd party step in to help. Why? Because whether it’s needing a business strategy overhaul or simply running an email campaign, there are people out there who are the best in these areas. Use their expertise to benefit you.

3. Company Operating System

Last, but not least. Decide on the system, technology, or solution that truly solves your problem. While it might be tempting to skip the first two steps and jump right to the solution, in doing so you skip the critical assessment that leads to a quality result.

It’s true, you run a practice….not a business.

However, in the end, implementing a structure to solve for the core business challenges means you will have more time to help patients.

Looking for more guidance and real-world examples of EOS in action? Check out the on-demand webinar Strictly Business: A Entrepreneurial Coach’s Advice for Optimizing Your Practice.