Operations Issues and Opportunities

There are a number of important operational issues that must be addressed as new product lines and services are brought online.  Each of these can contribute to success – or failure – of the expansion program.

Staff Training

This high-level effort is increasingly significant as the marketplace becomes more competitive. Medical Practices are bringing in management and training experts who are skilled at working with physicians and practice staffs.  Some do this via remote programs, often in conjunction with periodic on-site visits. These are all designed to improve operations, enhance conversions and support up-selling, cross selling and improved sales, and they are all covered extensively in this book.

Mystery Shopping and Mystery Calls

Mystery shopping is a physician or practice manager’s best guarantee that the practice is pulling together to meet patients’ expectations even as they increase effectiveness in closing new prospects.

The basic “mystery shopping” process involves having a trained professional mystery shopper call, ask questions, and then make an appointment.

A more in-depth and useful “mystery shopper” involves having that same “mystery shopper” actually come in and experience a preliminary assessment.

Either way, that professional then completes a detailed Mystery Shopping Checklist, and follows that up with a detailed report.   However, the real success of a Mystery Shopping program is its acceptance by those who run the practice – who then use the results to improve operations, marketing, customer satisfaction, sales-closure rates and profitability.

Medical Practice Evaluations 

As the market becomes ever more complex, savvy physicians and spa managers are turning to outside professionals for insights into their businesses that will lead to greater profitability.

It is a challenge to treat patients or manage a Medical Practice day-to-day, and still have the high-level skills to conduct any of the following kinds of analyses:

  • Cost structure analysis
  • Database analysis / review
  • Discussions with physician(s) over future plans and current operations
  • Interior design & retail space analysis
  • Interviews with staff
  • Location & signage evaluation
  • Marketing review, including budgets, collateral materials & public relations
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) analysis
  • Product line evaluation
  • Technology assessment
  • Implementation
  • Review of menu of services
  • Website & search engine marketing review
  • Post-assessment written report & conference call

These are not skills taught in medical school, and while physicians may feel as if they can – given time – master these skills, that may not be the wisest use of their time and effort.


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