It’s a common error for physicians to think their manager and the staff can do anything they ask of them.  Although it’s admirable, it may place an unfair burden on everyone.  And if the practice has grown, but the staff hasn’t, you may be expecting too much.

If you have major projects that get put on the shelf or get derailed, you may be missing out opportunities or losing your competitive edge. And, if you find yourself picking up the slack for staff that is inundated with their workload demands and things just aren’t getting done, it may be time to outsource your pain.  Even if staff has enough time, you might be asking someone to take on a responsibility they don’t have the acquired skill set required to get the best outcome.

Physicians and managers also face tremendous demands that sometimes cause them to put off important projects that would help the practice become more robust and put you in control of your future. For example, most practice leaders don’t have time to take on something as important as a developing a strategic plan. Such a project requires tremendous upfront research and analysis, prepare the report and plan the strategic planning retreat?  Hire an expert to do the leg work and facilitate the retreat and you will not only get the job done, but you’ll get it done on time.

And how about using a payroll service with automatic deposit to the employee’s account? You can select a service designed to track accumulated paid time off, and allows you to download the employee time records, which is a real relief to managers. This is a cost effective way to get a reliable outcome and allow the manager’s time to deal with other pressing issues that need attention.

Whether it’s outsourcing a specific one time project, ongoing responsibilities like revenue cycle management or an important daily task like seeking a technology partner to electronically manage appointment reminders, you can find a good match for your needs.  Check with your colleagues, do research on-line and take advantage of those annual conferences by exploring what’s new in the exhibit hall.

Your problems don’t necessarily end with outsourcing.  You must keep an eye on the ball by tracking and monitoring performance and costs.  It will be important the first 90 days to closely inspect results and hold the vendor accountable.  If you are satisfied after 90 days, you can begin periodic spot checks so that you stay in control and don’t trade quality for convenience.

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