Growth | Tackling Task Management
Working It Out
Can Dr. Ben get worked up enough about inefficient task management to make a change?
“One, two, three…” Ben huffed and puffed his way through 20 repetitions on the bicep machine. “Ugh, I just don’t feel motivated today.”
“What’s the matter, Ben?” asked Steven, Ben’s friend. “The machines seem to be winning against you today. What’s going on?”
The two went to an unoccupied corner of the gym. It was a quiet day – they wouldn’t be bothering anyone over there.
“Everything seems to be going haywire at my practice,” said Ben. “We’re all getting in each other’s way these days. The busier we’ve gotten, the more disorganized it feels.”
Steven looked at his friend in surprise. He had always thought Ben was unflappable, and he knew his practice had enjoyed steady growth. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I know Luisa is in charge of office orders but lately it seems like Pam and I are holding Luisa up by misplacing or checking over the list at the exact moment when she needs to be placing the order,” Ben said. “Last week I needed a contact list so that I could make follow-up calls with patients but Luisa had it. She knew I was busy and made the calls for me, which was great – but I wasted 20 minutes looking for that list.”
“This sounds pretty familiar – I think any medical practitioner goes through the same annoyances,” said Steven. “Typical growing pains. Except if you don’t get your processes under control, it makes growing your practice difficult to do.”
“That’s what I’m worried about – what if we never get off this hamster wheel?” asked Ben. “We’re wasting so much time getting in each other’s way that Luisa isn’t able to manage the office as efficiently and I’m not able to spend as much quality time with my patients.”
The two glanced toward the doorway as a mutual friend entered the gym, stopping to smile and nod.
“You know, Ben, there are solutions out there,” said Steven. “We are working with a company that is helping us through a program called a ‘ticket workbench.’ It’s amazing: just by glancing at our screens, we can tell what tasks need to be done, what the deadlines are, and it enables us to prioritize. We can even tell who’s behind on their assignments so that another staff member can pitch in and help them get caught up.”
Ben looked at his friend in amazement. “But how difficult is it to learn and implement?” he asked. “We’re already so overwhelmed, I’m nervous about causing additional stress to my team.”
“Of course, there’s a small learning curve but most of us were up to speed by the end of our first day,” said Steven. “I think the question you should be asking is this: what are you risking by not getting your practice under control? Without efficient task management, are you confident your files are compliant? Can you handle taking on any new patients? Will you be able to grow your practice – ever?”
Ben looked thoughtful. “You’ve made some great points, Steven, I think I need to do something about this situation soon,” he said. “But for now, I need to do something about my abs. Let’s get back to our workout!”
Now that Dr. Ben understands that there’s a better way, can he find the will to tackle task management in his practice?
Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.