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Nathan Hayes | 7/22/2022
Use Spot-Audits to Stay Informed and In Control of Your Practice

Do you worry that your staff aren’t consistently doing the little things in your practice? Do you lose sleep because you just ‘don’t know’ what’s happening outside your lane?  Do you struggle to find the time to oversee things?

Let me suggest that you schedule – in advance – spot audits of various parts of your practice.  In most businesses (though surprisingly few practices), an audit is an annual account review of both the financial statements AND (and this is what many practices could use) the systems and controls around money and inventory management.

A spot audit can be of nearly anything, and may happen more frequently. The key is that it’s happens at known intervals.

Repeat Predictability

One thing I’ve been learning as an employee, a manager, and – honestly – as a human is the importance of rhythms and cadences.  What I mean by this is having pre-blocked time – protected, non-negotiable time – at regular intervals for a specific purpose.

This could be for a regular, standing meeting with an employee, family dinner every weeknight, meditation time in the morning or evening, or blocking time to do ‘thinking’ work about your practice.

It can also be a pre-planned time to review specific parts of your business.  Which will do three things for you:

  1. It ensures that the task will be done.
  2. It frees the mental load of having to remember to do it – it’s already scheduled!
  3. It creates known accountability for your team – underperformance will be predictably caught when audits happen.

Where will you start?

Here’s a few ideas of where you can start implementing a spot audit – you might block fifteen to thirty minutes once a quarter to review several of these areas:

  1. Aging reports
  2. Pull 10 EOBs and review for under- or over-coding, unneeded write-offs, etc.
  3. Review lab statements for correct discounts
  4. Review frame boards for over-stock, pricing consistency, and review frame turns
  5. Spot check payroll – are hours tracked accurately,
  6. Review the appointment book – how many appoints are filled?  How many patients actually show?
  7. Check your financial statements – have they been reconciled?  Do they make sense?

What other ideas do you have?  As a consultant, the one thing I think would help the most owners be more successful is to block time to work ON the practice.  A spot-audit is one powerful way to keep your team accountable and yourself informed and in control of your practice.

 

Nathan Hayes
Associate Director, Financial Services
Nathan Hayes joined IDOC with a solid background in the eye care industry and serves as IDOC’s Practice Finance Consultant. Before Prima launched in 2011, he spent five years in business development for Red Tray and HMI Buying Group. Nathan graduated from Vanderbilt University in three years, with a degree in Spanish and a minor in mathematics.

After graduating, he spent a year working abroad. During that time, he worked for two firms in San Jose, Costa Rica. He interned with Grupo Juridico de San Jose, working in environmental policy to protect a threatened parcel of land, then he worked as a project manager for a US-owned precision machining shop. Nathan then spent 6 months working with street children and orphans in Mexico.

Before getting into the healthcare industry, he was an Assistant Store Manager and completed the Corporate Training Program with Haverty’s Furniture Company in Atlanta, GA. Nathan and his wife Heather have a son, Daniel, and a daughter, Hannah. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys reading and outdoors activities - especially cycling and hiking.
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