Which processes do you have systematized in your practice? When should you hire an admin and when should you set up a system? Why are you able to cut back on costs by investing in good systems?
In this Seven Figure Practice Series podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about solid systems for maximum profit and better employee benefits with Irene Schreiner.
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Meet Irene Schreiner
Irene is the owner of Solid Foundations Therapy, a medium-sized group practice that specializes in romantic relationships. One of the things that she is most proud of is creating a chaos-free and fun private practice that supports her therapists and allows them to focus the majority of their energy on being the best possible therapists for their clients. Creating systems comes naturally to her and she is in the process of opening a consulting company to help other service-based small business owners turn their visions into realities through concrete and organized steps.
In this Podcast
- Policies and procedures
- Reducing costs through systems
- Enhancing staff benefits
- Which systems you can start evaluating now
Policies and procedures
Every employee that comes on from the beginning, they have a very solid handbook that they can go back to and look [in], and because they know their expectations, I think it reduces anxiety to know where they can practice within, what the scope is … So I think having that very clearly laid out really helps. (Irene Schreiner)
- Irene’s team has developed a succinct and informative handbook that every new employee gets with all the information that they need readily available.
Having this type of system openly discussed, accessible, and available to all employees allows them to know where to find the answers to their questions, who to ask, and how to find out any information that they need.
They no longer have to feel confused or worried about asking a question that seems simple if almost all the answers are easily available, or the contact person’s information is spelled out if they have further queries.
It eases stress and minimizes the chance of miscommunication or misinformation getting in the way.
Along with that over the last four or five years we’ve had an on-boarding coordinator. She is with the new clinicians for their first 90 days, she’s their person. She meets with them once a week and so we have a very systematic way of [tracking] what they’re learning … What they’re doing with their first supervision, she’ll sit down with them and actually help them write their first set of notes so they know exactly what our processes for writing notes [are]. (Irene Schreiner)
- There’s an onboarding coordinator who is part of the staff and is the go-to person for all new employees.
- All employees are taught the same template for taking notes, and all notes are audited monthly and quarterly to make sure that people are on track.
- On the backend, Irene’s team has a great system for tracking referrals to know whether they are up or down in any given month.
- Clinicians are also taught to track their cancellations and their reasons and how often they occur, which can provide valuable information about how to prepare for sessions, set up cancellation policies, and how to fulfill their clients’ needs.
Reducing costs through systems
With strong systems, the overhead budget costs can be reduced by not having to invest in non-value-producing staff members.
I have two really amazing admins that both work part-time and I couldn’t do things without them, but because things are so efficient, they’re able to be part-time. I don’t need to have two or three or four full 40-hour a week billers, schedulers, organizers. (Irene Schreiner)
Roles that don’t produce income for the business can be managed and subsidized by effective systems is what Irene prefers.
The leftover profit can then be put back into the business to give great bonuses to the existing staff, and other projects to boost the practice.
Enhancing staff benefits
For Irene, making sure that her staff receives great benefits was a way of retaining the great talent of her employees who work in her business while creating an environment where people want to work.
Irene’s practice has steadily built in:
- Three weeks of paid vacation
- Health insurance
- Continuing education
- Tuition reimbursement
I just did it in a slow, methodical way. Even though I had a bunch of benefits I thought would be really cool and would’ve been awesome to offer immediately, I chose to chat with my staff to say; “Which ones are most important to you? Let’s create a scaled version and slowly add in each one to make sure that the business can also sustain them.” (Irene Schreiner)
Which systems you can start evaluating now
Irene urges fellow practice owners to track:
- How many referrals are coming in every month
- Virtual versus in-person requesting clients
- Financial numbers like insurance reimbursements and the average hourly rate
- Your expenses to see what you can truly afford and what you can either cut back on or reduce
Irene’s advice to private practitioners
Being a boss is difficult! However having a good team around you is important and helpful, and having a great group of colleagues to bounce ideas off of is invaluable to ease loneliness and offer support and encouragement in the world of entrepreneurship.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
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Useful links mentioned in this episode:
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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