Editor's note: The 2017 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Sept. 16-19 in Chicago.
With a steady stream of children and adolescents in need of vaccines, physicals and acute care, it’s hard to find the time to examine the health of your practice. Yet doing so can improve patient care and your bottom line.
Learn how to enhance the business side of your practice at a session titled “Extreme Practice Makeover (S3160)” from 4:00-5:30 pm Monday in McCormick Place West, W195.
The session will be led by Jennifer Anderson, MD, FAAP, and Amita Saxena, MD, FAAP, members of the AAP Section on Administration and Practice Management.
Dr. Anderson is a pediatrician at Lamorinda Pediatric Medical Group Inc. in Lafayette, Calif., and Dr. Saxena is CEO of Pediatric Wellness Group in Redwood City, Calif.
“Both of us several years ago found ourselves in practices that really were in need of a makeover,” Dr. Anderson said. “We have different stories of what happened next that we are happy to have an opportunity to share.”
During the session, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Saxena will give their perspectives on how to make practice changes and meet goals for improvement. They also will encourage attendees to share their ideas and ask questions.
Dr. Anderson said her journey began at a National Conference seven years ago, where she attended sessions on practice management. She returned to work with a lot of questions about how her practice could do better.
Along the way, she has met pediatricians all over the country who are thriving in independent solo, group or super group practices.
“For some pediatricians, it’s rewarding to be able to craft the practice as they want to and make decisions that best meet the needs of their area and their group,” Dr. Anderson said. “I really think there will continue to be a role for independent practices.”
In fact, the children’s hospital in Dr. Anderson’s area has created an organization that helps practices stay independent.
“They really feel like we do a better job of running our practices than they would,” she said.
Because most pediatricians don’t get much training in practice management, Dr. Anderson encourages them to reach out to experts, including consultants and electronic health record companies. “For me, it’s been a lot of networking and talking to other pediatricians who do this well.”
Dr. Anderson acknowledged that managing a practice is no small task.
“It’s not something that’s easy to learn,” she said. “There’s not a handbook.”
Yet, she has seen the payoff of focusing on the business side of a practice.
“Improving how we run our business has given us the flexibility to do more for our patients,” Dr. Anderson said. “We’ve been able to bring in initiatives to improve care and use new tools because we have the ability both organizationally and financially to make changes.”
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