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17 Questions to Get a Running Start in 2018

Posted on Dec 06, 2017 by Lori Boyer

    Conduct a year in review to prepare your practice for successIt’s hard to believe, but the year is winding down. The holidays are coming (or already in full swing!). Parties and gifts and excitement are a part of each day. Now is the perfect time to take a minute or two and review how things went at your practice over the past year. So put down the eggnog for a bit and stretch your memory by conducting a yearly review.

    A yearly review is a great way to think about the progress you’ve made over the year (it’s crucial that you acknowledge and appreciate the good things that have happened), while also making plans to overcome things that didn’t work out the way you wanted.

    Why now? Studies have shown that if you start reviewing in December, it is much easier to hit the ground running in January. Otherwise you may find yourself floundering for weeks (or months!). Going into the next year knowing what worked and what didn’t work will help you properly prepare. You need to make sure you’re doing the right things. You need to know where you’re failing. You need to make sure you’re on the right path.

    If you don’t understand your current situation, there is no truly effective way to set goals for 2018.

    How do you create a yearly review?

    I recommend that you start by going over quantifiable numbers and work up to more general questions. It is easy to see exactly how much your revenue changed, it is harder to know why. Digging into both of these questions helps you understand how to make the changes you need.

    This is a process that should take place every year so that you can see trends over longer periods of time. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or two but can have a tremendous influence over the success of your practice.

    Let’s get right into it. Here are some questions—both specific and general—to get you started. You may have additional items you want to consider based on your individual specialty and practice. Feel free to add or delete questions to customize to your specific situation.

    1. How many patients did you have at the start of the year? How many do you have now?
    2. What was your revenue last year? This year?
    3. Did you hire any new staff? Did any staff members leave?Ask these questions to complete a year in review for your practice
    4. Did you add new technology to your practice? What? 
    5. Did you make any physical changes to your facility?
    6. What changes have you made to your lobby?
    7. What marketing initiatives did you complete this year compared to last?
    8. What changes have been made to your online presence since the beginning of the year?
      1. Website?
      2. Social media?
    9. How many online reviews did you have on each site at the beginning of the year? How many now? (Yelp, Facebook, Google)
    10. How often did you reach out to patients and how? Newsletters, emails, text, etc?
    11. Did you win any awards or recognitions?
    12. What continuing education did you receive? How was this implemented?
    13. Did you publish any articles? Blogs?
    14. In what ways did you reach out to your community?
    15. What went well this year?
    16. What challenges did you face?
    17. What 2-4 specific goals do you have for 2018? What is your timeline on implementing those?

    Share successes with patients

    It is great to send out a synopsis of your year to patients as well. Let them know about the things that pertain to them (but don’t share your revenue or anything like that!) and make sure to INCLUDE them as part of the team. Here is a sample email that highlights how you send out a “year-in-review” message.

    Dear (Name),

    We had a wonderful 2017 at [Practice Name] and wanted to let you know how grateful we are that you are part of our family. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, so—THANK YOU!

    Here are a few things that made 2017 extra exciting:

    • We love our staff! We welcomed [new employees] and wished a fond farewell to [employees who left].
    • We updated our lobby...
    • [Doctor name] received training on [X]. We’ll be excited to now offer [X service] next year!
    • We loved participating in the [local events you participated in].
    More than anything, we loved every day we spent with YOU. Have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for making 2017 one of our best years ever.  

    Here’s to 2018,

    Your entire family at [Your Practice] 

    Here at Solutionreach, we’ve taken a look back at our own year and created a fun way to view it in numbers. You can check it out here:

     Check It Out

    Now...ready, set, go! Get started! 

    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer

    Lori Boyer has spent over a decade developing content and customer strategy for a wide variety of companies. She especially loves "walking a mile" in the shoes of her target audience. At Solutionreach we focus on relationships - building and maintaining them. She does the same. Lori Boyer is a lover of crisp fall mornings, a good book, and just about anything Beauty and the Beast related.

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