hrmYou’ve heard of these. A consultant probably mentioned it to you at one point. You know a 360-Degree Analysis means someone is going to come in to your practice, ask a bunch of questions, and tell you what you’re doing wrong. Right? Sort of.

Most practice consultants will indeed evaluate your processes and procedures, looking for deficiencies that need to be corrected to improve performance. However, an effective 360 will take the time to distinguish what’s working and what isn’t, and can give you valuable insight to areas such as employee performance and morale, patient satisfaction, processes and procedures, and value to your shareholders.

No one knows better than I do how to run my practice. How will this help me?

True, you own the practice. You see the numbers. You read the Yelp reviews. You know your employees. However, practice owners often become so ingrained in the daily tasks – seeing patients, training assistants, etc., that they don’t always look up and take a step back to look at the practice as a whole. There’s a benefit to having a fresh set of eyes review your books and practice stats, or to having someone who understands practice operations and reputation management look for the root cause of a patient complaint. And there’s definitely an advantage to having a non-biased third-party consultant interview your staff members to find out what’s really going on. Employees will convey massive amounts of information to someone who doesn’t sign their paycheck, and often times it’s information that would strengthen your practice. You need to know.

I know what my employees are doing, and they seem happy. Why do I need a third-party report about it?

What’s surprising when these types of analyses are conducted is how often a practice owner is blind sighted. Their turnover is low, they’re practice is profitable, and they aren’t constantly fielding complaints, so they assume everything is great and don’t bother to look at the details. However, when a third-party consultant comes in with a specific set of questions designed to get your employees talking… it’s like turning on a light. Everything from, “I’m going to quit if the dentist yells at me one more time,” and, “my friend who delivers pizza has better benefits than we do,” to “our office manager has been padding everyone’s paycheck with imaginary holiday pay.” Not everything is negative; it’s always great to hear employees rave about their practice owners, and to be able to pass that along as well. It’s amazing how many doctors don’t realize that their truly valued by their team members.

It’s critical to know what’s going on under the surface, good and bad, and it’s not always information you can find out for yourself. Do your practice a favor and take a 360-degree look at what’s going on. It may surprise you.