Holistic Practice Management (HPM) - Human Capital Management

Aug 24, 2016
5 min read

Practice management is key to achieving success which includes managing employees. Here are ways to successfully manage employees to enable practice growth.

Within my Holistic Practice Management series you have seen me cover the clinical side of your practice through CONOPS (Concept of Operational Scenarios) and Repositories. On the Optical side I have given you a holistic approach to forecasting your tangible products.

All the ideas in the articles have one main theme, Holistic Practice Management is a key and core driver of all your decision making processes!

But who are the drivers that get all of this done?

It is your Human Capital (employees)!

They are your biggest asset and are the true living organism within your practice.

So why do we leaders/managers mishandle this asset?

How can you grow your business while having everyone buy into the mission and vision that you have adopted?

This article will tackle the questions presented and also give you core practice management innovations that will help with your human capital management.

Maximizing yield in all areas of the organization can be a key driver to year over year goal attainment.

This is only done by a dialed in staff and leader.

As I have seen on multiple occasions when I have visited practices, there are a lot of meetings about various topics within the practice. I have seen them on days before the practice opens, during lunch breaks, or at the end of the day.

I know many practices are continually auditing the practice to maximize the yield out of various categories/lines of business the practice has. It is great to see that practices are adopting this type of methodology.

What I see they are missing is how to manage and properly engage their human capital!

You never want someone that just comes to work and does their “job” and then leaves for the day. You want fully engaged employees that the practice’s success is tied to their salary.

As the practice grows and succeeds, so do your employees.

I see a disconnect between the human capital and the manager/leader of the practice. I see the majority of practices running on an old business model of dictating to the employee what needs to been done, and at certain times that is needed; however, you will never fully realize the success that your practice can attain with this model.

Why has the internet become such a robust system that you see today?

It is because someone is always feeding it with new information and ideas.

There is a continuous stream of new and updated ideas that builds upon the last one. These various iterations are what make it a robust system and why we use it for just about everything in life.

So why can’t we use this type of model to establish a core for our human capital?

How do you think firms (companies) have innovated over the past fifty years?

It has been through the ideas of their employees that have helped them maximize their goals year over year.

Ideas like IM for your cell phone, various efficiencies for manufacturing lines, multitude of consumer and consumable products, etc.

These gains were not achieved by individuals in R&D departments, they were accomplished by their employees to help the firm. Some were given monetary awards while others were not.

Their human capital bought into the firm’s goals, and wanted to help in any way necessary to improve overall placement within the marketplace.

So why are optical practices not taking advantage of this opportunity by tying the human capital salary to this robust system?

At the core we are all managers of some process of the organization we are employed by.

If you look at the person/persons dispensing glasses they are the expert at your practice in doing this. That is one of their core primary functions that makes your practice run.

The doctor who is refracting was taught do that through schooling so they are the expert in this. No one person is an expert in all the categories because that is why you hire specialist/professionals in their perspective jobs to handle that area.

So why do we concede to our leaders/managers of the practice to always have the answers to everything?

Just because they have done the job in the past does not make them the master of the present/future.

Processes and jobs change!

This change is why I am writing this article.

Never feel that you know everything about your business and that it never changes!

If you do that you, you will fall behind in business and in life. You must always be learning something new every day which will make you better.

To implant this methodology within your practice you need to adopt 10 key lessons:

  1. To tackle a systematic problem you need to understand its deep roots
  2. It’s often easier to augment than supplement
  3. Omit to revolutionary goals, but take evolutionary steps
  4. Metrics are essential
  5. Keep at it
  6. Minimize your political risks
  7. Start with volunteers
  8. Make it a game, keep it informal
  9. Run the new process in parallel with the old
  10. Iterate

–(Hamel, 2007)

These 10 lessons will help you achieve the human capital management that is so desperately needed in your practice.

As I alluded to previously in the article, tying the human capital salary to innovation will help your practice achieve maximum yield in all the categories.

Never have an employee just come in for a “job” without having them engage in your practice.

If that is the case, then you are doing a disservice to yourself, the employees, and your patients. Adopting a continuous improvement methodology will tie in all of these innovation/lessons together.


Hamel, G. (2007). The future of mangement. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

About Sean Carranco, MBA

Sean Carranco is the owner of Carranco Lunettes which is a consulting firm that helps independent practices in the marketplace. A versatile professional with over 15 plus years of executive operational, financial, marketing and retail experience, creating company guidelines and protocols to preside over your practice environment. He has a B.S. from The University of Texas and an Executive M.B.A from The University of Texas at El Paso.