Holistic Practice Management (HPM) - Practice Daily Briefing

Sep 7, 2016
8 min read

Part of practice management involves a daily practice briefing and understanding how to effectively and efficiently run your practice!

Having a deep understanding of your practice and how to effectively and efficiently run all aspects of it is what all practices are trying to achieve.

At its core, you are the steward to hundreds maybe even thousands of patients’ eye health.

You are also running a small business that needs to make money to exist!

It is a juggling act to balance these two core principles in your practice. As an OD owner of your practice, you went to school to enhance your knowledge of eye health and bring that back to the community where your practice is located.

Knowing this, how can you make overall practice operational decisions when you have a staff of multiple individuals that are helping you effectively run your practice?

This is where the PDB (Practice Daily Briefing) comes into play.

The use for the PDB has strategic and analytic pieces that would help the individual/practice gain tactical advantage when making operational decisions.

So how does it work to help you gain this advantage?

How the PDB was originally conceived was through the United States, but with a different name.

The PDB (President Daily Briefing) was first started by the White House as a way to give the President a snapshot of the daily intelligence events around the world so that the President could make better strategic decisions for the Unites States.

President Harry Truman was the first one to start the daily briefings. How the document came about was when President Franklin D. Roosevelt suddenly died and the then, Vice-President Harry Truman ascended to the Presidency.

Upon garnering this position he was ill informed about the current projects, positions, and intelligence the United States Government was currently involved in throughout the world. FDR kept him out of the loop on all the major/minor decisions when he was Vice-President.

Truman did not even know about the development of the atomic bomb until weeks after taking over as President. Knowing all this before he left off, he did not want the incoming President (Eisenhower) to be left out of the loop so he started the Central Intelligence Bulletin as a way to keep the future President up to date on all intelligence matters regarding the United States of America.

The initial briefings were a wider cross section of different intelligence agencies into one big book. It was not until President Kennedy who refined the Central Intelligence Briefings, changed it to the PDB. It has been refined over the fifty years of existence, but it has kept its mission the same over all these years, and that mission is: To help give the President strategic and actionable advantage to help him make better overall decisions.

So how does this apply to your small independent practice?

What the PDB (Practice Daily Briefing) does, is give the reader strategic actionable items that would help in the decision making process holistically.

I see a multitude of offices that have weekly meeting to address the operations within a practice. This is a great tool but since your business is so fluid, it is hard to wait a week to address some topics that need continual daily auditing.

That is why the PDB is key to your office!

The goal is to give the reader/readers a daily snapshot of various operations within your practice. You can include patient flow times, scheduling, claims, optical inventory, sales, etc. It is really how the reader sees value in the information that is included in the PDB.

The fluidity of today’s business with real time data helps keep this briefing relevant and tangible. Changes in business are so quick in this day and age! You have to bring more value for the patient than just being their eye health expert.

With the instantaneous information that the patient has at their fingertips, you have to have real time information to help bring better value for your patients.

The scalability of PDB help bring those efficiencies that are needed within your practice.

Knowing these key operational items daily will help the practice become an efficient fluid living organism that adds value for the patients, human capital, and owner.

How do you start the briefing process?

How to compile this briefing is done by having a process where you write down the specific items you want in the PDB.

For example: Let’s say one of the key analytics you wanted to know about is optical inventory. Not just the overall frame count, but the sales for the day on frames.

You could walk over to your optical inventory program to pull these numbers, but it takes time to pull up these data sheets.

All that program does is tell you the raw data you want to know but it does not give you more in depth knowledge.

With the PDB, you can have those analytics with notes about a specific patient from the contributor.

You realize that Susan (a specific patient you wanted to know about in the PDB) bought some glasses from you but you knew from her previous history that she always buys two pairs of glasses and some contact lenses.

You have had some recent turnover in your office and the new dispensing optician did not know this and just sold her the one pair.

Upon realizing the error, you quickly inform her that Susan is a person that buys multiple pairs and purchases contacts. If she could have known beforehand, the optician could have a strategic advantage to better monetize your practice.

That is where the PDB comes into play.

Upon the readers review of the PDB, they notice that Susan is coming in and the optician is new and needs to be updated on her buying history. Within the PDB there is a note that gives a little history of this specific patient.

Upon reading the briefing the optician now anticipates when Susan will arrive at the optical so she can sell her the multiple pairs of glasses and contact lenses. She could have been one of the readers and noticed that this patient was coming in and better serviced her through the daily updates that this briefing provides.

As you can see, you can make this briefing as specific as you want it based upon how you want the reader/readers to extrapolate the information. This also establishes articles within your repository for your review in the future to make your practice become for efficient.

How to Write the Briefing

The way to write this briefing to is have all the strategic and analytic information come from the contributors the day before.

When you are ending the day, the compiler (office manager/designated individual) would come by and get the needed information from verbal/electronic contributors.

Upon acquiring that information, the compiler then reviews all the information for the next day and places the information into the PBD. They also review any notes from the previous days PDB and adjusts the next briefing accordingly.

You can use various formats for the PDB. It is all about how the reader/readers disseminates the information you give them. In the end, you want a briefing that gives them that snapshot of the day to make future strategic decisions that better services your practice. This reduces/eliminates the siloing of each operational category of your practice. It also helps the readers understand your practice holistically and helps them make better decisions regarding your practice while increasing the knowledge and value of your human capital within your office.

As a contributor to the PBD, you have to play a balancing act in your fiduciary responsibility to the practice and the obligation to the owner.

As human capital, we all work for someone, but we have to realize that the enterprise is what makes all this work.

Also, contributors can change the way decisions are made by having a bias/unsubstantiated tone within the PDB that could affect the decisions the owner makes for the practice. As you can see, there are some pitfalls to who are contributors to the PBD. I bring this up because I want you grasp all sides of the PDB so you are getting the best information possible to make those tough operational decisions.

Always have that continuous improvement methodology.

The PDB helps you obtain that!

It is just a better way to achieve HPM and what this series is all about!

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.