How To Add A New Modality To Your First Practice Fresh Out Of Fellowship
The biggest controversies in private practice often stem from workload/relative value unit (RVU) or differences in “earnings” among physicians. Anytime one physician “works more” or earns less on a daily rotation, partners and employees interpret that difference as unfair. Even more so, radiologists heighten this perception when one physician performs this rotation more than others. So, imagine starting out and attempting to introduce a new procedure or imaging modality to a practice right after graduating fellowship. Often times, this will tip the balance of workflow for an entire practice. So, how do you incorporate this new work into a practice’s current workflow? And, what might you need to do to sway your partners to change the workflow for this new procedure into your practice? Today, we will delve into what you need to know as a new radiologist fresh out of fellowship who wants to start a new program or modality.
Show That The New Modality Increases Practice Value
In order to begin the process, most importantly, you need to demonstrate that the new procedure adds value to the practice. What do I mean by that? Well, your job (if you choose to do so) becomes to convince your partners that your procedure or modality will eventually increase or at least maintain business.
How do you go about this process? One of the easiest ways to accomplish this goal, simply, is to give a practice-wide presentation. In order to do so, you need to show that your new modality will provide revenue above and beyond the what the practice brings in. If this is not the case, you should demonstrate how the new procedure may act as a loss leader or at least increase ties with the hospital for the benefit of all.
Another option to increase buy-in of the partners would be to perform the art of “politicking”. Talk to your partners individually to get them to understand what the new procedure/modality will bring to the practice. So, when it comes time to discuss adding your new procedure to the daily rotations, each radiologist will be on board.
And finally, you need to consider what the practice will need to add as well as the costs to get the new procedure or modality started. Is this procedure going to take away from other business in the practice? Or, in the case of new high tech equipment, are the costs prohibitively expensive? These items are crucial to think about prior to beginning the new procedure.
Make A New Schedule That Is Fair For Everyone
Next, you need to think about not just the procedure value, but also, you should develop ways to incorporate the new procedure into the schedule fairly. The less onus on the partners to develop a new schedule; the more likely you will be able to add the new modality to the practice. So, come up with ideas about how to add the new procedure. Perhaps, you want to tack it on to a current rotation at first. Or maybe, it is worthwhile to go full-steam into a new daily or weekly rotation. You need to think about working out these factors prior to “going live”. If you cannot accomplish this successfully, the chances of creating a new addition to practice dramatically decreases.
Be Aware Of The Politics
Sometimes beginning a new venture can wreak havoc on a practice or hospital system. For instance, if you are considering to add a new SPECT/CT to one site, it may take away business from another within the system. This may decrease the employment opportunities for technologists within the site that does not have the new technology. And, you may get a lot of pushback when you try to add it on to the site. Therefore, it is important to take the politics of the practice and hospital prior to beginning the new procedure.
Don’t Overwhelm The Decision Makers
All of these steps listed above are instrumental to create something new in your practice. However, you have to tread very carefully. Often times, your partners may be busy with lots of other practice requirements. So, try not to overwhelm them. What do I mean by that? Make sure that the new procedure will not add significant burdens to the partners and employees. In the beginning, consider taking on a lot of the excess work yourself in order to get the rotation required. Remember, you are the champion of this new procedure. So, you have to put the additional work in to get it started up front. If not you, then who else will do it?
Bottom Line For Starting A New Procedure Or Modality
Whenever you want to start something new within a practice, it is not enough to jump right in and begin. You need to put in much forethought and work prior to beginning. Starting something new, not only affects the person initially responsible for developing the initiative. Rather, incorporating new procedures into the schedule affects the entire practice due to its effect upon workflow. So, make sure to show that the procedure increases practice value, demonstrate how to incorporate it into the schedule fairly, be aware of the politics, and take on much of the initial grunt work yourself at the beginning. If you can accomplish these steps, you markedly increase the chances of starting a new procedure or modality within your practice for the benefit of all!