The seasons of OMS practice management: Spring

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Practice management for oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) practices is a little like farming, in that there's a seasonality to it. For example, most OMS practice owners and managers could tell you which weeks and months throughout the year involve preparing their practices for the "wisdom teeth harvest."

Scott Graham.Scott Graham.

We are releasing a series of articles that describe the primary management tasks OMS practices should consider addressing in the coming months. By keeping an annual calendar, practice owners and managers can do the following:

  • Plan proactively, with deadlines and staff assignments to increase accountability
  • Enhance staff efficiency by providing work that can be accomplished in downtimes
  • Ensure the practice is covering key aspects of nine domains of OMS practice management each year (learn more about them here)

No two OMS practices are the same, so this guidance isn't meant to be one-size-fits-all. However, OMS practice owners and managers are encountering many of the same processes year after year, so check out the information provided in our series and modify it as needed to meet your practice's unique needs.

OMS practice management duties for spring

Spring 2020 is a time of changing operations for most practices, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; at this time, you're probably responding to the crisis while also trying to stabilize scheduling, staff, and communications (see this article for guidance on practice management during the COVID-19 pandemic). We wish you, your staff, and your families well during this challenging time.

Once you've established your practice procedures to ensure safety, consider focusing some of your practice management staff's attention on these areas for spring:

  • Human resources: Update job descriptions, your employee manual, and policies and procedures. Ask yourself, what's changed around here that we need to document?
  • Risk and compliance management: Conduct internal audits of corporate, infection, billing, HIPAA, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, and address any areas that need support. Internal audits are a low-risk way to find strengths and weaknesses in your processes.
  • Patient-centered care: Update your OMS practice's infection, prevention, and exposure control plans. What has changed in your practice's protocols since last year? Has any new guidance been released that you need to address?
  • Financial management: Review tax returns with a certified public accountant (CPA). The IRS and many states are extending the 2019 filing date this year, so this may be something you choose to address later in the year, if needed.

That's a lot to cover in just a few months, so we recommend your leadership team and senior staff divide and conquer. Assign accountabilities and deadlines so that these tasks are completed on time. Then, when summer arrives, you'll be up to date and freed up to take on the next season's practice management priorities (not to mention, a vacation).

Is there anything we missed or that you want to discuss? Reach out to me at the email address below.

Scott Graham, MHA, FACMPE, FAADOM, is the founder and CEO of OMS Consulting Firm, a full-scope consulting team that specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery practices. After successfully starting and managing a large OMS practice with a nationally recognized fellowship program in St. Louis, Scott now offers his 20 years of practical OMS practice management experience to others. Scott can be reached at 833-OMS-FIRM and [email protected].

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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