If you are a physician or administrator who creates the call schedule for the doctors using Excel, this post is specifically for you. I have heard the phrase over and over “I’m too busy to even look at something new”, “we’re too busy with (fill in the blank)”, and “the doctors are so busy” so often that it doesn’t even phase me anymore. After some thoughtful reflection, I was unable to identify a group of professionals who are not busy. Can people be so busy that they can’t take time to learn something relevant to their business that will save time? Really?
Adjuvant Technologies is the second company I started. In my first company and even the first few years of Adjuvant, I was always busy. Often times too busy to eat lunch or even arrive home at a reasonable hour. Over the years, trusted advisors, as well as members of my Board of Directors would advise me to begin to off-load some of the administrative duties that were always making me so busy. One of the main reasons that prevented me from giving up some of these tasks was the daunting task of turning things over to someone else, bringing them up to speed, and then managing the process. It seemed easier to just do it myself. Although nervous, I thought I would take the advice and give it a try.
Freeing Up Precious Time
One of the first things I “turned over” to someone else was the daily book-keeping and accounting duties. Although it was a long set-up process, looking back it was one of the best moves I made. Although I am still very involved, I do not have to perform all of the daily duties. This gives me more free time to do my job, which is selling, writing blog posts and running the business.
When I look back several years, doing the accounting was a way for me to keep busy with a task that was relatively simple, gave me some sense of accomplishment and was easier than picking up the phone and trying to talk to a doctor or clinic manager who was always too busy. It was actually some form of not having to do my job because I was busy with something else.
When I look at this in contrast to on-call physician scheduling software, I do wonder why there are so many busy doctors who take on the task of creating, updating, and communicating the call schedule for themselves and their partners. And on top of that, when they do it by hand or with Excel, not taking advantage of software such as Call Scheduler. Perhaps it is like doing a brain teaser, something to take their mind off of work, patients, families, and other “stuff” that looms in doctors' minds.
In my company we have decided intentionally not to be “too busy” to look at and explore things that will help me and the team manage and grow the business. Because we are open to new, relevant ideas and concepts, we continue to find “bits of goodness” that hopefully, my competitors are “too busy” to see. One example of this is the blog you are currently reading. Although we try and write weekly, sometimes we miss that goal. Most companies are far too busy to blog, just ask them.
Another example is that we use a robust Customer Management System (CRM) to manage all of our sales and customer activity. Many companies don’t use CRM systems like this because they are “too busy to set-up and continue to enter information into”. We invested in this system so we can do a better job memorializing the conversations and interactions that we have with our customers. This should make it easier on our prospects and customers in the long run.
I try and make decisions that are in the best interest of the business and our customers. If I am too busy to look at something new that can save me time and help our customers, I may need to re-evaluate if I am doing my job.
Key Takeaway: Maybe you are too busy NOT to look at something like physician scheduling software.