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Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. I’m your host, Jay Shorr. I’m the CEO and founder of Shorr Solutions, a national and award-winning consulting firm, assisting aesthetic and surgical practices with their operational, administrative and financial success. I have an amazing team of practice management experts and clients across the U.S. and as an industry expert with firsthand experience owning a multi-million-dollar cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery practice.
Listen in as I lend you my expertise and best tips to successfully manage and grow your aesthetic practice. I will also be bringing in guests along the way, so get ready to be equipped to operate your aesthetic practice strategically and profitably. Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.
Hello again and thank you for joining another episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.
I’m your host, Jay Shorr. Today we’re going to speak about do you have effective policies, procedures and protocols in your aesthetic practice?
00:01:16:12 – 00:04:14:02
Many times, people say, oh, I heard the term PPP, but most recently here in the U.S., PPP had a whole totally different meaning. Everybody thought of Payroll Protection Program, but that’s not what it is today.
PPP are Policies, Procedures and Protocols. But most importantly, if you have policies, procedures and protocols, PPP, they have to be CCC. And that’s Clear, Concise and Consistent. And then why is that? Well, first of all, most people don’t even know what policies, procedures and protocols are. So before we go any further, let’s define what they are.
A policy is something that grows in the course of time and they’re not made all of a sudden, they grow along with your organization. A policy is very important because every business, every medical practice has to have a policy. And we’re going to get into an example of some and what they are.
So let’s talk about a protocol. What is a protocol? A protocol defines a set of procedures or steps that you have to follow for the accomplishment of a given task. So if you want to do something, how do you go about getting there? We’re going to give an example of that as well.
So what our policies, procedures and protocols. Well, let’s dive in a little bit further.
A policy mandates specific or prohibitive conduct in order to enhance the practices’ mission. It ensures coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and it promotes operational efficiency and or reduces institutional risk. While the procedure describes the operational process necessary to implement that specific policy and the protocol lastly, are problem oriented the mandatory set of decision making rules or instructions or standards are based on best practices, which are guidelines specific to the practice.
Now, let’s understand you have an idea. You have something in your practice that you want to do. So I always refer to it commonly known as the noun: people, places and things. Who’s going to do what? What is it that you want to accomplish? How do you want to accomplish it? And where do you want to accomplish it?
To bring it back to second grade: people, places and things.
00:04:14:02 – 00:06:31:13
So what’s an example of a policy and a procedure? Well, let’s look at somebody that’s requesting vacation time or PTO, the vacation policy. Everyone has a policy about PTO. How do you get there? a vacation policy is very simple because there’s a framework of the amount of PTO that each one of your people are eligible to take. That’s the policy. We’re going to give X amount of PTO contingent upon or
predicated upon the amount of time that you’ve been there or the amount of hours that you work that I want to give you X amount of hours of PTO based on full time employment.
It can either be one hour for every 52 hours that you work for one week, one hour of every 26 hours that you work for two weeks. But the vacation policy has the framework of the amount of PTO that your employees can take. Now, the procedure includes the steps to get to the approval of the PTO.
So I have a policy. I have a procedure. All right. Now, the policy is we get X amount of PTO, but the procedure includes the steps of how to get there and how to get the approval. So what does that mean? Well, in that protocol and the procedure, I have to share that in order to ask for that PTO, you have now to sign a written document. You have to give it to your supervisor. Manager, owner and allow them to approve that PTO.
So understand, let’s go back. The policy designates that you are eligible to have X amount of PTO predicated on factors: how much time you’ve put in. How many months or years you’ve been there, or how many hours you get predicated on how many hours you’ve worked.
But this procedure to review it says that in order for me to get that PTO, I have to follow certain steps and guidelines in order for it to be approved.
00:06:31:14 – 00:08:18:03
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00:08:18:04 – 00:10:18:10
So let’s talk about what are the six parts of the processes of policies.
Number one: problem emergence. it’s always when you have a problem, that’s what delegates and relegates the need to have policies, procedures and protocols.
Number two, it’s an agenda setting. So we have to set an agenda in order to make it happen.
Consideration of Policy Options
Number three is the consideration of policy options. You have different types of policies, but what are the options to get there?
And in the example that we just gave about vacation, number four is the decision making in order to be able to get that PTO. You have to request it and then there’s a decision making process. All right. And when you’re creating that protocol, the procedure and the policy, that also has to have a decision making process. But who makes that decision? Owner, manager, Administrator, supervisor, a group or a conglomerate of people?
And two of the hardest number five is the implementation of that procedure and that policy, because you can have a policy and you can have that procedure, but you have to implement it. And how do you go about that? Well, now you have to have steps.
And then lastly, how do you know if it’s effective? You have to evaluate it.
And that is the sixth part. X, you know, Y. X worked, Y didn’t work. X plus Y worked. So you have a problem emergence. You set an agenda. You have a consideration of policy options that you want to implement. You have a decision making group that says, Yes, I’m going to do it. Then you have to implement it and then you have to evaluate it. That, by far is probably one of the hardest.
00:10:18:11 – 00:14:52:01
So how do you write a good policy and procedure? This is going to be last thing that we talk about.
Number one, keep it simple. Policy should be written in plain language, not legalese. None of us are attorneys unless those who are listening are attorneys. Keep it simple. You ever hear KISS? Keep it simple, Stupid. I don’t like the last word “stupid”, but keep it simple. Number two, keep it general. Policies cannot contemplate all possible situations. So you keep it general.
Whatever you think is the best way to go about it is how you should go about it. Number three, keep it relevant to the job function. Keep it relevant to your staff. Keep it relevant to the things that you do in your office. Keep it relevant to the patients that flow. Because all the policies and all the procedures and all the protocols don’t mean anything if it doesn’t relate to your specific business.
Now, what’s one of the most important parts about it? It has to clearly state who in your office is going to do what? Because you can have a dozen steps about what needs to be done in order to accomplish your goal. But if you don’t clearly define and state in that in your policy and procedure, who is going to do it? You’ve missed the boat. Example:
We have over 350 policies, procedures and protocols in our toolbox. And when I formally owned a practice, I had policies and procedures and protocols, even as far as who turns on the coffee pot in the morning? And then who turns the coffee pot off? And the end of the day, I know a lot of people have told me, Jay, I’ve listened to your podcast before, and I know you mentioned about the burned coffee.
It was something that really, really bothered me. So who was responsible? Halfway through the day, everyone’s drinking coffee. Look, don’t let it smell, alright? It’s a terrible smell. And when we used to have vendors kind enough to bring food and to bring lunch into our office, we had a protocol in who is responsible for cleaning up. So what did we do? We had a schedule. If it was on a Monday, it was this person’s job. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Everybody had a part in it. And if you didn’t want to follow Jay’s protocol on who cleans up after vendors break lunch, guess what? No more free lunching down and We found that all of a sudden it got done.
Now, three more. Check for accuracy and compliance to make sure that the policies, the procedures and the protocols that you write are accurate and comply with the law.
And then they can ensure that the policies can be enforced. Because you can write all of these great policies, procedures and protocols, but if people violate them and you can’t enforce them, then, folks, what good were they? They were worthless. And you wasted all of this time on H.R. and everything creating something that you couldn’t enforce.
Now, I’m not one here that wants to bring in the internal H.R. police. That’s demoralizing. But if each and every one of your staff members have a part in it and have a part to play in it, the one thing I will ensure you is that it will get done. It will get enforced and it will have buy in from each and every one of the people involved and each and every one of the people in your office.
And lastly, less is more. Be very succinct. Get to the point. People, places, and things. The more you put into a protocol, the more it’s not going to have a buy in.
00:14:52:04 – 00:15:29:14
And ladies and gentlemen, they are the pearls of how you implement, how you write, and how you enforce good policies, procedures and protocols. I’m your host, Jay Shaw. It is my honor to be able to present good, informative information because we even have policies, procedures and protocols in how we produce these for you, how you get to them, how we get to you, and how we make it work.
So until next time. Good luck. God bless. Until we see you again.
00:15:29:15 – 00:17:21:01
So that wraps up today’s episode of Shorr Solutions: The podcast. If we mentioned any website links, you can find them in our show notes to work directly with me and our award winning team of consultants to increase efficiency, increase revenue and decrease costs in your aesthetic practice, schedule a free consult with us today.
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