Too Busy To Be Successful?

A physician called us one day and told us he desperately needed our help. He couldn't even wait; he wanted us to come to his officeâ€"and now!

A physician called us one day and told us he desperately needed our help. He couldn't even wait; he wanted us to come to his office—and now!

We spoke to him briefly, but before he even had time to share the details that led him to call us with this “urgent” need (his word), his nurse interrupted him with another “urgent” issue and he had to hang up. He called again the next day, and again was interrupted and had to cut the conversation short.

Finally, we received an e-mail giving us a specific time to reach him, when he said he would await our call. We called and, guess what? He was too busy to take the call. Sound familiar?

New Disease

This physician was suffering from a malady increasingly found in healthcare practices all around the country. He was suffering from “hecticus extremis.” In lay terms, he was too busy to be successful!

From almost daily reports, we conclude that this virus is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions in healthcare practices around the nation. Could you be suffering from “hecticus extremis” and not even know it?

Symptoms:• Feeling like the proverbial hamster on the wheel, running as fast as you can but never in reach of your goals

• Your schedule is filled with patients but you still don't seem to make any money

• Your day starts before dawn and ends long after sundown—and that's during daylight savings time!

• You don't have time for your family

• You wake up exhausted after dreaming that you're trying to swim through Jello


• Spending so much time working in your business that you don't have enough time to really work on your business

• Staying busy focusing on the wrong things

• Paperwork has taken over your life

• You've lost sight of your most important goals—assuming you even found time to identify those goals

The Cure

You’ll be encouraged to know that “hecticus extremis” can be cured, if diagnosed in time and if a strict treatment regimen is followed. Here’s the Rx:

1) Make time to work on the business—not just in it.

No excuses. If you can't or won't make this a priority, you relinquish all rights to complain about your situation.

2) Leverage your time to better advantage.

• Delegate low-levels tasks that currently occupy your time.

• Identify and add reimbursable or cash services that can be provided by "extenders"

• Determine most profitable services and develop a plan to attract more of those cases

3) Develop a strong action plan for all of the above.

Two of the three time-leveraging action steps in item #2 above can be accomplished by implementing a well-conceived and executed marketing plan for you business. A good marketing plan should be tactical as well as strategic and specifically shaped to serve your goals.

4) Support yourself with an efficient patient acquisition and retention marketing system.

A plan defines what you need to do. A system gives you the infrastructure of ongoing support that keeps your most effective activities well organized and consistently performing at a higher level. If you build your marketing system correctly the first time, it will deliver more success with less sweat for many years to come. A successful marketing system creates more freedom, more time, and more equity in your business.

ConclusionRemember, “Hecticus extremis” rarely resolves itself and usually gets progressively worse over time. If you suspect or know that you suffer from this insidious affliction, don't procrastinate.

Lonnie Hirsch and Stewart Gandolf are the Founding Partners of Healthcare Success Strategies. Together, they have over 30 years experience as private practice marketing experts, having consulted on and created marketing campaigns for over 3,200 practices. Prior to founding HSS, which provides high level, personalized consulting to successful private practitioners who are serious about growing practice profits, Lonnie was president and Stewart was vice-president of marketing with the nation's largest private practice marketing firm. They invite comments at 888-679-0050 or