Check out American Prosthetics Components for some great products. The website is a little clunky but their products are top notch.
Category Archives: Workplace Ideas
Around the lab I am always looking for my 3,4,5 hex key. Apparently I am not the only person that has this problem. Rehab Systems puts a kit of hex keys anywhere they think they might need/use them. The hex keys then never leave the specified area. Here is the little rig they made to hold the hex keys. They used a scrap piece of plastic and drilled some holes in it to hold the wrenches. Simple, brilliant, and now I know exactly where my 4mm is and will be.
Would you like to collect 99% of what you are billing insurance companies? Would you like accounts receivable on time? Would you like to know for sure you are compliant? Do you know for sure what Medicare requires for your claims? Are you overwhelmed or frustrated because it is hard to find an employee that knows all aspects of billing for Orthotics and Prosthetics? Do you want to know how when and how much you are going to collect from your various insurance companies?
If you are an independent company you know how hard it is to get all your paperwork right before you can actually bill it. Once the claim is billed the money then needs to be collected and followed up on if it has not been collected. Third party billing services have started popping up in Orthotics and Prosthetics and I think it is time to take a look at the benefits of letting somebody else take care of the billing/collecting headache. ACTS billing can handle your business whether large or small. They have 25+ years of combined experience working for the most compliant and regimented publicly traded company in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Now that they have been in the private sector, many of the financial reports in OPIE were designed by their staff. They are on every conference call Medicare has regarding DME, prosthetics, and orthotics and therefore they know the latest compliance information.
ACTS offers a wide range of solution for your business. The owner, Theresa Utt, will personally look at your business needs and provide recommendations of where you can go in the future. They will treat your $20 claim with the same ferociousness as your $50,000 claim. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed. Theresa has been a great help to me over the years.
On November 16th I left Raleigh to visit Kevin Matthews, CO, and owner of Advanced Orthopedic Designs in Texas. I have been following Kevin’s work for almost two years and had been curious of not only the Turbo AFO but also his designs for pediatric orthoses. Kevin was extremely approachable and did not hesitate to say yes. The experience at Kevin’s office was extremely valuable to me. He showed me the orthoses he makes and also showed me the fabrication techniques to make them. He was an open book and did not hold back any information.
The moral of this experience is, find someone that is good at what they do and ask them to share. Continuing education courses, though necessary, do not hold a candle to immersing yourself into a world of an experienced professional.
This book is a must read for all business owners, leaders, and employees (did I leave anyone out?). I would say that EntreLeadership gives a comprehensive and thought-provoking review of running a successful business.
In the first chapter, Dave outlines the definition of an EntreLeader and lets leaders know if those qualities are not what you are practicing then you are failing as a leader. Employees look up to their leader and if their leader sucks then so will the company. He goes on to use a word picture of a rope – a good leader will use the power of persuasion to pull the rope in the direction he wants them to go, whereas someone who is only a leader by title will push the rope with threats and fear (we all know how pushing a rope ends up). The chapter ends with the need for a good leader to not only have a passion for the business but also a passion to allow his/her employees to be successful.
The next few chapters cover goals, the importance of a personal and business mission statement, time-managment, meetings, the necessary evil of technology to make you efficient, decision making, and communication.
My favorite chapter, and one that I think is the ingredient for having a successful business, is Chapter 7, “Business is Easy…Until People Get Involved.” He talks about how necessary it is to make sure you hire the right people and how much time and money are consumed when you do not. He has a twelve step hiring process (he stays away from the mirror test, if you can fog a mirror, “You are Hired!”). I like his idea of the first interview being no more than 30 minutes. It is a drive by to see if you want to continue the hiring process with the person. I also like his idea of using a personality test or the DISC test. This gives employers an idea of how the interviewee may fit in with the company. Another idea I think is brilliant is going over the potential hire’s personal budget. I realize some people may think this information is too personal, but you need to know if the employee will be able to live off of what you are paying them. If they cannot make it on what you are paying them then they will become unhappy quickly.
Dave does briefly touch on firing people and the main point is to do it quickly and gracefully. I love the quote, “Regardless of the reason for the release, treat people right and with kindness. You are in control and you still have a job: they have neither, so be kind.”
The last few chapters focus on building up your team and keeping them motivated and happy. They meet as a whole team at least once a week for a meal (300+ employees). He speaks to the “enemies of unity” and really harps on gossip. He fires employees for gossiping. On the flip side, he will reward people who do the right thing, or in his words, are “rock stars” at their jobs.
I found his ideas on compensation and contracts to be fascinating. He does not have employment contracts. He wants people to work because they want to not because they are bound by a contract. His organization is ready to be generous if the employee goes above and beyond what they are employed to do.
If we, the Orthotic and Prosthetic field, actually put into practice the principals of this book we would elevate employee satisfaction, customer service, and ultimately patient outcomes. Patients can feel the difference too when the people who interact with them are happy, motivated, and in pursuit of excellence. They can tell we care about them and each other.
If this sounds like a book you want to read, I am giving one away! E-mail me at email@example.com and I will enter you into the first ever lifEnabled raffle. Drawing in one week.
I have always heard the saying, “Leaders are readers”, and have never really given it a second thought. Lately however, I was listening to a podcast and heard that the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company reads 3 books a month. I know that if a CEO has enough time for reading I should be able to make time. The first book that I have chosen to read is EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. The book has been on the Best Seller List for a few weeks. I am almost finished with the it and I will review it by the weekend.
So far I think every business owner and employee should read this book. If you are in leadership be prepared to be challenged. Dave Ramsey covers everything from time management, to compensation, and to hiring and firing. He is passionate of surrounding himself with competent and brilliant people that bring out the best in him and his company.
Want to join me in reading?
We have very limited space in our facility, so I recently updated my primary evaluation/casting/fitting workspace to make it more efficient. Even though my lab is only a few steps away, I was tired of getting up for a pair of scissors, a catalog, rolls of cast tape, or a 4mm wrench. My operating principle is that the items used most commonly (cast supplies, sizing charts, measurement and alignment tools, towels) should all be within easy reach of the primary work station. The tablet PC for documenting in the electronic medical record (EMR) and internet access is on a roll-away computer table allowing easy transitions from eval to impression or fitting and back again. Keeping the high-low table configured as a chair reduces the footprint in the limited space; a full table isn’t necessary for the majority of patients. Now I just need to get some wall decorations…
What ways have you found to maximize efficiency in your work spaces?
Thank you John for this tip. I like the idea of the high-low table doubling as the chair.