What can the Plan Do Study Act model do for your business? Has this ever happened to you? You realize that your cash flow is way down, and it is because you have not been sending out invoices in a timely way. Many legal nurse consulting companies are challenged by the need to keep up with the flow of paper.
Here is a systematic quality improvement process that you can apply to your legal nurse consulting firm.
The “Plan Do Study Act” model can be used in many types of businesses. Let’s apply it to invoicing in a legal nurse consulting business. Look at the problem for several angles, consistently asking why a certain process is in place or a certain thing happens. This is called drilling down to get to the root of the problem.
For example, one explanation for late invoices is that your procedures for invoicing may be time-consuming or convoluted. You may be inconsistent as to when you invoice – at stages during the case, monthly or at the end of the case. Are you busy turning out the work product instead of invoicing? Are you trying to juggle a part-time business and a full-time clinical role?
Steps of the Plan Do Study Act model
Step 1: Brainstorm in the planning stage
. Determine your objective of doing a pilot test of a change in the procedure. For example, you may decide that you will take care of invoicing before any other work. State your objective of this test: to having invoicing receive the highest priority. Make a prediction about what you think you’ll find from your test.
Step 2: Do the test
Try it out on a small scale, and document problems or unexpected findings.
Step 3: Study the results
. Look at the data, analyze it and compare it to what you predicted you’d find. What did you learn from the test? Did you find the invoicing was being done in a timely manner? Did you find steps in your invoicing process that need to be eliminated or expanded?
Step 4: Act. Refine the change
. Perhaps you’ll decide to implement changes in your invoicing procedures. A change in software, procedures, or timing may be needed. Decide on a realistic plan for implementing the change, and plan the next test.
Careful examination of your processes will teach you what you need to change. Invoicing is the heart of your business. Don’t neglect it. Figure out why you have roadblocks, remove them, and steam ahead.
Before Pat Iyer became president of The Pat Iyer Group, LLC and Med League Support Services, Inc, she was a nursing quality improvement coordinator.