Jim Hewson has been a therapist for 20 years and owned his own practice, Honolulu Physical Therapy, since 1984. His practice is well organized and prosperous, but things were not always so easy.
“In 1989,” Hewson recalls, “I had been in private practice for five years, and I had grown, but felt there was more to my being able to master the business side of running a private office. I was just feeling overwhelmed by the paperwork–I was a small business that needed to be organized, flying by the seat of my pants.
“To illustrate the state of things, I had gotten very behind in billing for services–there was a backlog for bills that hadn’t even been mailed out! It was only because I had a contract at another facility that I was allowed to get along as a little business. I was habitually procrastinating–I didn’t have a system in place that helped me be on target.
“One day, however, I realized that without some training in management, without a consultant, I might be in the same place a year from then, if I didn’t do something.”
Jim Hewson got lucky; a team from Sterling Systems was about to have a seminar in Honolulu on how to improve a health care practice, and someone from Sterling called Hewson to invite him.
The seminar made lots of sense.
“I liked the idea that statistically measuring what went on in the practice would help to guide it,” says Hewson”. “It was a management principle I could see immediately was sound. I also liked the idea of having certain formulas that would assist in guiding the practice. I also wanted more of the information they introduced on understanding human behavior, mine and that of the staff.”
“I spoke with a consultant afterwards, and arranged to go to Glendale for the full Sterling program.
“On arriving at Sterling’s California facility, I felt I was in a very sophisticated, well-managed organization. I knew they were very successful in their growth and in doing things for people. I like the fact that I got a lot of individualized attention, and liked the way a lot of the training was self-paced.”
“As to the coursework,” continues Hewson, “there was a real logic, a real soundness to the method of collecting data about your company. The condition formulas–steps to take based on the state of things in the practice–made a lot of sense. I found out when I applied these methods that they were just as good as they seemed.”
Hewson was able to apply the material immediately to his business, and got the results he was looking for.
“I would say I doubled the amount of business we were able to do in two years.”