Productivity at the Practice

modern practice podcast

On this episode of The Modern Practice Podcast, host Gary Tiratsuyan welcomes Sandie Ryan, Vice President of Operations at Rectangle Health to the show to discuss how practices can enhance productivity.

During the conversation, Sandie shares:

  • Key questions every provider should ask themselves to identify major roadblocks to efficiency
  • Tactics to tackle time consuming processes that take time away from practice/patient relationship building
  • How her team takes a consultative approach in identifying unique needs on a practice-to-practice basis to enhance their revenue and growth
  • The benefits of managing patient payments, compliance, communication and engagement, as well as financing from a single solution, Practice Management Bridge®.


Gary Tiratsuyan 00:21

Hello, everybody. And welcome back to the Modern Practice Podcast. Since we launched this show, we’ve spoken a lot about the internal and external factors that can influence a practice’s efficiency. We’ve also covered the solutions healthcare providers can implement to improve productivity, profitability, patient satisfaction, and retention. Today, we’re diving into scaling that productivity and maintaining it long term. Our guest has 13 years of experience doing just that. And I’m excited to introduce you all to VP of business operations here at Rectangle Health, Sandie Ryan. Sandy, thanks for taking the time to join me; excited to have you on.

Sandie Ryan 01:02

Hi, Gary, thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here today.

Gary Tiratsuyan 01:06

My pleasure. So diving right in… 13 years focused on developing well-oiled machines that are operating at high efficiency. How many years of that experience is specifically in healthcare and did that begin at Rectangle Health?

Sandie Ryan 01:21

So, Gary, I’ve been in operations for 13 years. I started in the customer care space back in, I don’t know, maybe 10 years or so ago. And at that time, I had a real passion for the customer experience; it was really important for me to identify what customers concerns were. What can I do to help make their lives a lot easier? Over the years, I somehow made my way over to the healthcare space. And I’ve been at Rectangle Health now for seven years. I’m really excited to be here. And I’m seeing a lot of a lot of growth in the healthcare space. And I’m always looking for ways to help those practices become more efficient.

Identifying Roadblocks in Productivity

Gary Tiratsuyan 01:58

Sandie, thank you for that background. So, getting right into it, what are some of the exploration questions a practice can ask themselves to, let’s say, identify roadblocks in productivity?

Sandie Ryan 02:12

Well, today, obviously, the roadblocks are so different than they were pre-COVID. But one thing that I think is really important is, I’ve read a study just recently, and found that 94% of physicians find it even more difficult to support financially and administratively an operation or practice in today’s world. So, some of the questions that we have here in the healthcare space today, around identifying some of these roadblocks, or how many systems are they working out of—that can be a major pain point. Does their staff need more training? What kinds of things do their staff feel are mundane tasks that they do every day are repetitive, and maybe can be done a little bit more efficiently? What kind of automation would be helpful? What could they do that would, you know, just make their day a little bit smoother? Turnover definitely helps provide some gaps within that organization and identifying those and really just asking the frontline what kind of roadblocks they’re running into just in operating on a day-to-day basis.

Gary Tiratsuyan 03:16

So once those roadblocks are identified, either an exploration or discovery phase by the practice or by your team, what’s the next step to help increase that productivity and break through some of those roadblocks?

Sandie Ryan 03:32

Well, whenever you look at identifying roadblocks and productivity, one of the first thoughts that comes to my mind, especially in the space that I’m in today is what can I consolidate? Right? There’s so many different applications out there today, or there’s so many different tools, it’s not always a one size fits all. And I think one thing that’s really imperative in this space is really identifying what those barriers are and finding a tool that can help simplify things with, right? Consolidate. So, replacing those mundane tasks that those practice managers or the office managers run into on a regular basis, finding someone at that practice that can deal with an organization and can help guide them through that process… Those are some of the ways to break down those barriers and figure out how to help that staff become more productive.

The Feedback

Gary Tiratsuyan 04:22

Really interesting. And so, what’s the feedback from the dentists, from the doctors, the office managers, learning that there is a tool that solves these problems? Are they seeing immediate results? Does it take time? How does that look?

Sandie Ryan 04:38

So, you know, every practice is different in how they use tools that they put in place. It really is identifying those roadblocks and being able to tie them down to direct solutions that are going to help solve that problem. One of the things that I find really interesting in today’s world is that you have people that are holding multiple hats, right? They’re processing payments and they’re there for filing insurance payments, and they’re doing scheduling and maybe even helping a patient find a financing option if they can’t pay a bill. So, the feedback from doctors and office managers has been really positive. Because with a tool like ours, it’s a one-stop shop, right? They can find everything to solve that that practice’s problem in today’s world, and they see immediate results. Some of the practices find that there’s some tools that work better than others, some may find that putting a card on file is a practice that they want to do regularly, whereas other practices may want to do it only from time to time. So, the feedback is really positive. And I think what’s really important is tying it down to exactly what their use case is.

Gary Tiratsuyan 05:44

That makes sense. I want to shift gears here for one quick moment, and it’ll all come together. But how closely is your team aligned with and in contact with Rectangle Health’s developers, the people building an enhancing Practice Management Bridge?

Sandie Ryan 06:03

So, Gary, like I said earlier, I’ve been at Rectangle Health for seven years. And one of the things that stands out with this organization that’s very different from any other is the collaborativeness between the teams. We are in constant communication with the frontline at Rectangle Health. Our customer service department, which is by far probably one of the best in the industry, as well as our customer success team, are in constant communication with product and developers.

The Adoption of New Features

Gary Tiratsuyan 06:30

How quickly is your team reaching out to tell a practice, “Hey, there’s this new feature that will help save you time or money”? And for example, and hopefully, our listeners don’t have this many patients with outstanding payments, but sending mass text to everyone who owes or managing compliance requirements or automatically sending appointment reminders and filling open slots in the schedule.

Sandie Ryan 06:54

So, new features are available every day in the Rectangle Health space and how our customers use them is evolving every day, right based on what the needs of their business are or what their staff prefers. What my team tries to do, for every new customer, is make sure that they understand all the tools that are available to them right out the gate. Today, when you sign up with Rectangle Health, you may only see a use case for putting cards on file. Whereas tomorrow, you may want to be sending out web payment links. We serve up that information to customers as they need. And we try to make sure that they’re aware of everything that’s within the tool on day one.

We try to provide content to customers when they see fit. So, if they prefer for us to give them a call and walk them through a training, or at the time when they sign up, we may share all the tools that are available to them, and they may want to implement something only on day one, we provide them with the contact information should they have a need for additional training down the line. Or let’s just say an office manager changes or leaves the practice, our customer service line can schedule a training or a quick walkthrough at any time for that customer. So, the information is readily available. We try to push it out when it’s when it’s important when it’s meaningful to the customer. But we also are here whenever they need us.

Gary Tiratsuyan 08:17

The reason why I asked about alignment specifically between you and your team, and the development team at Rectangle Health and then going back to the practices, the [office managers], is because patient expectations have changed and are constantly changing. Then there are factors like COVID, which significantly changed the way healthcare businesses run, then staffing shortages and employee retention. Now, I’m not a health care provider, but I’ve onboarded technology everywhere I’ve been throughout my career. And I’ve always stuck with the solutions that evolved with the times and really have the best support and those open lines of communication because it’s allowed me to be as productive as possible. And it’s no different here. In this case.

Sandie Ryan 09:04

Totally, Gary. Staff needs to be able to achieve greater success and productivity. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. We’re adopting a human partner through the relationship. We are providing our customers with direct access to those tools that they need just to solve their day-to-day problems. One of the things that I find really important, especially as solutions evolve over time is, I may sometimes want to reach out and get more information. Other times I may want information pushed out to me. And that’s what we try to do here at Rectangle Health. We try to find a good balance so that we’re not interrupting our practices day to day, but we’re always here to help them get to that next level. We’re here to help them figure out and navigate through some of the challenges that they run to every day as a business owner or a practice manager.

So, the staff at Rectangle Health—what we try to pride ourselves in is the fact that we have those tools all available to us. We can answer those questions when you make a simple call into our customer service department. Or we can call you at any time and provide you with enhanced training. So, when you look at a solution in this space today, there’s so many things that are available to you. But the one difference between Rectangle Health is that we have an incredible tech stack. We provide many solutions for those practices all in one solution. And today, with all the different challenges that these healthcare practices are up against, we want to make it simple. We don’t want to overcomplicate it. We want to consolidate it. And we will also want to provide that human touch. We’re here, we’re here to support you. We’re here to help you grow or help here to help you navigate through the challenges that your practices run into every day.

Advice for Improving Productivity at Your Practice

Gary Tiratsuyan 10:45

That’s amazing, Sandy, and thank you for that. Last question, before we wrap up here. What’s your best advice to a practice from a business perspective?

Sandie Ryan 10:56

I think the best advice that I can give is just ask your people how you can help. Just ask your team how you can support them better. Ask them how their day can be easier. Because in today’s world, we’re all faced with so many challenges. And I think one of the things that’s really imperative, is just identifying how we can help solve some of those challenges. I find just talking to my staff and asking them, what do you want into on a day to day basis? What’s troublesome for you? How can I make your life easier, I think that’s the one advice I can give, is just talking to the front line, asking them what they need and helping them find the solutions that best fit their needs, as well as your needs as a business owner.

Gary Tiratsuyan 11:35

Brilliant. I love that, Sandie. And I know you’re busy. But selfishly I have to say here, I’d love to have you back on the show again, real soon to talk more about this. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Sandie Ryan 11:46

Thanks so much for having me today. Gary. Have a great day.

Gary Tiratsuyan 11:50

My pleasure. For our listeners tuning in. As always, we want your feedback. Let us know how we’re doing and what topics you’d like to hear covered on future episodes. And before we wrap up, I also want to note in the episode description, I’m going to include a link to a no cost assessment. It’s 100% free that will show you how effective a solution like Practice Management Bridge from Rectangle Health can be for your practice. Plus, when you get when you sign up, you get Sandie and her full team supporting you and your staff. It’s the power of the platform and the people behind it. It’s game changing. Thanks for tuning in. Till next time, everyone.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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