Author: Judy Capko

Publisher:  Greenbranch Publishing -150   pages

Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Bad time management hurts doctors financially as they fail to serve an adequate number of patients, or fail to serve each of them adequately, resulting in loss of patients and thereby, revenue. The goodwill that doctors build up with patients is invaluable for long-term, ongoing income, as well as new revenue gained through referrals by satisfied patients. Gaining new patients to replace those lost costs money, time, and effort.

I fired my ex-doctor because I could no longer bear her repeated offenses of making me wait and wait and wait in her constantly crowded waiting room and her being late half an hour or more beyond the set appointment time. My time, even as most of my appointments were after 6 pm, was as valuable as hers’ if not more. She failed to respect it, and as a consequence, lost my respect for her.

I got rid of her as my doctor because she would also want to see me unnecessarily, only to make money. When I asked her the results of my blood tests, rather than briefly discuss them with me over the phone, she would insist on seeing me in person. It made no sense for me to waste further time and pay her as well for wasting it. Many of her patients called her a “cash register.”

This book by Judy Capko shows you, the physician in a private practice, how to use your time most productively and also, not waste your patients’ valuable time. For over two decades Judy has helped hundreds of doctors benefit from her practical, innovative and no-nonsense approach to organize their activities and staff for optimum performance.

This book also offers you the doctor ways to not only save time, but also keep your patients – the basis of your income – happy. Reducing stress for yourself and your employees is an added value for you when you read this book and implement some or all of Judy Capko’s recommendations.

This compact, easily readable short book of just 150 pages is packed full of information. Conscious of doctors’ precious time perhaps, Ms. Capko has organized the book in such a way that the bits of advice (topics and subtopics) are easily “digestible.” The technique she has used in writing this book is to cover briefly a large variety of useful subjects.

Her choice not to be longwinded and detailed on each subject is very smart. Broad coverage and brevity are demonstrated through no less than 55 bullet points in this book of 11 chapters. No chapter is longer than 17 pages, and the shortest one is only six pages long. So, it’s a lot of bites but mostly small ones. I hate to compare this with food, but I cannot think of any better way.

She writes about the frustrations many doctors have, key among which is going through a long day yet feeling “sabotaged,” (the word she uses), attending to this and that but with not much having been accomplished. Frantic activity devoid of productivity is one of the worst situations one can be in, and for self-employed people such as physicians with their own practice, it is worse than being employed elsewhere.

Judy Capko shows you five symptoms (and they could be causes) of self-sabotage: a lack of structure within your organization or staff, with no clearly defined responsibilities; compromised environment, with people stepping over each other’s space in going about their work; lack of a plan relating to the use of expertise, time, space and activity; a lack of discipline, or not doing what needs to be done during the time it is supposed to be done; and losing time to unproductive tasks when that time should be used productively.

In this same systematic manner of pointing out problems and providing solutions in the first chapter on sabotage, Judy Capko goes through many types of work in a medical office in the other 10 chapters. Using her insight gathered through more than 20 years of helping doctors, Judy Capko lists an issue or a group of them and provides suggestions to overcome them.

The coverage of issues in the book is, as we pointed out earlier, rather broad. Within the 55 bullet points of topics are also subtopics. You can pick which ones are most troublesome in your practice and read up on those.

The subjects of the other chapters (2 through 11) are on: communicating with your office; handling telephones and messages; scheduling work for yourself, your full-time employees and your part-timers; getting work done right, to save time, trouble, money; enhancing staff productivity; setting up a system of work so your office runs smoothly,  if your decision is needed, you can be contacted anytime, anywhere; handling “your ultimate partner – the patient” right and keeping him-her happy; knowing your business data and utilizing it to  boost revenues; taking back your time; and looking forward to a happier, more time-efficient, more profitable practice.

I recommend this book as a must-read for any doctor who wants to have a smoothly running practice with a minimum of wasted time, effort and money. Judy Capko has acquired the necessary understanding and perception through many years of working with doctors to help them overcome their thorny management issues, and she can help you with yours. I suggest that you get and read this book.