Innovation is the key to growing your practice—and keeping the growth going. Innovation’s also what helps you stay ahead of your competition. But it’s really hard to do on your own. It’s hard to see and do things differently when you’re used to a certain way. That’s why I strongly recommend working with a medical office consultant to bring innovative new ideas to your same-old processes.

Sometimes it takes somebody who hasn’t been involved to come in, look at everything, and analyze it to see where you are missing out. A consultant also knows what other practices are doing and can tell you where you’re up to standard and where you’re not, and put you on a path to improving. They can clue you in to new marketing techniques, new ideas, and new ways to do things.

I’ve seen for myself how working with a consultant can streamline processes and help offices run even more efficiently and effectively. Consultants can also help train staff appropriately. The people who work for your organization are an extension of your brand, and consultants can give them advice on how to act in a way that supports your business and how to be an effective ambassador, helping to bring in new business and build on the client relationships you already have.

But people sometimes get impatient. A consultant isn’t going to come in and transform your practice overnight. You have to commit to going through the process and being open to the consultant’s advice. Often, people aren’t willing to listen and to change. You may be the expert in surgery, but the consultant is the expert in medical office management. To get the most from a consultant, you have to be humble enough to realize that you may not be doing everything in the best way.