I was recently having a conversation with a very successful urogynecologist that operates in on the East Coast. We were talking about diagnostics (such as urodynamics), the cost of the equipment, and the difficulty of retaining well-trained staff. He was surprised to learn that we served many large urogynecology practices and urology practices. He assumed that all of these large practices would perform their urodynamics testing in house. His thinking was that the clinic would be much more profitable if it owned the equipment, trained the staff, and dealt with all the other details to be able to deliver urodynamics testing services to their patients. This is true for some large urology and urogynecology practices, however it is certainly not true for many practices. Also, I believe he was not considering all of the pertinent details related to outsourcing diagnostics.
In any business there is much to be said for the benefits of focus. If you do not focus you can get so many “irons in the fire” that you let your most profitable offerings fall behind or suffer. For example, for most urogynecologist, the most profitable thing they typically can do is perform surgeries such as InterStim implants and sacral colpopexy surgeries. However, it is very easy to get caught up in the details of managing staff and performing urodynamics testing and managing all the details required for it. Another way of saying this is that there is opportunity cost that must be factored in when you lose focus.
Larger urology and urogynecology practices use us to save costs and to achieve better focus. This is true for all types of outsourcing. Outsourcing can be used for cost savings, but gaining better focus is often not considered and is often the biggest benefit. In my humble opinion, focus is probably one of the best reasons to outsource. I have run numerous businesses in my career, and I can tell you from personal experience, focus is one of the best competitive advantage enablers you can give your business. Focus is also the way you get to higher levels of profitability.
If you want to read more on the topic of focus in business, I highly recommend Al Ries's book Focus.
If your are interested in how we enable the outsourcing of urodynamics testing, click here.