The number of medical practices across the United States is an ever-growing figure. While this ostensibly means better access to treatment for patients, it can make it difficult for those wanting to establish their own practice to do so successfully. However, those who want to build a successful medical practice can do so by implementing effective external and internal strategies.
External Strategies: Marketing
To create a successful medical practice, clinics must put their best foot forward, so to speak. To build a client base, you must get your name out there in a positive light, creating encouraging first impressions and establishing a good reputation.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression with any client. The most successful medical practices are hyper-mindful of this in their physical locations as well as their online platform. Assess both spaces as though you were seeing them for the first time.
How is your waiting room set up? Does its layout, colorscheme, and ambient music reflect competent care and assuage the natural fears of visiting the doctor? Is the building easy to access, with doors clearly marked and optimized for those with disabilities? Is your staff helpful and friendly?
Your online impressions may be even more important initially, since over 72% of Americans start their search for healthcare providers online nowadays. The layout of your website should be easy to navigate, and your content should be easy to understand for those without medical backgrounds. Publish content with the objective of gaining new patients, understanding your audience as you craft written content, videos, or social media posts.
Referrals are still a prominent part of building a client base and a successful medical practice. Encourage current clients to speak in your favor through online surveys or questionnaires. These responses can, with client permission, be posted on your website and other forums to help new clients find your practice.
Safeguard Your Reputation
Treat your practice’s reputation as a high priority, and have comprehensive malpractice insurance coverage and proficient legal counsel on hand for disputes that arise. Most practices run into these kinds of problems occasionally, but they don’t have to be devastating if your practice is ethical in its work and engages a good legal team.
Internal Strategies: Practice Management
A successful medical practice’s first priority is providing quality healthcare for its patients. In addition to good medical treatment, however, is the need for good customer service, organization, and vision. To maintain a loyal client base and make space to add new clients, consider the following methods.
Have a Plan
If you want to build a successful medical practice, you should have a plan to do so, including metrics for what success means for you. Have achievable, measurable goals and let them fuel all the decisions in your practice. Keep your records clean, organized, and accurate so you always know where you stand.
The Top of Your Game
The beauty of medicine is that it is constantly evolving for the better. For your practice to succeed, it must keep with the times. Continuously improve your leadership skills and your medical knowledge. Be aware of the most current research and of emerging technologies. This can set you apart from the competition and help you give the best care available.
Communication is Key
Good communication is crucial to any practice’s success, in the waiting room, during an appointment, and between visits. Work on staff’s customer service, both behind the reception desk and in the observation room. Patients should feel valued and heard, not that they are another number who need a prescription.
Part of communicating to patients just how valuable they are is scheduling return appointments. This is best done at the end of every appointment so no one gets missed. Reminders about visits should be sent in a way that is most beneficial to individual patients, and these methods may include phone calls, texts, or emails. Make sure other notifications like availability for vaccinations are easy to access, through signage at the facility and online promotions.
The people who support a practice matter, and practice owners should employ staff that are competent and efficient as well as driven. Medical staff know how to best treat patients, so a successful practice allows them to do so without getting bogged down by the minutiae of administrative work.
That being said, administrative tasks need to be addressed for a practice to run smoothly. That is what makes delegation such a powerful tool. Practices can outsource services like medical billing and triage to make a practice’s workflow more streamlined and to avoid burnout among medical staff. Utilizing resources like telehealth will also make your practice more accessible to more patients.
Manage the Money
The best efforts to create a successful medical practice have gone awry when good intentions were paired with poor financial decisions. Utilize the resources you already have to their best capacity before acquiring more. Have a plan for every expenditure, and ensure that each room in a facility, each piece of equipment, and each innovation serve the practice both practically and financially.