Those who desire to expand a medical practice know that nothing succeeds like success. While the journey will have its ups and downs, growth is possible, especially for those who are driven by a desire to help more patients and provide better care.
We live in a digital age. The internet fuels our decisions and our ability to perform basic functions. With digital medical options available, it can be difficult to get patients in the door, but if patients are receiving the care they need, this may be no bad thing. In fact, it may be a way to expand a medical practice without needing more real estate.
Patients are very savvy in navigating a digital landscape, and they have come to expect online services. Surveys indicate that patients are 78% more likely to choose a medical practice if it offers contactless healthcare care options. If you have not already, consider incorporating such features as appointment self-scheduling, pre-registration and online intake forms, and online access to medical records and billing.
As you make your services more accessible online, it is crucial to maintain an online presence that creates a good impression. Depending on your staffing limitations and demographic, you may want to contract out your digital marketing to a professional agency. Your practice should have a website that is visually appealing and easy to navigate, and being active on social media is a good strategy to expand a medical practice.
Expand Your Approachability
It is human nature to want to know what we are getting into before we get into it. While this can sometimes be a bit debilitating, those wishing to expand a medical practice can use it to their advantage, for word-of-mouth is still a very valuable tool even in our digital age. In fact, in some ways internet access has made it more valuable because patients do not need to know the people to which they recommend a medical practice or even encounter them face-to-face.
The vast majority of recommendations are conducted online through reviews. These include those on a practice’s website, GoogleMaps, or niche forums or blogs specific to an industry. These review platforms are often the first place people go when looking for a new medical practitioner—they want to know what others’ experiences have been with each of the available options.
Online reviews can be a helpful tool for those who want to expand a medical practice, but only if they are vigilant in monitoring what the reviews are saying. This does not mean taking down negative reviews, but practices do have some control in how reviews portray them. More information is better from a prospective patient’s perspective, and practices can encourage current patients to leave reviews by making access easily accessible. Send out survey links or QR codes in appointment reminders or on signage in your practice and encourage patients to be honest in recounting their experiences.
When it comes to negative reviews, monitor trends and look for ways to improve upon those aspects. For example, frequent complaints about long wait times may be mitigated by better triage methods. For each complaint or recommendation, leave a response online that allows patients to feel that their concerns are heard and being considered. This inspires respect in both current and prospective patients.
Expand to Telephone Triage
Patient load is a basic challenge at any healthcare facility. Patients want to feel seen, but it is important to treat high-priority patients in a timely manner. The triage process comes with its challenges, which is why contracting out the process can improve the efficiency of a medical practice. At CareXM, we offer a host of different methods patients and practices can access remote triage, all to great effect for those who want to expand a medical practice.
Nothing will foster patient loyalty more than genuinely caring for them and providing excellent care. If you want to expand a medical practice, you must first truly care for your current patients and provide the treatment they need. Genuine respect and proficient medical care is the best way to secure a loyal patient base.
That being said, other strategies, like scheduling return appointments at the end of each appointment, can also instill loyalty. Such proactivity indicates to patients that their care is a priority and that your practice has a plan to get them the care they need. This expression of commitment is a good way for commitment to be reciprocated.
Expand Your Staff
An excellent staff makes for an excellent medical practice, and if you want to expand yours, it may be time to bring more people onto the team. If patient loads justify it, employing more staff can reduce patient wait times and practitioner work loads, leading to better, more focused medical care.
Expand Your Services
If your facility is doing well and you are looking for a sophisticated way to expand a medical practice, consider broadening the kind of care you offer. General clinics may look to add specialized care, and specialized clinics may choose to incorporate different specialties to better serve their patients.