As a private practice physician, you have other responsibilities besides making sure your patients get the best possible care. You’re essentially running a business. It can be costly and it’s definitely exhausting. But by working hard and investing in the right people and technology, there’s nothing you can’t manage.
Strong work ethics and fairly distributed resources aside, the stability of your private practice depends on two important factors.
First, it’s important for you to hire support staff that cares as much as you do about your patients and the practice. You want a competent and dedicated team to handle the administrative responsibilities so you can focus on patient care.
You also need a medical practice management system to streamline day-to-day operations. It handles appointment scheduling, billing and claims processing, and patient data organization so you can boost overall workplace efficiency.
Once you’ve covered these two bases, it’s time to focus on secondary factors that make your business thrive. Pay attention to what could boost your credibility, encourage patient loyalty, and increase revenue.
How can your practice attract potential patients?
There are two things you have to look at so you can bring in more patients into your private practice. First, you have to think about the way you present and promote your practice. And second, you have to make sure potential patients will have no problem making an appointment with you.
Establish a trustworthy online presence.
If you don’t want to get left behind by competitors, you need to build a strong online presence.
It’s important to have a practice website where people can view your medical services and where you can share educational materials that establish your authority and credibility. But you should also consider opening social media accounts to keep you connected with your audience.
Bring in as much traffic as possible by investing in digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and social media marketing.
Optimize appointment scheduling system.
Getting people to check out your practice website or to look at your social media page is one thing. You should also make sure that potential patients feel compelled to make a call to action.
Give people the light nudge they need to book an appointment with you by optimizing your appointment schedule. While walk-ins are still common, consider using your website for convenient scheduling. Patients can simply log in to book, change, or cancel appointments.
What would make patients choose your practice?
Stanford researchers give five evidence-based recommendations to strengthen patient relations.
First, familiarize yourself with each patient. Second, listen intently and completely to them. Third, agree with their health priorities and incorporate those into the visit agenda. Fourth, connect with their story. And finally, tune into and validate your patient’s emotions so they’ll feel comfortable with you.
In addition to these recommendations, you have to pay attention to the way you run your practice. Personal connection aside, your patients want convenience and efficiency.
Allow after-hours virtual appointments.
In between their work schedules and personal life matters, people might not have enough time to squeeze their medical appointments into their day. It’s not surprising that more people are looking for flexible scheduling options and, if possible, after-hours teleconsultations.
If you want to attract more patients and retain your existing clientele, consider the possibility of after-hours virtual appointments. You don’t need to stay in the practice. And your patients would be more willing to book an appointment with you. It’s a win-win situation.
Revisit your patient collection strategy.
Patient collection is a common concern for many doctors who run private practices. It’s especially common when your patients have high-deductible insurance plans that increase medical bills.
You’ll have reliable patients who instantly pay the bill when you send a statement. But there will be patients who get distracted or who would need follow-ups before they make payments. Of course, you can’t avoid patients who have to be tracked down by a live collection agent.
Apart from improving collection communications, you might need the help of collection agents.
How do you make the practice run like clockwork?
After attracting more patients and establishing patient loyalty, your next course of action is to make sure your practice is running like clockwork. This means looking after your staff and recognizing their individual contributions to the overall success and efficiency of your private practice.
Boost morale and motivate your staff.
Your practice management system, patient collection system, and practice website all play a part in running your practice like clockwork. But your staff members will always be your most valuable resource. Foster a positive and encouraging environment that inspires them to do their best.
Maximize each staff member’s skill set.
Monotonous work decreases your staff’s enthusiasm. But if you recognize each of their talents and leave them in charge of tasks that match their respective skill sets, you aren’t just pushing them to be better versions of themselves. You’re maximizing your team’s productivity.
Apply these tips to your private practice and watch how they bring in more patients and greater revenue for you.