Too often in practice development, as in so many areas of life, it seems what’s best and most powerful for us is right under our own noses. One of the big problems, and the reason for these missed opportunities is either not devoting time to look for them, and most often not making this “looking” time a scheduled priority.
So it goes. This discussion of the most common ones may really turn a practice around dramatically. Most cost little or no money. I suggest while reading this you compose your own opportunity list.
I did one for our team, and came up with 8 areas that were really doing well, but three that seemed to be the source of “irritation”, that could turn into a major wound, if not healed in time.
By the next staff meeting, they were all fixed.
Remember, the big idea is to continually correct and fine tune, before you need an overhaul.
The first one we’ll handle here is Staff. When was the last time you spent time reviewing purpose, duties clarity, and basic compliance issues? Fine tuning the staffing department can really be an enormous source of new patients, collections and overall energy, esprit de corps, if you will. And it costs just some quiet time, a pen and legal pad and the action (AKA guts) on your part to actually confront, and fix what and whom you have to.
Along these lines, how is your staffing payroll set up? Will you be ready to compete on any scale? Hopefully, they are fully incentivized, on multiple scales.
Also, what is your practice’s fun quotient? I don’t know about you, but when the fun goes, misery follows pretty quickly. Lots of this comes from simply having the right people, and regularly showing them your gratitude, at every turn.
Let’s face it. Healthcare can really be tough. Make sure you acknowledge the team’s efforts based upon correct intent. Fix as rapidly and as gently as possible with what could be more in line with your vision. Strive to have a family-like environment, and you can’t go wrong.
The next really big area is your office hours. How did you choose them? Are you overstaffed during slower times, but lack capacity of space, staff and equipment when patients in your area are really on the move, and want to be seen?
Also, what is your own productivity like during demand times? Unless you are focused, clear-headed and undistracted, patients are not getting what they deserve, and I guarantee you are leaving hundreds if not thousands of dollars in opportunities to chance, or overlooked forever.
Effective Marketing Techniques
Another issue, which can literally make or break a practice today, is targeted and focused on and offline marketing. The things to look at are how do you capture “leads”? Then, how to you follow up with them? How do you ever learn their unique wants and needs?
(This is one area where PPW can really help. But you must be willing and teachable. We are even using these skills to help other business grow!)
The third area to consider here is what’s going on in your community, within just a few miles of your practice in most cases, that you could be helping, promoting or enhancing? Things like sponsored events, community awareness programs and outreach programs. Maybe its just getting more involved in your school system. Again, it’s likely just a bit of time, and no great expenditure of funds or resources.
You can take the first step by visiting your city or town hall. Get a better handle on what’s going on; what the locals are concerned and talking about.
The next stop should be the local library. There is usually a wealth of information about the types of community education programs going on or coming up soon.
As a doctor in town, you may be a candidate for an interview, a talk at a community center, or maybe even classes at the library itself? Who knows, you may find, as I have, that these turn in to radio and TV opportunities, as well as articles in print media. All of these really can do much to not only solidify your patient base, but to grow a practice its entire lifetime.
In any event, I hope you by now see the purpose of this discussion.
If perchance it provides only temporary symptomatic relief but not a cure, you may need to reexamine some bigger issues. The most common is too much stress, not enough rest or down time, or feelings of not being rewarded financially or otherwise by practice.
It’s high time we admit that this one is all too common today, unless we act very carefully, and make our choices every step of the way.
Wherever this one takes you, I really wish you the best.
In reality, fulfillment as doctors in private practice comes only by living and practicing by design.
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Have a great day!