How well are most medical practices run? Are they built for success?
Unfortunately, most medical professionals don’t receive any type of training or guidance on running a successful business. This can become a real problem for those looking to run and grow their own private practice.
A poorly run practice can trigger many problems and inefficiencies that end up affecting profitability, patients, staff and physicians.
Although most medical professionals know this, they seldom address the numerous bottlenecks, redundancies, and wasteful operations that exist in their practice.
In this blog post, we wanted to share some steps medical practices can take to run better businesses.
By addressing common challenges and inefficiencies, medical practices can improve their patient care process significantly.
Create a Solid Business Plan
When starting any new business, it is a great idea to create a business plan. Doing so provides a valuable road map that outlines how different areas of the medical practice will function both independently and with other departments.
Business plans also help shed a light on the financial aspect of running a practice. These cost forecasts can cover everything from start-up costs to monthly reoccurring payments for staff, rent, etc.
Financial projections can also help owners estimate the number of clients and revenue they expect to generate in the next few years.
Another great benefit of writing a business plan is the opportunity it presents to define your medical practice’s strengths.
What sets your practice apart from others? What will you focus on to provide a better value and experience for your clients?
Front Office Success
Your practice is only as good as the people running it. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that your staff is trained properly and positioned for success.
Implementing effective and efficient systems, leveraging the latest technology, and making smart hiring decisions are all key to creating a medical practice that runs smoothly.
One of the key areas to analyze is the front office. Try to set up a systematic way of handling incoming phone calls, faxes, patients, and paperwork.
Without properly training front office staff and setting up an operations system that works, your medical practice could easily descend into chaos.
Back Office Success
Back offices are also common areas for medical practice inefficiencies. Issues tend to arise during chart preparations, test ordering, and referrals.
To avoid any confusion, think ahead and devise a standard process for preparing patient charts. You will need to ensure that test results and referral reports are recorded in charts accurately, and that staff members have affective means by which to obtain these results.
The same procedural approach applies to handling tests and referrals. Designate staff to order tests and complete paperwork.
Establish timelines for when tasks need to be completed. Your medical practice staff members need clear procedures, timelines and responsibilities for all parts of back office operations.
Stay in Touch with Your Community
It is important for any business to stay top of mind with their partners, customers, and community. Doing so reminds them that your practice exists and is always there if they need to stop by.
Establish some communication channels that you can utilize to constantly share news, medical tips, and interesting events.
A recurring email newsletter or social media posts are great way to stay in touch with your patient base and spread awareness that your practice exists.
Providing valuable content can also lead your base to share your updates with their own networks, helping spur more word of mouth.
Build Your Reputation
Over time, you want your practice to develop a positive reputation within your community. Taking action to spur this process on can do wonders in helping your business grow more successful.
Some great ways to do so are to ask for customer testimonials and feature them on your practice’s website.
You can also collaborate with related organizations to write articles sharing your expertise with their audience members. For example, an eye doctor may want to reach out to a Diabetes based organization about the impact of diabetes complications on vision and eye health.
These are just a few ways in which medical practices can improve their business operations and success levels. It is important to remember that although you are a medical professional, at the end of the day a medical practice still needs to be run like a well-run business.
Taking the time to identify bottlenecks, train staff properly and implement effective operational systems can make an incredibly positive impact on the success levels of any medical practice.
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