Starting your own private practice is a bold decision. While running your own practice provides more freedom and flexibility, owning every decision means — the buck stops with you. In order to achieve success, you must balance running a business while maintaining focus on providing quality care for your patients. To help get you moving in the right direction, use the following five tips to help maintain a healthy balance between being both a business owner and physician.
Perform a Workflow Analysis
One of the most difficult aspects of running your own practice is maximizing the volume of patients while maintaining an optimal level of care for each patient. More patients in and out of the office increases billing which in turn leads to more profit. However, simply filling up the waiting room without processes in place to properly control the flow of patients can lead to longer wait times and a lower quality of care.
Implementing a workflow analysis can help measures time spent on tasks such as checking in, average time per visit and checkout procedures. Using these metrics, you can identify which areas of your processes need improvement.
Choose the Right Location
One key characteristic of a successful business is location. If your practice is not as successful as you think it could be, you might be operating in a less than ideal location. As is the case for most businesses, you want a location that sees a lot of traffic. Practices within a few miles’ radius of shops and residential areas see more patients, more often, simply due to convenience and ease of access. It may seem obvious but you’d be amazed at the number of physicians who lose out on patients by ignoring the importance of location.
Nothing can ruin a visit faster than a rude introduction by a staff member. If a patient feels unwelcome or unwanted as they walk through the door, they may be reluctant to open up about their condition and receive care, regardless of your medical acumen. Patients want to go where they feel safe and even the slightest rude remark can send them running to another doctor.
Hiring a kind and professional receptionist is key. Greeting patients as soon as they arrive contributes to a successful visit and leads to higher return visit rates. Patients will be more forthcoming if they are treated well as soon as they enter your office. A friendly staff sets the tone for each visit and it is up to you to hire staff members who treat your patients with respect through the entirety of their visit.
Don’t Nickel and Dime Your Patients
An easy way to scare away patients is by giving off the impression that you are taking advantage of them. Something as simple as charging for quick telephone consultations is enough to raise red flags in a patient’s mind. Providing simple and transparent billing is paramount in nurturing patient trust and loyalty.
Hire a Medical Management Company
Hiring a medical management company is a smart way to maximize profits at your private practice. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to do everything yourself, enlisting the help of a medical management professional will allow you to relax and focus on providing consistent quality care. A medical management company will help improve your on-site management, handle complicated billing issues and provide additional ancillary services to both you and to your patients. Choosing the right business management partner is a smart choice any private practice physician should look into.
There is no need to struggle to get by when you are a talented physician. With these five changes, you can nourish the financial health of your practice. Implementing smart changes to your practice will allow you to become more efficient and grow. With an efficient practice, you and your patients will be happy. That will mean more money in your pocket and a bright future for your practice.