In the year 2020, successful private practice management has become extremely complex. Between fending off corporate takeovers and threats from large group practices, doctors also have to navigate the tricky waters of digital media, marketing, and outreach. And if that weren’t enough, there are a whole slew of new operational challenges, including office software and new multichannel patient outreach options.
Frankly, it’s enough to make any doctor long for the “good old days” of patient sign-ins with a simple clipboard and pen and mailing out postcards for annual wellness reminders.
But those days, of course, are long gone. As such, we’ve put together a brief guide to what you can do to keep up with the times without having to sacrifice what brought you into the medical field in the first place – providing quality care for the community.
That All-Important Personal Touch
You may feel pressured to focus more on the volume of patients that you see, but you can’t ever lose sight of the fact that every single moment in your office is a personal one.
In 2020, what can make or break a patient’s decision to choose your practice are the little things. Was the patient greeted by name? Did they feel a human connection to you and your team? And were their preferences/dislikes remembered from the last visit?
Make sure you focus not just on big-picture services but also on the little moments. Increasingly, providing that personal touch is the cornerstone of successful private practice management and separates yours from the forgettable ones.
Esprit de Corps
You’ve worked hard to hire and train the very best team possible. But office culture is more than just the sum of its parts. Do your team members bond? Do they truly feel like a team, or is that just empty workplace rhetoric?
Healthy and vibrant office culture is exactly like esprit de corps in the military. Individual resilience, training, and dedication are great, but morale is the foundation of cohesive team performance. High morale means that each and every one of your employees is both excited to come into the office every day and proud of the work that they do there.
To improve group cohesion, consider activities like team-building exercises, office outings, or scheduling one-on-one sessions with your employees to learn more about their goals, aspirations, and career ambitions.
Deepen Your Bench
Even the greatest sports team in the world will struggle to win games if they become short-handed. But if you’re just barely managing to stay afloat, how do you know when it’s time to deepen your bench?
Plenty of so-called experts offer one-size-fits-all formulas for calculating when it’s time to take on new team members, such as adding one new front desk employee for every $400,000 of revenue. But the truth is that there is no universal formula.
If you’re looking to increase your productivity, consider “deepening” your bench by employing the latest technologies. Comprehensive office management apps, efficient onboarding and training programs, and digital patient communication tools (like social media reminders and automatic scheduling options) can sometimes “deepen your bench” more effectively than hiring new personnel.
Keeping Everyone Up to Speed
Most doctors are fortunate enough to have loyal team members that have been with the practice for many years. But when is the last time that you had them brush up on their skills? Or get trained in new skills and technologies?
Efficient and continuous training (and re-training) is a great way to both boost office morale as well as improve staff retention. Likewise, using digital onboarding can help quickly bring your newest employees up to speed with your office veterans.
And perhaps most importantly, by creating a work environment that proactively encourages career development, you’ll be furthering your long-term business success.
Show Off What Makes You Unique
As a practicing doctor, you know very well why you got into the profession. But do your patients know? Does your team know?
Whatever personal touch you bring to the practice or whatever it is that makes you stand out, that is what you need to emphasize. For example, if you’re a huge fan of golf, why not add some golfing office decor and keep some golf magazines in your waiting room? Even patients (and team members) who have no interest in golf will still feel a deeper connection to you because they’ve learned something personal about you.
Capitalize on the one thing that your competitors don’t have – what makes you unique. And don’t be hesitant to let your light shine. It’ll give both patients and team members a reason to choose you over your competitors and help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
These days, you’ve got to offer your patients a lot more than a white coat and diploma on the wall showing that you’ve graduated medical school. In order to attract and retain patients, focus on providing personal moments provided by your team. Boost productivity by “deepening your bench” with digital solutions and do everything that you can to show the world what makes you different from all of your competitors.
Interested in learning more about successful private practice management? Click here to schedule your free practice growth consultation call!