Growing your medical practice in today’s healthcare industry has introduced new challenges for doctors looking to build a business of their very own. At PracticeForces we look for ways to overcome these challenges for our clients. From the overhead labor involved with medical billing to questions of marketing, there’s a lot to do besides treating your patients. So how do you make sure you’re visible, competitive, and accessible? Here are a few tips you can use to get that budding practice to flower with a full roster of patients.
1. Streamline Your Labor
There are a lot of things you can outsource to keep your office staffing needs lean while also building an environment where those staffers are free to focus on patients. Medical billing companies provide you with an option for coding and billing so you don’t need to set up an expensive billing department of your own. For a fee, they take care of everything so you can focus on the medicine and not the paperwork involved with getting paid.
2. Get Help With Cash Flow
Between the delays and claim wait times in the insurance industry and the rising number of patients seeking financing or delaying payment, your invoices can tell a very different story from your bank statements. Balancing those differences means finding a resource like medical invoice financing, practice loans, or a business credit line to help out when you’re waiting on payments and you have financial commitments of your own. That makes it easier to keep your business finances on balance so you can reinvest and keep growing.
3. Build Your Policies Around Patients
A medical practice isn’t like other businesses because it provides an essential, sometimes life saving service that everyone needs. Regardless of the behind the scenes reality of the bureaucracy involved, your patient outcomes depend on focusing your policies on their needs. Sometimes it requires building in some extra leniency with billing, other times it means finding ways to be flexible with new approaches like telehealth appointments. The key is that whatever you do, it should be all about meeting patient needs. We recommend Doxy.me as an easy platform for Physicians to start seeing patients virtually.
4. Build an Efficient Scheduling System
Doctors who frequently have trouble maintaining appointment times or getting in all their patients before the regular end of the day are often the victims of their own scheduling choices, not an overburdened caseload. While there are certainly times when practices expand so quickly that they need additional partners to meet patient needs, most of the time it’s a matter of figuring out how to build the extra padding you need into a schedule.
Dedicated segments of time to passing between patients can be a lifesaver, but it’s just the beginning. You should also block off additional time for catching up paperwork or reviewing records for upcoming appointments in places where you can, if needed, bump the personal office time a bit to make sure your patients aren’t kept waiting too long. A half hour of extra time every few appointments is often enough, but feel out what you need for your own practice.
5. Use Electronic Prescribing in the Appointment
Patients often look for a primary care physician or specialist based on the practitioner’s responsiveness, especially in cases with chronic or ongoing conditions to manage. Electronic prescriptions allow you to send the pharmacy the script from a device in the exam room, so your patients can pick up their medications on the way home at the pharmacy they know best. Among all the ways to improve your medical practice using updated processes and technology, this is probably the one most appreciated by patients because it’s so highly visible in the flow of their care.
6. Make Your Office Floor Plan Work for You
An efficient layout is more important than you might think, and it’s easy to overlook. By placing exam rooms and entrances so they require minimal patient movement, you speed up appointment times and reduce lost staff productivity that goes into redirecting people who are lost and wandering. Putting break rooms and private office areas away from those common areas also means giving yourself and staff better space for concentration when you’re doing the work patients don’t need to see, taking a break between appointments, or even just having a quick staff meeting before the second half of your day starts.
It’s a small thing, but most of the best ways to improve a business are small things, and it’s doing them consistently and together that makes the difference. Try out a few of these tips and see what a big difference it makes in growing your medical practice, especially when it comes to time and effort spent in transition between appointments. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.