If you are concerned with your practice volume, there are several things that you can do in addition to firing up your marketing efforts. The following five tips will help you to improve your practice and may also help spark other ideas for getting your practice in line with the very best medical facilities.
1. Request consistent patient and staff feedback. Any type of business has the potential to improve over time. Businesses also run the risk of losing practice volume unless the business is consistent in evaluating their services. Medical facilities must also stay on track with understanding how well they are providing services to their patients. There are several ways to do this. Staff meetings in which every staff member is asked to put on their “patient hats” and offer an objective view on what can be done to improve patient services can be of great help. Truly objective feedback will come from your patients themselves. Determine the best methods for obtaining feedback from your patients and be sure to gather this information on a regular basis so that you can continue to make improvements over time.
2. Create an interactive website. With widespread access to the Internet these days, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be providing your patients with an interactive website that allows them to make appointments, change appointments, and perform other tasks via your website. This will save your staff valuable time and will be appreciated by your patients.
3. Triage phone calls. How incoming phone calls are handled is incredibly important for medical facilities. If you don’t already employ nurse telephone triage services, it may be a good time to consider these services for your clinic. Nurse telephone triage ensures that each patient’s questions and concerns are properly and efficiently answered. Emergency calls will be proficiently handled and all other calls appropriately directed. Operators with HIPAA training and that offer nurse telephone triage services will ensure that your patients get the answers and care that they need, and will also protect your clinic from HIPAA violations.
4. Evaluate your staffing. Make sure that your clinic is staffed with the right number of people and that each staff member is performing roles within your clinic that optimize their strong points. This will help in creating staff loyalty and will also help you to improve the efficiency of your clinic. While you may be tempted to minimize staffing levels, this can be a mistake that may lead to lower quality patient care and a less productive work environment. Hiring the right number of people who are performing the right roles will help you to run your clinic smoothly and to improve upon patient experience.
5. Prepare for disasters and other setbacks. Just as preventative medical care is better than waiting for medical problems to begin, it is also important for the success of your business to prepare well ahead of time for any potential disasters. For instance, how will your practice function if a natural disaster occurs and your staff does not have access to patient records? Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place? Data backup, power backup, an answering service to field calls while your staff is unavailable, and other important disaster recovery methods will help you to plan for the worst so that your clinic experiences as little disruption as possible from any type of disaster, small or large.
There are many factors to consider when working toward improving the success of your medical practice. Using every day as an opportunity to identify gaps in your services and to fill in these gaps will help you to run a successful practice.