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If you are looking to improve the efficiency of your healthcare practice, it is not much different than growing any other business. Practices that foster innovation and growth cannot be overlooked, although a doctor’s skills seem completely different from a business manager. Healthcare is an industry that is constantly evolving, and it is essential to provide care for those in need effectively and efficiently. At the end of the day, both require an understanding of how to interact with the customer and how to best meet their needs. Here are seven best practices your healthcare business is likely overlooking:
1. Market your practice
It may seem rudimentary, but marketing is not just for ordinary businesses. To grow your practice, it is necessary to do at least the baseline amount of marketing so that patients in your area looking for a provider are aware of your practice. Your healthcare marketing strategy should seek to deliver valuable content and resources to patients in accessible ways using websites, social media, paid advertisements, search engine optimization, email marketing and more. For your marketing efforts to be effective, they should be patient-centric. This means your efforts should focus on who the patient is, what information they care about, and building a relationship with the patient.
2. Foster a customer-centric environment
Many organizations are not currently set up to accommodate the involvement of customers in their personal healthcare decisions. Traditionally, decisions about a patient’s healthcare have been largely left in the hands of the physician. Consumer-directed healthcare means that the providers need to focus on delivering an experience that keeps customers loyal and provides value. One way to ensure customer satisfaction is to ask patients about their expectations and request feedback after their visit so you can better understand what is important to them.
3. Utilize new technologies
Although you do not have to rush to buy all of the latest equipment and technologies in your field, keeping up to date with new practices and what is essential to ensuring your practice remains competitive could improve your business. We live in a tech-driven world, which means that patients are expecting to receive a high-end, seamless experience. Investing in practices such as telehealth, patient texting and online scheduling could greatly increase the accessibility and positive experience of your practice.
4. Use social media to connect with consumers
Everyone can see how the internet has changed the healthcare industry by making information easily accessible to patients, but it can also change the way you, as a physician, connect with your patients. Like any business, having a strong online presence can greatly increase consumer interaction, and thus, revenue. Patients and consumers alike want to connect with your business and understand the value they are getting when choosing you as their physician. By utilizing social media, you can interact with your audience on a deeper level by providing information about yourself, your practice and your specialty. Use stories to answer burning questions, and post about new practices that your business is using so patients can see your work and want to schedule a visit.
5. Ensure an outstanding staff
It is well known that a business cannot properly run without a great team that makes it all happen. Your healthcare practice is no different. Each member of your team will contribute to the patient experience in either a positive or negative way. Along with this, the relationship between team members sets the foundation for the office and determines whether work will be harmonious or hostile. Although you may have found and hired amazing staff, proper training is what really brings the team together. One way to better your team is to listen to feedback from patients. Since your staff interacts with the patients on a regular basis, their suggestions are important if you want patient care and satisfaction to improve.
6. Analyze data
Just as any business relies on consumer data to predict buying trends to grow their business, healthcare professionals use data to predict medical trends. Ultimately, business growth relies on forecasting and anticipating needs, and healthcare is no different. Predictive modeling is a statistical technique that uses machine learning and data mining to predict and forecast likely future outcomes. For example, by analyzing the data surrounding a simple internet search of “flu,” health providers can identify when and where a flu outbreak may occur. This can then be used to better predict caseloads and visits, as well as surges in needed care, resources and people. It could greatly improve healthcare by making it more proactive.
7. Get help!
As a medical practitioner, you may not be the most knowledgeable when it comes to implementing new and efficient business practices. That is okay — you can find someone who does! To help you focus on giving your patients the best care possible, outsource these skills by hiring someone with the ability to handle the areas with which you are unfamiliar. Maybe you are unaccustomed to the accounting side and cash flow of your business. Hire someone who is skilled in handling complicated and complex issues related to staffing, financial and legal requirements to sustain and improve your practice’s operations. Create a plan to outsource repetitive tasks to a third party, such as billing, transcribing, scheduling, and marketing. Just as your patients turn to you to improve their health, it is important that you can also call on experts who can help enhance your practice.
Running a healthcare practice is just like managing a business. You must optimize the customer experience and make sure you can help as many patients as possible. While performing your duties as a physician, providing a positive and high-end experience to your patients is what will keep them coming back!