Managing a medical practice is challenging work. Whether you’re a psychiatrist or a GP, many medical practitioners face the same difficulty when opening a private practice: they aren’t business people.
It’s the same challenges aspiring business owners face across all industries, from hair stylists to engineers — your education, experience, and special knowledge is in your craft, while running a business requires an entirely different set of skills.
Fortunately, there are several ways to improve your business sense. Here are six practical tips for improving your medical practice management.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Before you can look for ways to improve, you must first reflect on which areas need it the most. This process entails looking inward and assessing your strengths and weaknesses, both as a practice owner and within the daily operations.
For example, you may determine that you’re skilled at connecting with patients and creating an engaging discourse. However, managing the accounting side and cash flow is always an issue. Taking the time to understand your shortcomings will create a priority list for what to address while understanding your strengths provides the traits worth highlighting to set you apart from the competition.
Delegate and Outsource
One of the biggest challenges practice owners face is letting go of, or sharing control. This is common among entrepreneurs and business owners in all industries. However, it’s impossible to put your full dedication and effort into your craft if you’re tied down with administrative and non-revenue-generating tasks.
Create a plan to outsource repetitive tasks to someone else, such as billing, transcribing, scheduling and marketing. As hiring, onboarding, and managing employees is also time-consuming, consider working with a reputable Healthcare Virtual Assistants Service instead. These services also allow you to scale your budget and workflow based on how your practice grows and evolves.
Ask for Patient and Staff Feedback
If you’re wondering how you’re doing, just ask. It’s integral to see your practice from different perspectives. As patients are the ones receiving your care and driving the experience, you should be asking for feedback after every touch point. How was the booking process? How was the visit? What did they appreciate? What did they find insufficient?
It’s equally important to ask the staff for feedback as well, especially as you grow and delegate more work. Be open to negative feedback as well, as it provides opportunities to improve.
Address Your Systems and Processes
Practice owners should make a habit of reviewing systems and processes every year. Conduct an internal audit — using feedback from the team and patients — to revisit what’s working and what isn’t at a granular level. In other words, if the overarching patient feedback is that booking an appointment via phone is too difficult due to wait times, it might be time to create an online patient portal.
With each passing year, software becomes more advanced, integrated and easy to use. Look for opportunities to centralize and streamline your work flows.
Empower Patients to Own Their Care
In addition to creating a patient portal, it’s also wise to empower patients to own the care they receive. The Millennial generation highlights being involved in the medical decision-making process as a top priority. Provide an opportunity for them to outline not only their symptoms but their overarching concerns during triage.
Consider how you give your patients agency and provide accessible resources to help them drive their standard of care.
Invest in Training and Improvement
There’s no end to the opportunities for advanced education and learning, whether you’re a practitioner, or a non-practitioner who works at a medical practice. Invest in continuous training and improvement opportunities for yourself and others who work alongside you. Set goals to invest in professional development each year, focusing on care trends in your industry.
Continuous improvement should be a part of your practice’s core values. Use these practical tips to improve the management of your practice and help ensure its continued success.