Medical clinics around the country are coming under pressure.
For instance, there was an 18% decline in visits to primary care doctors between 2012 and 2016.
Unfortunately, this drop isn’t because people are somehow getting miraculously healthier! In truth, it’s because alternative treatment options are coming into play.
A prime example is listed in the source above: people struggling with medical conditions are turning to large-scale urgent care centers. The cycle isn’t set to improve any time soon either. Giant companies are getting together to offer instant and cheaper care solutions around the country.
The future can seem a little bleak for the small-scale Doctor’s clinic down the road.
However, it doesn’t have to be. With the right approach and know-how, it’s more than possible to turn the tide in your favor. Are you wondering how to contend with the current state of medical affairs?
Keep reading to learn 8 top tips for making your clinic more successful.
1. Start with a Clinic Business Plan
The key to success for any business is effective planning.
The same goes for your clinic.
After all, failing to treat your clinic as a business is, as they say, like preparing to fail. It’s a central component to remaining open, thriving, and being able to serve your valued service users.
Okay, so what goes into the plan?
All business plans are a process of goal-setting, forecasting, and prediction. It starts by clarifying the precise goals you have for the expansion of your practice.
Through a detailed analysis of the market, you set yourself accurate milestones to work towards. This might include revenue and/or the number of patients. Next, you figure out how you’ll achieve them and when. Look to the potential obstacles you face and how you can overcome them too.
Expecting problems and planning ahead will make them easier to navigate should they arise.
2. Analyze the Competition
We mentioned the need for analysis in the previous tip.
It’s worth re-emphasizing though.
Analysis of the current market (aka market research) is fundamental to realizing the potential of your clinic. It’s about stepping back and seeing clearly the current state of affairs.
How many other clinics are servicing a similar area? Which ones are succeeding and which are struggling? What can you see that explains the relative success or failure?
Similarly, figure out the particular services available nearby. Where are the ‘gaps in the market’? Who is being underserved and where?
The community itself is worth knowing about. For example, there’s little point setting up a pediatric service in areas with a predominantly elderly population.
These are worthy considerations for established clinics too. The demographics of the neighborhood may have changed in recent years. A lack of new patients and a dwindling supply of old ones may be a result of changing circumstances.
Moving your practice to where the market is may solve the problem.
Again, look to current trends as well. The changes may be slow-burning. You might be fine now. But what about in 5 to 10 years’ time? Look to the future and take steps in the present to mitigate potential issues.
3. Seek External Advice
Your clinic could have been thriving for years.
You might have been set up and working as a neighborhood physician for decades.
But times are changing at a frightening rate. What worked in the past might not work today. Peoples’ needs and expectations are shifting all the time. Services must adapt accordingly.
Speaking with an external advisor can be a helpful step to take. Contact your successful connections and ask them for their advice! Hire a professional business consultant who understands the field. Find someone with enough experience and insight to point you in the right direction.
There’s no point shooting wildly in the dark in the hope of growing your clinic. Working with a coach or consultant can narrow your focus. They’ll offer an objective opinion, based on their experience, about what you need to do to succeed.
4. Ask Clients How You Can Improve (Seek Feedback)
Are you lucky enough to have an existing and thriving base of patients?
If so, then leverage the potential knowledge here for all its worth!
This is especially true when your patient numbers are dwindling. You need to find out why it’s happening. And you need to know soon. Fail to act, and before you know it there’ll be no-one left.
Survey the people who come through your door. Ask new patients their opinions and first-impressions. Ask old patients their reflections on the service. Validate your personal thoughts on what’s working and what isn’t by explicitly asking for feedback!
This is a sure-fire way of getting accurate information on how to improve. These are the people you need to serve. Having their input is a vital aspect of growing the service. It’s about having data upon which to make your decisions.
The information you glean can be revealing. From there you can take a specific action.
Likewise, never rest on your laurels. Seek constant improvement. Your clinic might be bustling every day. But that can shift in no time at all. Regularly seek honest feedback from service users to see how you’re doing and what changes they’d like to see.
5. Hire the Right People
You can’t run a high-quality, prosperous clinic by yourself.
There’s simply too much for one person to do.
As such, you need to hire people to support you in your mission. Unfortunately, that isn’t always easy. The risk of hiring the wrong person for the job is high.
Focus on individuals who are smarter than you are. It’s a great method for guaranteeing the growth of the service. They bring genuine value to the table. They’ll perform the job well and share the burden of responsibility.
Simply, having a top-quality team will make your life easier.
6. Prioritize Quality Service Delivery
You already know this:
Quality is at the center of how you grow a successful clinic.
In fact, quality is at the core of any business that succeeds. The people you serve must find genuine value in coming through your door.
From the receptionist and medical assistants (like those from this online program) to the clinicians themselves, quality customer service is key. Remember, the medical profession is increasingly competitive. That means there’s no room for mediocrity.
Quality must permeate through every aspect of the patient experience. All it takes is one slip up to persuade them to go elsewhere. People are fickle. A decade of happy clinic visits can be undone by one wrong move! Constantly seek to serve and improve.
7. Take Your Clinic to the Internet
The internet is now an essential component of succeeding as a business.
There are now over 3 billion people online. That’s almost half of the entire world’s population! Every single person on the internet has the potential to stumble across your clinic’s web presence.
Set yourself up with a website as soon as you can.
You can use it to advertise and promote your clinic. People new to the neighborhood are almost definitely going to use the internet to search for a medical practice. No website means no chance of them finding you (unless they come by in person).
Likewise, starting a blog to start ranking in Google can help too. This is common practice now. Writing valuable articles (about medical ailments and treatments, for example) that people find online can help build trust and rapport. It can also offer your clinic high levels of exposure to new potential service users.
8. Rise to the Challenge
Let’s face it, in reality, you have two choices:
- Crumble and fail at the challenges facing small-scale medical practices.
- Rise to the occasion and seek to adapt.
Obviously, option 2 is sure to sound more appealing. There’s nothing new to industry challenges. Every once in a while something happens to threaten the status quo. Think about Apple disrupting the music industry; Amazon disrupting book shops (and now physical stores in general!).
Success entails adapting in line with the new challenge. This post is too short to go into specifics. However, know that there are always ways to do it. Maybe it’s about offering staff members flexible hours to cut some costs; developing a mobile application to serve the community…or so on.
Look ahead to help predict the challenges to come. Then figure out how to adapt to them.
Time to Make Your Clinic More Successful
There you have it: 8 top tips for making your clinic as successful as it can be.
Medical practices around the country are facing a host of new challenges.
The decline of clinics has been ongoing for years now. More and more patients are moving away from their neighborhood practice to alternation options, such as urgent care services.
This has had major implications for physicians all over the United States. It’s becoming ever harder to run a successful private clinic. However, it isn’t impossible. With a proactive approach and a series of sensible steps, there’s a genuine scope to rise above and succeed.
Hopefully, this post has provided some inspiration and guidance on how to do it.
Like this article? Want to read similar content? Head over to the Managing and Growing section now!
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