Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

How to Manage Your Private Practice: Keys to Success

Michael May
May 5, 2021

Manage your private practice

Running a private practice can be very fulfilling. After all, the primary aim of your business is to make people feel healthy and well. Yet, it can also be tricky with ever rising costs, changing regulations, and patients being hesitant to go out for their regular check-ups due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While your main focus is on treating people, your medical practice will only survive if you stay on track with the business side of it. To help you run a successful medical practice, we have prepared some top tips to point you in the right direction.

Have a system in place, or you will have chaos instead

Treat your medical practice like you would treat any other business:

  • evaluate your current situation,
  • set your goals,
  • work out a plan.

Every company has its strengths and weaknesses, so the sooner you have a system in place, the sooner you’ll see your strong sides and potential risks. Use this knowledge to your advantage.

Map out your organisation's structure, each department’s responsibilities and regular duties. Engage with your team to see if your perception of what’s going on matches reality. Check to see if there is potential for optimisation, automation, or simplification of any steps in your workflow.

Read more: Best Tips to Manage Your Medical Practice

Medesk helps you to automate a great deal of your clinic’s workflow, including:

  • Sending automated confirmations and reminders for appointments
  • Customising documents like prescriptions depending on which doctor is logged in
  • Running reports to understand your average patient, most popular services and more
  • Offering different groups of patients the right kind of appointment at the right time with bulk SMS
  • Ordering medications so the pharmacy delivers straight to patients’ doors

The next step is to assess your skills and those of your team. Make sure all your business processes are handled by people who know exactly what they are doing. If you’re not sure your internal resources are sufficient, invest in additional training, business management courses, or hire someone with the required skill set.

Learn more: Medical Practice Management - How to Benefit from a Systematic Approach

Keep your work processes up to date

Create a habit of periodically revising your business processes, staff, medical equipment and practice management software. As time goes on, your circumstances are bound to change. The last thing you need is to get stuck with work processes that worked well for you before but that hold you back today.

Divert focus from revenue generation to more cost-effective practices

This might sound controversial, but sometimes growing the revenue should not be your number one priority. Just like in personal finance, in business, we sometimes overspend on things we don’t really need, and some of our money-related decisions are questionable.

To prevent money from going to waste, analyse where the income earned is going and the ways you can optimise it. Many vendors offer discounts if you purchase their product within a specific timeframe, so next time you update your medical CRM software and equipment, see if you can negotiate a deal. Likewise, you might be able to cut down your utility bills by switching gas, water or electricity suppliers .

Rethink the schedules of your employees, especially doctors. Every minute that a doctor is not seeing a patient, your clinic is losing money. See what you can change to keep your medical professionals occupied with patients for most of their workday.

Analytics profitability of roles Profitability of roles in Medesk Analytics

Learn more: Key Healthcare Metrics Your Private Practice Manager Should Target

Marketing is crucial even in healthcare

If your only marketing strategy is word of mouth, you are in trouble. And yes, while you certainly should strive to have an endless supply of new patients referred to your clinic by existing patients, there’s no guarantee it’ll work out. Besides, it takes years of hard work to earn the kind of excellent reputation that makes word of mouth a viable major source of patients. Work out a marketing plan to attract new clients but also focus on maintaining your existing clientele. Most of the time, it is less expensive to retain your current patients than to acquire new patients.

screen analytics 6 Profitability of marketing channels in Medesk Analytics

Read more: How Private Practice Software Helps to Improve Your Approach to Patient Acquisition

Work on developing a company culture and fostering a team spirit

There is no way your practice can be successful in the long run if your staff does not feel comfortable at work. And being comfortable does not mean being relaxed and lazy. To have productive workdays, your team needs to be on the same page as you. They need to share the practice’s goals and they must have healthy communication with each other. Additionally, you should provide your employees with everything they need to work efficiently: personal protective equipment (PPE), a contemporary work space, up-to-date software and diagnostic equipment.

Last but not least, talk to your employees. Run regular team meetings, hold 1-on-1 sessions with each team member, ask them for feedback and insights. People want to be heard and feel that their opinions matter. Whether it’s your patients or your staff, if you listen to what they have to say, process it and follow it up with real action, you will improve the overall mood in your practice and most likely end up with a more efficient and effective workflow. That’s not to mention a much better patient experience.

Each medical practice will have its own keys to success, but general rules always apply. We believe that if you follow each of the tips we talked about today, you will be a few steps closer to running a profitable and well-managed clinic.

Read next: How to Become the Best Private Practice Manager You Can Be

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