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FRIDAY FEATURE: The Dark Side of Growing your Private Medical Practice

growing-medical-practiceIt need not be that way though

As a medical professional with a private practice, be it full time or part time, like many others we speak with, you may feel in the dark about your next steps. If you want to grow your patient numbers and subsequent revenue, you may be wondering how to do this, and who can you talk with to gather ideas.

The views expressed in this article are specifically those of  Rockbridge Medical

Private means “private” in medical practice

Ironically, “Private Practice” remains amongst peers just that, very private. There is very little knowledge and ideas shared among doctors about what works…or even further, what doesn’t work.

Most private hospitals rank their consultants in order of revenue generated, and attribute marketing spend accordingly. So it becomes a bit of round-robin situation, where you want to grow, but you don’t have much marketing clout, and it’s the marketing clout you need to in fact increase those patient numbers.

Getting some time with the marketing team at your local private hospital can be a challenge in itself too. Resources are typically low, and those available are helping the more established consultants. So where does this leave you?

3 simple steps to help stimulate practice growth

There are a few simple things you can do yourself that will in turn help stimulate your practice growth.

1Practice analysis

Gain an intimate understanding of your practice. Take time out to analyse data you already hold such as referral sources:

  • Who are your top 10 referring GPs?
  • Which colleagues are cross-referring to you?
  • Which supporting clinical teams are sending you patients?
  • Which insurance company is sending you open referrals?
  • Plus, what percentage of patients are referred to you by the hospital?

Once you know more detail about where you are getting your existing referrals from, you can start to plan how you can improve the relationships and referral activity.

2Communicate effectively

How do you currently communicate with these referrers? Sending a standard letter telling them how you cured their patient will not make you stand out from the crowd.

Instead, consider communicating with both the referrer and the patient following discharge. A simple but very effective method of building a reputation is a letter to the patient wishing them a speedy recovery. It can detail how you were pleased you could to help them get back on their feet, and if they ever needed any further assistance in the future they could call your secretary direct.

A small gesture such as this not only creates an advocate of your practice, but also encourages the patient to talk positively to their family, friends and colleagues.

3Build a brand

It is easy to think that branding is something that only big businesses do. However, this could not be further from the truth; you are already a brand.

rockbridge-cta-finalIt’s just that you haven’t combined all your attributes into a collective message to the outside world.

Typically, on the most simple level, your brand could include a logo, practice name and specialism.

Applications of this can include branded stationery, patient information leaflets and even down to how your administration team answer the phone.

All very simple, quick and transformative solutions. Once created, your brand can be applied to everything you do and can be the foundation of a digital presence too, including a website and social media – two other ways to help you spread the word of how you can help.

With these small yet simple changes to how your practice sensibly promotes itself you will begin the process of standing out from the crowd,  and also start to see the benefit of better relationships and an increased volume of referrals.

Dental & Medical Financial Services work alongside many healthcare specialists to give you access to the best advice.

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