There are many factors to consider when building your private practice, and unfortunately, the business-minded side of the medical field is largely neglected in med school curriculum. When you’re first starting out, learning as you go can be a long, sometimes painful process. So, we’d like to share a bit of the wisdom we’ve gained through opening and running multiple private medical practices.
Patients First, Always
Your number one priority should be the health and happiness of those you serve. The medical industry has gotten a bad reputation for treating patients like they are problems to be dealt with rather than real people dealing with health concerns.
When you run your own private practice, you have the choice (in my opinion, the responsibility) to care for your patients in a way that makes them feel heard and cared for. By providing expert empathetic care, you build trust with your customer base and encourage loyalty as well as word-of-mouth recommendations.
Success Depends on Everyone
You could be the greatest doctor in the world, but with a lackluster team behind you, you’ll struggle to retain patients. The success of your practice depends on both the care you provide and your staff’s quality of service.
Of course, hiring people you believe in is the first step. But setting your employees up for success is paramount. Make sure that your company values and care standards are clearly stated and understood by everyone who plays a role in representing your practice. In addition, training should be an ongoing, interactive endeavor that helps your team consistently improve.
Be Different Where It Counts
It’s easy to look at what other practices have and feel like you have to keep up. Whether it’s a brand-new facility or the latest technology, there will always be a competitor whose practice is “better” than yours. While some periodic improvements are necessary to stay relevant, don’t get hung up on keeping up with the (Dr.) Joneses.
Sleek spaces and expensive tech can’t give people the service and care they’re looking for. Differentiate your practice in the ways that count. Creating a more personalized experience for your patients adds value without the hefty price tag. You can also ask your patients what changes they’d like to see. Patient feedback is extremely valuable when deciding what needs improvement.
Never Stop Improving
While high-cost improvements are not always necessary, an active focus on progress is. As with any business, it’s important to prioritize improvement and innovation to stay relevant. This can look different for every practice. Maybe you provide continuing education courses for your staff. Or perhaps you hold a company-wide meeting quarterly or annually to discuss any revisions that need to be made to policies or processes.
Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. To help doctors navigate the challenges of being a business owner, I’ve created a guide to running a modern healthcare practice. Check out our book, One Patient at a Time, to get more strategies for building a successful private practice.