A healthcare practice can run profitably, providing it has enough patients stepping through the door. And hopefully, this will be the case for your practice, providing you are putting your patients’ needs first. If you aren’t, your patients might (and forgive the phraseology) lose patience with your practice and take their care needs elsewhere.
For the ongoing health of your business then, you might want to focus on a few key areas, as follows.
1. Improve your waiting area
Your patient care begins as your patients enter your practice. The waiting area needs to be comfortable and welcoming. It should be warm and designed in such a way as to evoke feelings of calm and peace; useful for those patients feeling anxious about their health visit. There should be plenty of space too, so patients have the freedom to gain a little bit of privacy away from other facility users. It’s in your best interest to redesign your waiting area with the aid of professional medical design firms such as Levitch, especially if there are any significant problems with your current layout.
2. Hire the best reception staff
As the face of your healthcare practice, your reception staff have the potential to make or break your business. If they are cold, rude, and unaccommodating to your patients’ needs, then they are failing in their jobs. Both on the phone and face-to-face, your receptionists need to be warm, sympathetic, and above all, caring. For your patients benefit, hire the people who can evidence their caring credentials, and commit to regular customer service training so your front-of-house reception staff can fully put your patients at ease when they enter your practice.
3. Improve waiting times
Consider this in two ways. Firstly, for any patients needing an appointment with you, don’t let them wait for very long. If they are worried about their health but can’t get an early appointment with you, they might very well look elsewhere for their care needs. And besides, the longer you make your patients wait for an appointment, the more danger of life to your patients if their health needs require early attention.
Secondly, don’t let your patients wait an age in your waiting room. While there will be times when you are busy, and appointments might overrun slightly, your patients might only get frustrated and walk out if they are forced to sit for longer than is reasonable. This is evidenced in this survey, where 30% of those surveyed stated that they had indeed walked out when made to wait.
To make life easier for your patients, you might want to bring in more staff as a means to cut down on waiting times with regards to both aspects we mentioned. You might want to extend your opening times too, be that in the week and at the weekend. You will then be able to accommodate more patients a week, and despite the expense of new hires and longer opening times, you might also make more of a profit within your healthcare practice.
As an owner of a healthcare practice, the needs of your patients need to be your #1 priority. We have discussed just a few, but use feedback surveys to fully understand the needs of the patients who attend your place of business. By caring for them, they will care for you, and by this we mean they will continue to make use of your services for their health needs.
Thanks for reading.