Real facts: Many medical practices are playing catch-up in response to the pandemic. With more Americans being more engaged about their health than ever before, and a wider variety of services being available it’s vital that any healthcare practice needs to figure out the best approaches to expanding their services to keep up with demand, but also be a worthy competitor. What are some of the things that medical practice’s should consider?
Expanding According to the Patient’s Needs
Your practice needs to pay close attention to the dynamics amongst the population and the community and make appropriate changes.
You could benefit from some of the following:
- Adding physician assistants. If you are losing business to a care clinic nearby, this can help to increase patient volume.
- Offering emergency care. Illnesses and emergencies do not stop when your doors are closed. If you can offer after hours urgent care in emergency situations, this will invariably increase your engagement with the community.
- Incorporating behavioral health. Nearly one in three adults report symptoms of depression or anxiety. Incorporating more behavioral healthcare support can potentially deal with the root cause of many illnesses, while also giving patients access to treatment that goes beyond the physical.
Offering Mobile Options
The pandemic has shown that we all had to embrace doing more things online, whether it was paying bills or grocery shopping. Mobile convenience is going to be crucial in healthcare moving forward. Using digital services is going to be more convenient for patients and it will give them the confidence to approach your medical practice and schedule either virtual visits or in-person consultations.
Scheduling Follow-Up Appointments
Amazingly, this is something that is criminally underused. Some physicians do not have that duty of care or even the people skills necessary to make patients feel comfortable in these environments. Some patients feel like they are taking up a doctor’s time, and the reality is that when patients are paying for a service, they should demand something that goes beyond the appointment.
From the perspective of your services, you have to offer follow-up appointments, purely for patient retention.
If a physician initiates the next steps, this will show patients that they are valued, but more importantly that their medical practice is displaying the fundamental tenets of duty of care. Show that you are dedicated, and it will strengthen the loyalty of patients to your practice.
Have Consistent Outreach
Many people have found that during the pandemic they didn’t want to bother the healthcare services. Some people relied on the support of a loved one but others didn’t do anything of the sort. The fact is that healthcare providers need to re-engage with patients and build bridges to create a very worthwhile patient-physician relationship.
Consumers are accustomed to businesses that conduct direct outreach, and it’s something that practices should not be ashamed to do. You can develop outreach campaigns through text messaging or email, with easy scheduling links and reminders of upcoming visits or rescheduling overdue appointments.
It is absolutely imperative that healthcare providers stay connected with their patients in order to retain their services. This is how you can greatly expand your medical practice.