A Medical Practice is a unique business in many ways, but it is still a business and must be treated as such. Checking the health of your practice is similar to checking the health of your patients. In this three part series, we will look at these Vital Signs, pulse, blood pressure and temperature, to help you assess the financial well-being of your medical practice.
We will begin in Part 1 with the Pulse –
How many new patients are you seeing each month?
By analyzing the trends month over month, you will be able to calculate your current growth rate and estimate the potential need for increased staffing and other infrastructure changes. If close monitoring of your patient numbers shows a progressive decline or steep increase, it can give you the opportunity to research the reason why. One reason could lie in the next item on our list, referrals.
Who is referring those patients to you?
With the almighty internet, physicians have been able to reach out much more easily and cost effectively to a wider range of patients. While many people with basic medical needs may feel comfortable doctor-shopping online, there are many who have complicated issues. These referrals generally come from colleagues and satisfied patients. Know which providers in your area are referring patients to your office and always keep the lines of communication open in regards to those mutual patients. A happy, well-taken-care-of patient is the best advertising. Many times less than stellar office staff can scare away patients who “love” their doctor, and those unpleasant episodes can make their way back to the referring colleague. Watch for trends that would show a reduction in referrals from a particular source and take the time to reach out personally.
Be sure to watch for the upcoming publication of Part 2: Blood Pressure.