Each year, thousands of health care professionals take the major step of setting up their own clinic. As with any small business, this is an endeavour fraught with risk. Careful planning and management is required to have a decent shot at success. The owners of these businesses possess expertise in various branches of care such as physiotherapy or chiropractic. However, they may not necessarily have the tools required to help them succeed at running a small business. In an earlier text, we suggested 5 steps to follow to establish a clinic. In this text, we present 4 tips to follow to help run a health care clinic successfully. We hope that these tips will be useful to potential clinic owners as they embark on this most critical step of their careers.
Tip #1 – Invest In Technology To Run Your Clinic Successfully
Invest the time and money required to acquaint yourself with the technology available to help you run your clinic efficiently. It is now possible to perform functions such as booking, rescheduling and cancelling appointments online instead of via a phone call. Services such as Telehealth can help you to review routine test results and have other patient consultations remotely instead of trying to schedule an in person consultation.
Not only will this investment reduce errors and misunderstandings, but it will also result in major cost savings. Generally speaking, technology gets cheaper over time, but human time is and likely always will remain relatively expensive. Investing in technology where available will also free up human resources to focus on those areas in which a personal touch is irreplaceable. Identifying the areas in which you can invest in technology without sacrificing patient access and quality of care is a critical key to running your clinic successfully.
You can also think of this as another way to increase patient flow at your clinic.
Tip #2 – Hold Daily Staff Meetings To Keep Everyone Abreast Of Current Events
This is another important step to take to ensure you run your clinic successfully. Investing 15-30 minutes or so at the start of each day can be an important step to avoiding communication breakdowns. It also helps to ensure everyone is “in the loop” with regard to important developments. Third, it also helps to foster a spirit of teamwork among staff – another vital ingredient to clinic success.
A successfully run clinic is one in which the staff are able to raise items of concern before they become crises. These brief “huddles” at the start of each day can be critical in giving them this opportunity.
Tip #3 – Identify & Consider Critical Outstanding Items For Discussion At The Next Day’s Meeting
As each day comes to a close, it is beneficial to look ahead to the following day and identify any critical to-do items to be discussed at the following day’s staff meeting. Give some thought to which of your staff is best qualified to carry out each critical task. This will help you approach the start of day meeting prepared to assign responsibilities and propose deadlines in order to keep things running smoothly. Give some thought also to the priorities to be assigned to these items. This will be useful guidance for staff who may not be able to complete all the tasks in the time you would ideally like.
The proactive management of critical to do items will be a key factor in helping you to run your clinic successfully.
Tip #4 – Your Marketing Plan Is Key To A Successfully Run Clinic
As with any other small business, attention to marketing is crucial part of making your clinic run successfully. Make sure you invest in a great website that is optimized for search. In addition, invest in a social media presence. If you do not have the expertise to handle these items yourself, consider hiring a consultant who can help.
The second essential ingredient of your marketing plan is to identify and adopt a unique sales proposition. For example, you may offer free exams or consultations at specified intervals. Alternatively, your clinic may be active in community support programs. Ensure that these are prominently and consistently mentioned in all of your marketing media. These will include your local newspaper ads, your website, social media posts and, of course, your website. This will help you to build a durable and beneficial brand – an essential ingredient in running your clinic successfully.