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10 Ways You’re Hurting Your Medical Practice

10 Ways You’re Hurting Your Medical Practice

As a healthcare provider, it’s likely you understand the importance of patient satisfaction, quality resources and equipment, and an efficient system to get your practice through each day. But, if you’ve just been going through the motions the past several years without thinking about any changes, you could be doing more harm than good to your practice.

It doesn’t matter what area of medicine you might be in. Doctors all across the country can easily fall into traps that hurt their medical practice. The more you know about these potential negative areas, the more you can do to fix them, and create a better environment and experience for everyone.

So, how do you know if you’re hurting your medical practice? Let’s take a look at 10 possibilities to consider.

1. Not Taking Advantage of Technology

There are several ways in which medical practices can misuse technology. The first mistake is not having it in place at all. EHR (electronic health record) systems can help doctors when it comes to streamlining a patient’s experience. If your practice doesn’t have a system that allows you to communicate with patients, you could be missing out on a younger generation.

At the same time, it’s important to make sure the technology you have in place for yourself and your patients is user-friendly. If a patient gets frustrated with your EHR platform, they’re going to let you know! Take advantage of the technology available to the medical world, but make sure it’s working for the benefit of your patients.

2. Not Communicating After Appointments

Patients who experience poor communication from their doctor don’t feel important. Keep in mind that when a patient is visiting you for an appointment, that’s only part of the process.

It’s always a good idea to communicate with your patients some time after their appointment to make them feel like a priority. You can do this by sending out satisfaction surveys to get feedback, or by having your staff actually call and check in to make sure their visit was more than satisfactory.

3. Doctor/Patient Communication

A lack of proper communication with your patients can easily result in diagnostic errors. Patients don’t always accurately describe their symptoms. Some aren’t actively willing to tell you everything that might be going on with them.

It’s essential to ask the right questions during an encounter. Of course, it’s up to you to use your best judgement for a diagnosis, and cognitive errors are just as common. But, making sure you and your patients have an open line of communication can really help to prevent the misdiagnosis of something severe.

4. Not Showcasing Multiple Procedures

If you’re a dermatology practice, you’re missing out on retaining patients and getting new ones by not suggesting different procedures. For example, if you treat a patient for eczema, they should also be aware that you offer cosmetic services like tattoo removal. Don’t be afraid to showcase everything your practice provides. While it may not be for everyone, it will be a reminder to your patient, and they may know someone else who could benefit. Word of mouth is a great way to obtain new patients!

5. A Lack of Staff Education

Many patients who come into a practice have done their own research. Maybe it’s not always accurate or it’s missing some key points, but they’ll usually be more than willing to talk about what they’ve found out.

As a result, it’s essential for your staff (including front desk receptionists, etc.) to all be on the same page when it comes to the medical services you provide and how they can benefit each patient. Educate your staff on those services and make sure they don’t go “off script” when speaking with a patient.

6. Not Being Accessible

Whether you’re a general practitioner, a dermatologist, or a dentist, accessibility is vital when it comes to a successful medical practice. If a patient is going under the knife for a service, or having an invasive procedure of any kind, it can be a good idea to offer an after work hours contact number.

You might be surprised at how many patients don’t actually call you. But, they’ll be incredibly grateful just to have the number, because it makes them feel like you’re always accessible and truly care. Not being accessible to a patient after any type of procedure can cause them to have anxiety and end up asking more questions, filing complaints, etc.

7. Not Staying Up to Date

It’s important to let patients know you’re always up to date on the latest procedures and research within the medical field. For dermatology, a big part of this includes new techniques and research for aesthetics. If you open a practice and never update your procedures, or you don’t offer the “latest and greatest” in medical technology, you could be hurting yourself.

8. Ignoring Your Peers

It might not seem important, but being well-recognized and known by your peers in the medical community is an enormous benefit that not enough doctors take advantage of. It’s especially important if you run a private practice or work in some type of specialized medicine. The more other medical professionals know about you and the more they can respect about your work, the more likely they are to refer you patients.

Get involved with your peers in the medical community. Spend time traveling to medical meetings and conferences to gain as much exposure possible.

9. Ignoring Device Manufacturers

What’s even worse than ignoring your peers in the healthcare industry is ignoring device manufacturers. It’s always a good idea to form relationships with equipment manufacturers in your industry. Again, this is often done by traveling, attending conferences, researching online, or simply expressing interest within your network.

When you do develop these relationships, device manufacturers are more likely to come to your practice first with the latest technology and equipment. This allows your practice to offer services that may not be available in surrounding areas or by your competition. If you ignore device managers, they’ll take their new equipment elsewhere, which could leave you to fall behind.

10. Not Finding Ways to Make a Patient’s Experience Less Painful

Let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons patients fear medical procedures is the idea of pain. If your practice isn’t doing everything they can to minimize patient discomfort, you’re only hurting yourself.

Looking for alternative, non-invasive solutions is a great place to start when it comes to offering less-painful procedures. Once you’re able to do that, you should focus on selling this experience and using it within your advertising/marketing tools.

Avoiding Mistakes and Marketing Your Practice

Every medical practice makes mistakes. But, as you can see, most of them are easily-avoidable. If some of the tactics you need to boost the success of your practice seem a little overwhelming, don’t ignore them. Instead, start implementing the help you need.

The right technology paired with an outstanding marketing package can make many of these potential mistakes easier to handle, and it can boost your patient popularity. SharpLight Technologies can bring your practice ahead of the competition with a range of multiple treatment devices and the SharpLight Total ™ marketing solution which includes an array of advertising tools and materials.

 

Feel free to contact us today for more information about our products and services and let us give you the support you need to sustain a thriving and successful medical practice.