An unexpected problem
You are a skillful, careful and caring physician. Yet, the flow of patients has slowed down. Before, you had to turn away some patients due to being overbooked; now, you have gaps in your schedule. With fewer patients to see, your revenues have fallen as well. You may have even had to downsize, or are thinking about it. Perhaps you are even considering selling your practice and taking early retirement.
It is easy to blame the business slowdown on COVID-19; however, you know at least one practice that seems to defy the pandemic. Their parking lot and waiting room are full and they always seem to be expanding, hiring staff and promoting new services.
Why are these great things not happening to you? There are at least 7 reasons.
Your patients do not like your facility
1. Ugly, uninviting waiting room. Your patients spend enough time in your waiting room for it to matter, and a less than pleasant pre-encounter experience can ruin the patients’ overall impression of their visit. Make your waiting room more inviting and keep your patients from leaving your practice!
2. Unhealthy air and unpleasant smell. First impressions count, and a dank, moldy or otherwise unpleasant smell on your premises will turn your patients off. Fix the air quality of your facility, and do it now before any more patients leave.
3. Difficult transportation, lack of parking or out of the way location. When people have a choice, they go for the most convenient option. If your competitor’s location is more accessible, your patients will eventually drift there. Invest in accessibility, and you will be able to attract patients more easily.
4. Old equipment. If your equipment is more than 10 years old and shows it, consider updating it. If your tools look obsolete, your patients will wonder about the accuracy of your diagnoses and the effectiveness of your treatment. Tool up for the job!
Your patients do not know about or do not like your services
5. Lack of advertising. The days of “word of mouth” being enough to stay in business are long gone. Yes, even in Bermuda. When patients see a compelling, well-crafted and relevant offer, they take advantage of it. If you do not promote your business, your patients will eventually be captured by other practices who continuously advertise themselves. If you would like to discuss advertising, please get in touch with us.
6. Disorganized or absent business process. Do you have a system for patient scheduling, intake and follow-up? How about recruiting and retaining key staff? Introducing new services and technology into your practice? If your practice is not systematized and streamlined, your practice will be less efficient and more prone to error.
7. Not offering wanted services or having an incomplete suite of services. You may not be interested in, say, cosmetic procedures, but if your patients are interested in them, they will seek them out. Then, your competitor will then retain those patients for their routine care as well. Can you perform an EKG, an ultrasound, an X-Ray or point of care testing in your office? If not, your patients will go elsewhere.
What to do?
You have already made the first step – you read this article. If some things here sound like they may apply to your practice, you definitely want to fix them now. Your patients, staff and your accountant will thank you. Questions? Get in touch with us!