What Is The Key To A Healthy Medical Practice?

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We live in an age where everything becomes a business, even healthcare. And while everybody is entitled to the best healthcare they can get, the fact of the matter is, from a business perspective, it seems that we can all find a way to profit from this industry. When running a medical practice, however, it’s not just about ensuring that we run it as if it is a business; we’ve got to deliver the goods. Healthcare is essential but we have to provide appropriate customer service, as well as ensure that what we do is a force for good. What is the key, from a business perspective to running a healthcare practice?

Defining Your Goals

Every business has a specific set of goals, and as you start on the road to running a self-sustaining business in the healthcare industry, you must define what you want to achieve. It’s so easy for anybody to go into it with the sole purpose of earning money, but as we deal in the business of helping others, this is where things can get somewhat tricky. The medical industry is replete with rules, regulations, as well as ethical dilemmas that go from here to Timbuktu. From your perspective, what do you want to achieve? Is it about providing affordable health care? Is about helping others? Is it about ensuring that you have the best workers in the medical industry, but are supported and nurtured as they should be? As you start to ask yourself from these types of questions, it becomes clearer what you would like to achieve. You could use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setup. S.M.A.R.T., Standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, is a simple process to better define what you would like to achieve in the short and long-term.

A Healthy Supply Chain Relationship

The supply chain is one of those areas that form the basis of a productive business. It can be a veritable nightmare if you suffer at the hands of a poor supply chain. This means that you’ve got to work at developing a healthy one. It is integral to the overall effectiveness of the business. And while this is so easy to say, because every business suffers at the hands of a poor supply chain. But in the medical industry, where you would need storage devices, like a medical fridge, as well as the most basic medical equipment. As well as these, items like hygiene practices to ensure that waste is disposed of, an ethical supply chain relationship can mean the difference between you running a tight ship, and your competitors getting an edge over you. Ensuring that you have a healthy supply chain relationship stems from putting trust in their abilities, and treating them as you would want to be treated. 

Great Customer Service

Could feel very one-sided. After all, the patient is coming to us, getting the treatment they need, and they should be grateful. But now, in the modern age, customer service impacts every single area of any business, we’ve got two provides a foundation of healthcare that’s not just delivering the goods but delivering above and beyond. Customer service in the healthcare industry can suffer primarily because of the doctor-patient relationship. A doctor, in order to desensitize themselves to the reality of the situation, slowly retreats into their shell. We’ve all had encounters with stern doctors that are very matter-of-fact, despite the gravest of situations. This means that even if we cannot have any bearing on how a doctor displays their attitudes, we can still work in other ways. There are methods to ensure that our staff get the necessary training they need.  

For example, when you look at something like miscarriage, one of the most heartbreaking, yet sadly, widespread issues, the level of aftercare in this area is quite shocking. It all depends on where you go but ensuring that our staff has a more empathetic attitude, and also provide appropriate aftercare, even if it’s in the form of a leaflet, goes one step further to providing excellent customer service. The big mistake we can make in terms of defining it as “customer service” is that it is solely about the treatment, and once they’ve gone, that is it. We have to think more about the patient’s journey.

The Marketing And Promotion

This is where your medical practice can benefit from being treated like a business. Promoting a medical practice is a different beast than any standard company. Good marketing requires those popular touchstones, like social media, to provide widespread knowledge of your medical practice. Marketing is all about branding. As you start to define what your business is all about, you can then create imagery that goes along with it. But the big mistake many medical companies make is making their marketing play second fiddle to the rest of the business. You can see this in the appearance of the business in general. The website is a perfect example. So many medical companies get a website up and running, but the website was clearly done overnight, and barely provides adequate information. Now, the website is integral too, not just the marketing, but the business. 

There are so many things that a website needs to have so that patients can get in contact, but also find all the information they need. But if you look at the best medical business websites out there, you can see the effort that has gone into making it a logical extension of the business brand. It promotes that personality. We’re not just talking about pictures of the members of staff, but it’s about information on medical conditions, as well as the various ways to get in contact with them. These days, video calls, mobile apps, and emails, should be as important as phone calls and visiting in person. It is a very difficult thing to get right. There are some great ways to market a medical practice, but there are also terrible ways. Promoting is all about finding the inherent personality of your business and pushing that to the fore.

The Morale Of Your Staff

Productivity is one component of an effective workforce, but morale is the other side of the coin. A company is only as good as its employees. But what makes a great employee? Is it about delivering the results, is it about job satisfaction, or is it about the culture of the workplace? In the medical industry, where every member of staff faces extreme pressure, this is going to have a knock-on effect. It can impact their ability to deal with patients appropriately, and it also impacts their life outside of their job. We need to find a way to balance this appropriately, because if we fall foul of employee turnover, our costs increase, which has a detrimental impact on the patient as well as the productivity of our workers. It’s important to be competitive, but it’s also essential to understand what an employer wants in the medical industry. 

It’s easy to make the assumption that employees have trained for a specific role, so they are happy to stay there. This isn’t always the case. If we have an employee that is more than happy in the role they are performing, they could very well make the move from your medical practice to somewhere that has better pay, and a better ambience. The key to staff morale is always communication. There are various ways to achieve this. Ensuring that staff turnover is kept to a minimum by opening the doors of communication and having an open-door policy, can help your workers to vent their frustrations. As you work on improving the culture of the business, by solidifying teamwork, ensuring that you have the communications, productivity tools, and similar components in place, you aim to make their lives easier, so they can perform their job.

How Do We Start This?

Because medical practices are classed as businesses, it can be so easy to view your company in this respect. It’s all about revenue and the bottom line. If you want a medical business that delivers the goods, you have to steer away from this. Productivity is one thing that you should look at, but it’s also about turning the business into an empathetic and, fundamentally, a human place to be. We have seen the detrimental impact of the companies that focus on the money; gradually, customers disappear, staff morale decreases, and the business shuts up shop. 

Creating a business in the medical industry comprises of so many different components that focusing on one area is impossible. Patients need to be seen, and ailments need to be treated. And as we try to consolidate this with the very act of doing business, this is when we can focus more on one than the other. As such, something appears to fall by the wayside. Starting a business isn’t just about the finances, the fundamentals, or even the business plan; it is about providing that need for the customer, establishing your authority as a business, but also providing that all-important component many medical businesses seem to shun, the human aspect.

About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.

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