How to Effectively Grow Your Healthcare Practice

How to Effectively Grow Your Healthcare Practice | HealthSoul

When you first opened your healthcare practice, you may have imagined an office full of happy employees and satisfied patients. If instead, you find your providers constantly overbooked, patients feeling rushed, and new clients facing weeks-long waiting lists, it might be time to expand.

Staffing is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when trying to expand your practice. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources that can help. This guide will go over how to know when it is time to expand, how to hire good employees, and what other resources you can take advantage of.

How to Know When You Need to Expand

Expanding your practice can be scary. You may wonder whether or not you can afford to pay for a larger building or stay busy enough to pay the salaries of more advanced providers and ancillary staff. While it is scary, there are a few clear signs that it is time to expand.

1. Your office can’t meet patient demand.

2. Your staff feels overworked.

3. There are no similar facilities in your immediate area.

4. Your wait list for new patients is more than a few weeks long.

5. Your revenue can support a larger practice.

Tips for Growing Your Healthcare Practice

Once you decide that you are ready to expand, it’s time to get down to logistics. Finding enough staff may be the biggest challenge you face. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem.

Consider hiring a healthcare staffing agency

As you take on more patients, a staffing agency can help you fill any holes in your schedule.

Staffing agencies for medical assistants or administrative assistants are especially helpful if you want to grow slowly over time.

Staffing agencies allow you to add to your number of employees without committing to hiring full-time staff. Using one can also help you get by as you post jobs, hire new staff, and train new employees.

Embrace flexible scheduling

Flexible staffing allows employees to choose their own schedules, cover for each other, and take time off when needed. While it may seem counterintuitive, allowing employees more control over their own schedule will decrease burnout and sick calls, and ultimately improve employee retention.

While flexible scheduling does have many benefits, research shows that self-scheduling and other flexible scheduling options do not work well for teams with over 35 employees.

Make sure your technology is prepared to scale up too

Taking advantage of healthcare technologies like online scheduling, automated appointment reminders, and smarter charting systems, and better timekeeping tools will allow your employees to focus more on patient care and less on logistics.

In addition, using technology to stay organized will help you keep patient files, employee timecards, and office schedules up to date.

Consider employee referral incentives

Finding new employees is a huge challenge for many private practices. Employee referral incentives are an effective tool for recruiting new employees like medical assistants and nurses to your team.

Offering referral bonuses after a new employee completes a few months of work will also help retain your new staff members.

Expand telehealth services

Some health problems can be taken care of virtually. Telehealth services are not just convenient for the patients, but they can decrease overhead, provide schedule flexibility, and even allow some providers to work from home. Even specialties like physical therapy and speech-language therapy can be delivered remotely.

Not only are telehealth services great for your providers, but they are also convenient for patients. Patients who have mobility problems, lack transportation, or have other issues leaving their homes benefit greatly from telehealth. Offering this service allows you to tap into a large demographic of potential clients.

Don’t forget about company culture

Hiring new employees to maintain your larger practice is a good start, but you must also keep the staff you currently employ. High turnover in healthcare is expensive and results in poor patient outcomes.

Maintaining a healthy company culture that fosters independence, provides support to staff, allows employees a good work-life balance, and avoids bullying all contribute to a decrease in employee turnover.

As you expand, consider creating leadership positions for your more experienced staff to increase their commitment to the growth of your practice and help them feel empowered to make a positive impact.

Start networking more

For some, networking is an exciting opportunity. For others, it is a huge chore. Either way, networking with others is one of the best ways to grow your practice.

Networking with other, potentially larger, practices can help you get more client referrals, share strategies for improvement, and hire new staff. Attending conferences, updating your LinkedIn accounts, and making in-person visits to other offices are all good ways to get connected with others.

You may also consider networking with schools and training programs in your area. Working together with healthcare training programs and allowing them to send students to your building gets your name out into the community while also giving you an advantage when looking for new staff members.