As a healthcare practitioner, you’re juggling many different balls. And when you’re so busy, it could mean that you’re inadvertently doing things that hold your practice back.
To help you get on the right path, here are five common mistakes many practices make. Stop doing these things right now to get to where you need (and want) to be.
1. Stop Undercharging for Your Services
If it’s been more than two years since you looked at your rates, you’ve made a mistake. While broaching the topic of fees may make you uncomfortable, you can’t offer your clients a great experience if you’re struggling to stay afloat.
- Come to terms with the reality that a sustainable practice needs to keep pace with increasing costs to continue providing quality services.
- Decide what factors influence your rate increase, such as inflation, rent and salaries, and keep in mind that your experience increases with time which also adds value.
- If you decide to increase your rates, be transparent and ensure that you communicate any changes in advance.
Watch the Power Talks webinar ‘Is it Time to Raise Your Rates?’ for expert insights on setting rates for your services.
2. Stop Letting People Disrespect Your Time
No-shows and late cancellations need to have consequences, and it’s time to stop hiding behind the fear that firm policies about no-shows or late clients will chase away business.
- Understand that your team’s time is a finite resource, so frequent last-minute cancellations or no-shows can drag your practice into the red.
- Draw up a comprehensive no-show policy and communicate it to your clients. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can be flexible and include exceptions for first-time offenders and make exceptions if needed.
- Take additional steps to reduce no-shows, like sending appointment reminders three days and one day before the appointment, so clients are reminded to cancel well in advance if they need to.
- Consider various options for your policies regarding no-shows and cancellations, such as charging 50% if a client cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice and charging 100% for on-the-day cancellations.
Watch the Power Talks webinar ‘Eliminate No-shows in Your Health Practice’ to find out how Power Diary’s functionalities can assist you in eliminating costly no-shows.
3. Stop Wasting Time on Administration
If your team repeatedly sends the same letters, emails and texts, start using templates and put them into a process. Time in your practice is a precious resource, and wasting time on unnecessary admin that could be automated puts strain on the whole team.
Spend that time on more client appointments or (gasp!) taking time off for yourself.
But how do you stop doing the same repetitive tasks over and over?
- Use letter and email templates for routine tasks such as sending invoices, payment reminders, and submitting reports.
- Take advantage of your practice management system; remember, the appointment scheduling functionality is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a more efficient practice.
- Take one hour a week to learn something new about what your practice management system can do.
- If you use Power Diary, start with Online Forms and use the Practice Operations Manual.
Watch the Power Talks webinar ‘5 Online Forms to Streamline Your Health Practice’ to find out how to streamline processes and free up time.
4. Stop Ignoring Your Referrers
When you’re busy, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking referrers for granted.
Make time for this important client source, no matter how overbooked or busy you are.
Referral Introduction Letters are a great way to introduce your practice, and also to introduce new practitioners. Done properly, these will;
- Get your clinic top-of-mind with potential referrers
- Give referrers confidence that you’ll provide their clients with a high level of service
- Allow referrers, or even their patients, to choose specific practitioners and feel more in control of the referral process
- Make it easy for General Practitioners to send referrals – from a variety of channels
Then, once you’ve seen a referred client, Referral Feedback Letters are an ideal way to check in with referrers. But not only are these a professional and polite gestures, but they also offer several other benefits, including:
- Reducing the risk of referrers providing inconsistent or overlapping treatment
- Helping referrers reinforce your treatment strategies
- Having an opportunity to communicate to referrers exactly what you do without having to overtly “promote” or “market” yourself
- Keeping you top-of-mind
- Making you and your practice look professional
5. Stop Putting Yourself Last
If you think that practitioner burnout won’t happen to you, think again. Burnout rates among health practitioners are around 50%, with common causes including the mental load of caring for others, the guilt of not being able to do enough, and the stresses of running a business. Burnout doesn’t just put your income at risk; it often spills over into your personal life too.
- Practice self-care in simple but powerful ways, like being kind to yourself, gratitude reflections, reframing negativity, fostering strong and positive connections with others, and identifying other changes you can make to help yourself.
- Manage your time well and use Rosters to book out time for yourself well in advance with Power Diary’s Roster Override.
- Make changes in your practice to reduce overwhelm for yourself and your team, such as streamlining administrative processes, scheduling appointments strategically, and promoting staff wellness.
Watch the Power Talks webinar ‘Practice What You Preach’ to find out how to create a balance that enables your practice to thrive, without burning out.
You can make simple changes in your practice that will have far-reaching consequences. And while the client experience is always a top priority, this shouldn’t be at the expense of your team.
You and your team can’t perform at their best if you’re not:
- Charging correctly for your services,
- Addressing no-shows proactively,
- Automating administrative flows,
- Looking after your referrers, and
- Looking after yourself and your team.
If you can stop making these 5 mistakes, you’re on your way to a more productive team, a more profitable practice, and a happier you. It’s a win all round!