Many small private practices achieve success because of the stellar one-on-one care they provide—and amazing patient experiences they create. After all, what better way to foster patient loyalty and garner word-of-mouth referrals to ultimately boost revenue as well as your reputation? Unfortunately, though, that level of attention can be difficult to maintain as your practice grows—and patients can end up falling through the proverbial cracks as providers’ calendars become increasingly jam-packed. That is, of course, unless you figure out how to scale your patient-focused efforts. With that in mind, here are three ways to preserve the high quality of care—and exceptional patient experience—you provide, even as your practice expands:
1. Build it into your culture.
You can think of your practice’s culture as the bedrock of your organization; it serves as the foundation for your clinic and influences everything from operational decisions to clinical ones. Thus, if you want to ensure that the patient experience remains a priority, you’d be wise to build that in to your core values—and make sure that everyone on staff (as well every potential new hire) is willing to live by it. That way, no matter how quickly you grow—or what changes take place in your practice—your core values will continue to guide your company toward providing an excellent experience for your patients. And don’t forget to prioritize the employee experience, too. A happy team is going to be much better equipped to give their best to your patients—and your practice—than a burnt-out, overworked, or neglected one.
2. Quantify the patient experience—and act on patient feedback.
You can theorize about how your patients are perceiving their experience until the cows come home, but you can’t possibly know for sure until you ask them—in a way that garners accurate, honest, and actionable responses. Otherwise, you’re simply guessing. Instead, adopt a methodology—we like NPSⓇ tracking—that enables you to:
- take the pulse of your patients’ experience at regular intervals;
- respond in real-time to each patient’s specific concerns;
- identify trends that point to what your patients value; and
- benchmark your score to measure improvements.
NPS is also neat because it allows you to determine which patients are pleased with their experience—and are thus more likely to refer your services to a friend—and which may already have one foot out the door. That way, you can act accordingly. You certainly wouldn’t want to ask an unhappy patient to provide you with an online review, but you’d definitely want to reach out and discuss how to improve that patient’s experience.
3. Implement technology to help.
There’s simply no way for a growing practice to provide:
- exceptional clinical care;
- billing and insurance support;
- appointment reminders;
- regular updates about clinic happenings and new offerings;
- relevant, valuable content specific to each patient’s condition;
- HEP progress checks between appointments;
- a secure, open communication channel; and
- re-engagement emails to get prior patients back in the clinic.
At least, there’s no way to have all of those things in a busy, growing practice without the help of technology. Sure, it might have been doable when each therapist had only a few patients to manage, but it’s not feasible at scale. And patients are coming to expect all of that—regardless of whether your clinic serves 20 people or 2,000.
- enables you to effectively connect with your patients,
- ensures they feel supported inside and outside of the clinic, and
- leaves you—and your staff—with a little bit of extra time and energy on your hands.
(Bonus points if your PRM software also automates the entire NPS tracking process, including pinging your pleased patients to request reviews.) And begin implementation before you absolutely need it. Remember what I said about burnt-out teams above? Getting to that place is not good for anyone—and it can be hard to recover from.
Gone are the days when patients were willing to be treated like a number; today’s patients want to connect with their providers in a meaningful, personalized way—and that requires providers to prioritize the patient experience, even (maybe especially) during periods of high growth. To see how WebPT’s EMR, HEP program, and PRM software—or any combination of the above—can help your growing clinic provide top-notch services and care to your patients, schedule a complimentary demo today.