As a dermatologist, your main focus is providing outstanding patient care. But most likely, you’re also thinking about how to grow your business. You want to position your practice for growth among industry shifts and changing patient expectations. A common avenue doctors (and other business owners) often take to achieve growth is expansion. This could be an expansion of your services, your team or your facility space. These areas (or a combination of these areas) can impact your ability to bring in new patients and best care for current patients. So ask yourself, should you expand your practice and if so, what routes should you take?
Today’s patients expect the best care, but also a wider range of choices for their healthcare (and cosmetic care). Adding more services, including cosmetic and aesthetic services, can help meet these demands. In your area, if you see that more people are wanting cosmetic options, take advantage and consider adding or building upon what you’re doing. But before investing in the latest laser treatment, etc., do your diligence and find what the right service/technology additions would be right for your space and financial situation. You can also consider leasing equipment as a more economical solution. If adding services, this is also a great time to expand on your marketing efforts and let people know. Add this to your direct mail, social media, website, etc., and have your team members share these updates in-office.
If you’ve identified the need for additional support, and if physical space and financial situation can allow it, you may consider adding team members or providers. Before making additions, make sure your physical space exists to accommodate your new team member(s) and that you can accommodate adding more patients to the schedule. Adding a provider who works selected days and hours can help attract and diversify your patient base while adding new revenue streams and new services to best care for patients. Add an advanced practice provider (APP) is also an option, such as a physician assistant and nurse practitioner. When making additions, a consistent training and onboarding process is also important to implement.
You may not have a lot of flexibility with expanding your current facility depending on your setup, but if you do have the ability and it makes sense for your growth goals, this could be a valuable option. This could help you see more patients and add to your team. You could also convert under-utilized space that already exists into new exam rooms, etc. Practice expansion can also include your processes and systems. If you haven’t, consider adding an electronic health record (EHR) to replace paper chares and files, which can also free up additional space and impact efficiency for the better. Practice aesthetics and technology also impact your overall image and brand. Modern technology and office updates can help you maintain a state-of-the-art feel and show patients they’re receiving the best care possible.
You can also consider additional practice locations if it makes sense. Do you have patients traveling from far away to see you? Are you at patient capacity but are unable to expand your current facility? Do you want to focus on certain procedures at one location while offering other services at another? If yes, this may be a beneficial option. This does take time and capital, so it should be thoroughly evaluated if considering.
By identifying your business objectives, you can help decide which expansion avenue(s) is the best way to help you grow your practice, and in turn, your patient base.
Need help with your growth efforts? We’re always a phone call or click away to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!