You graduated at the top of your class and consider yourself an excellent doctor. However, making the decision to leave the emergency room and open your own small practice, now extends your branding needs beyond just yourself. The good news is that you can achieve success if you cover all of your bases ahead of accepting your first patient.
A Qualified Staff
You will need a couple of experienced nurses to initially see patients and perform the basics such as taking blood samples, throat cultures, and performing skin swab testing. Since they will have direct contact with everyone who enters your facility, it’s very important to take your time with the screening process to make sure that they have patience, are caring, sympathetic, and understanding; especially to parents who may come in with a gravely sick child.
Set Your Practice Apart
Even if there are several doctors’ offices within a couple of miles, there’s still room for one more. It’s all about individual branding, making a name for yourself by setting yourself apart from the other doctors. Maybe you have evening hours on Wednesdays or you work a half-day on Saturdays. It can also be something as simple as a live body answering the phone versus a paid service. Find your brand and make it stand out.
Have Insurance in Place
You’ve always carried physicians insurance for liability. However, there are many other insurances that come into play when you have your own practice. If you own the building you should have commercial property insurance to protect the structure. General liability will protect you from losing everything if someone sustains an injury while inside the office. You’ll also want to highly consider providing health benefits to your employees.
Word of Mouth is a fantastic way to attract patients. However, when you first venture out on your own, this is no simple task. This is where having a comprehensive website that reviews your background to include your schooling and years of service in various locations. You can also disclose things like your office’s hours and various services you perform.
Move with the Times
Technology keeps advancing and, unless you’re willing to ride the tide, you may end up left in the dust of your competitors. Use the tools available to grow your business such as social media. These sites attract millions of people each day and for little money, you can attract a portion of that traffic to your website. You can also use the social media platform to inform the local population of an outbreak in their community.
Remain an Active Member of the Community
A doctor needs to follow the same protocol as any other business. If you want to stand out from your competition, you must become a recognized figure in the community. Host an open house where you provide a free annual flu shot, sponsor the local little league team or have an online venue where patients can ask questions about their health concerns.
Open Up to Patients
As a general rule, doctors are very good at the diagnosis of an ailment, however, not so much with anything beyond that. If you want to receive repeat visits and referrals, always follow up with your patients after every visit. This will let your patients know that you remember why they were in the office and that you cared enough to drop a quick line. What it also does for you is to provide you with the opportunity to use your existing clients to bring in new business. An easy way to do this is to include a simple note that offers a discount on future services or a finder’s fee for every new patient the existing patient refers to you. Opening a private practice is a decision that deserves careful consideration. You will be the one that may at times have to provide a health diagnosis that can cause serious trauma to a patient and their family. However, if you’re up for the task, have good employees, and your website is operational, you’re ready to take in your first patient.