If clinicians around the country were asked to describe their therapy practice over the past 15 months, it’s unlikely that any would use the terms “healthy” or “thriving.” Rehab therapists and clinic owners have faced insurmountable challenges — and chances are, your practice and its revenue have felt the weight. With the world beginning to return to normal, it’s time for your practice to take first priority again.
Whether you’re in hospital outpatient or private practice physical therapy, speech-language pathology (SLP), or occupational therapy, there are countless ways to bring joy back to your therapy practice. Consider these three tips to lead a thriving, healthy therapy practice that connects you with your purpose once again.
Tip 1: Where There’s Margin, There’s Mission
All too often in therapy practices, money is considered a taboo subject. Most therapists have chosen their profession to make a difference in patients’ lives — not to make profits. But before therapists can take better care of patients, they need to take care of their business. This is where profit comes into play. To better care for patients and the surrounding community, practices need to make money.
When your practice is healthy financially, you can begin to reinvest in your business. From new equipment that improves recovery to practice management software that streamlines treatment, patients win when your business succeeds. Of course, money should never be a practice’s number one value over patients. However, it’s okay to acknowledge that a healthier business margin means healthier patients, too.
Tip 2: If Therapists Are Satisfied, So Are Patients
Now more than ever, it’s time to check in with the therapists who have been holding down your practice over the past 15 months. Are they satisfied in their roles? Do they feel heard? How is morale?
Anything that improves overall staff morale and increases job satisfaction is worth the investment. That investment may be as simple as providing satisfactory time for one-on-ones so your staff has a voice, can discuss goals, or point out operational improvements.
It could also mean investing in tools that streamline day-to-day workflows. A recent study found that electronic health records (EHRs) have a positive effect on both the work lives of clinicians as well as patient care — improving the latter by 65%.¹ So, consider an investment in tools for your practice that inherently make your therapists’ jobs easier and advance their quality of care, such as time management, billing, or more sophisticated practice management software.
Additionally, don’t forget to reward existing staff talent. Therapists and nurses have gone above and beyond to ensure patient satisfaction these past few months, and each person deserves recognition for their stellar performance. Maybe it’s monetary bonuses. Maybe it’s career advancement opportunities or additional responsibilities. Either way, by acknowledging their commitment to your practice, you encourage higher satisfaction, which translates to happier patients and a more thriving business overall.
Tip 3: In Order to Grow, Adopt a Growth Mindset
Last but not least, take these next few months as a chance to adopt a growth mindset. Now that clinicians across the board can lean off of the panic button, it’s okay to take stock of where your practice is at now — and how you can help it grow. Use this as an opportunity to reunite with your passion for caregiving and highlight why you got into business in the first place.
Consider this an invitation to leave your desk in the back office and engage with patients, not as a healthcare professional, but as a neighbor. Seek out new opportunities for revenue, such as through new physical therapy marketing channels, to expand your reach. Become a pillar in your community that strives to provide the type of therapy you’ve always dreamed of. Allow yourself to grow!
Get Back to What You Love: Your Patients
There’s no shame in admitting that the previous months have been difficult — for you, your therapists, and maybe your bottom line. With the world slowly returning to health, you can begin to focus your attention back on growing a thriving business. Fortunately, Net Health has your back so you can get back to what you love: your patients.
To learn how Net Health can revitalize all areas of your hospital outpatient or private practice physical therapy, speech-language pathology (SLP), or occupational therapy practice, schedule a demo today.
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¹ Official Publication of The College of Family Physicians of Canada, “Do Electronic Medical Records Improve Quality of Care?” October 2015.