Designing your PT clinic to be both efficient and growth-oriented can be a challenge. Not only do you want to make sure the current patient experiences are top-notch, you also want to plan for future evolution. Finding a balance between those two notions can be easier than made out to be. Here is what clinics succeeding in both aspects have recognized in their business models.
1. Invested Staff
As you know, Physical Therapy is a service business that needs teams of well-equipped employees. Running a PT operation takes a lot of hands on deck and the staff must be prepared and willing to go above and beyond for every patient they see.
A staff should be equal parts experienced, knowledgeable, and caring.
Experienced: It’s important to have PT’s who have built a history of work. That way they won’t be surprised by unique cases, and can address problems adeptly. Breadth of work can help PT’s identify problems sooner and begin taking the necessary steps of care immediately.
Sociable: Sociability is a trait that can go under the radar, but it’s essential to remember that PT’s have very close relationships with patients. Amicable communication plays a vital role in a patient’s trust in both the physical therapist and the care they are receiving. For a therapist-patient relationship to flourish a foundation of trust and understanding needs to first be established.
Caring: PTs should be devoted to the patient he/she sees. Patients look to them to help find answers for problems that have been potentially plaguing their everyday lives. This is a huge responsibility that a PT takes on! To truly take on that responsibility effectively, a therapist should want positive outcomes as much as the patient does.
The combination of these three qualities in Physical Therapists is what results in return business, a central part to continuing the growth of a great PT practice.
2. Promoting Professional Development
Great PT Clinics take advantage of continuing education for their staff. A staff that is equipped to changing times is a staff built for future growth. Continued education doesn’t only provide PTs with new tools to approach the future, but also gives them an opportunity for career growth and chance to learn industry trends. On top of that, it provides an occasion to mingle with industry peers. In the field of PT there are countless opportunities for further education.
In example, APTA NEXT brings together hundreds of PTs and provides nationally acclaimed thought leadership. Chances like that are perfect for PTs who want to engage in some industry conversations and see new perspectives.
3. Differentiation from other Practices
What does your clinic offer that others do not? How is your practice different than competing practices of your same size? Figure it out, and utilize it.
If you offer some variety of care or a level of experience that other clinics don’t, it’s a smart way to promote your business. Recognize these differentiations and use them to show patients the potential care they’d receive with your business versus others. If your only offering run-of-the-mill services and run-of-the-mill experience, what’s to keep patients from choosing any of the other clinics that do the same thing?
4. Software and Technology that Works
It’s become the standard for charting, documentation, and billing to be digital. That means it is crucial to have an EMR system that will make the staff’s jobs easier, is accurate, and can be taught.
EMR software is a one-stop shop for many practices, and that shop should be convenient and coherent. Your practice needs the software solution that fits like the perfect shoe. Time spent fumbling around with your EMR is time spent away from patients. Your first priority is great patient care, and an unmanageable electronic system detracts from that.
5. Taking Advantage of Digital Marketing
Like it or not, people are spending more-and-more time online. That means the masses are learning about businesses from Google searches and social media. Don’t let that discourage you, adapt and use it as leverage!
If you haven’t already, learn the huge importance of Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization. Make your business relevant to the person that goes to Google and searches “clinics to help with chronic-back pain”. You could be one search query away from engaging with a potential patient.
Social Media is your friend and its free! Use social media to keep people who frequent your business up-to-date with new services, post relevant industry related articles, but most importantly it gives patients a chance to sing your praises and ask questions. Checking a business’s social media presence is becoming a key step for potential customers before they commit to a clinics care.