You’ve worked hard to build a thriving medical practice. Although you’re proud of the treatment you and your colleagues offer patients, you want to do more.
If you don’t think you currently have the resources to achieve your goals with the number of providers on staff, it might be time to grow your practice. Here’s a look at a few reasons to consider expanding.
1. Patients have to wait several weeks (or months!) for appointments
In order to grow your practice, you have to see new patients. However, if they’re faced with an unreasonable wait time, they’ll likely seek care from another provider.
When new patients contact healthcare providers to make an appointment, they wait an average of 2.7 weeks to actually see the doctor, according to 2016 data from athenahealth. A further breakdown revealed 20 percent had to wait more than four weeks for their first appointment.
Whether new or existing patients, people seeking preventative care might not mind waiting a few weeks for their appointment. However, those who require more immediate attention will probably become discouraged and find another provider if you can’t see them when they need you.
2. You feel you don't spend enough time with patients
A desire to help patients is why you became a doctor. If you don’t feel like you have enough time to dedicate to each patient, they’ve probably noticed it too.
Lack of time certainly isn’t unique to your practice, as 50 percent of physicians spend just nine to 16 minutes with each patient, according to the 2017 Medscape Physician Compensation Report. Devoting more time to each patient will allow you to provide a higher quality of care, making people really feel like their health is in good hands with your practice.
3. You want to offer new services outside of your wheelhouse
If you want to expand your practice, branching out into a new avenue can be a lucrative idea. Along with your partners, you’ve developed a strong patient base for your core business, but you feel like there’s an opportunity for more.
Adding another doctor or licensed technician with a specialty that complements your practice can allow you to better serve existing patients and attract new business. For example, your doctor’s office might consider offering aesthetic services. This can help increase your bottom line and strengthen your practice brand.
4. One of your partners is preparing for retirement
Approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old every day, according to Pew Research Center. If one of your partners is nearing retirement age, it could be a good idea to begin grooming their replacement.
Bringing a new doctor in well before your partner actually retires gives patients time to transition. Plus, it also makes them feel comfortable knowing they’ll be in good hands with someone their doctor trusts. They’ll already be adjusted to the new physician by the time their doctor actually retires, so it’s unlikely they will leave your practice in search of someone new.
5. You’re planning to open a second location
Expanding your practice is a huge initiative, but you’re excited for it. You’re only in the planning phase, but adding a new provider is a great way to start the process.
You want your practice branding to stay intact at your second location, so you need to show the new doctor how you do business. Having the opportunity to work alongside you and your partners will allow them to learn the skills needed to uphold your values as the team continues to grow.
Adding a new provider to your practice is a major change, so carefully weigh the pros and cons to make sure it’s the right move. If you decide to proceed, take your time to find the right fit for your healthcare team.
For more information on how to grow your practice, see the blog post “Why doctors should never stop accepting new patients.”