Owing partly to regulatory and ethical constraints, it can be difficult to grow your practice in a sustainable and creative fashion… but with overheads rising and new health challenges emerging every day, a data-driven growth strategy is essential to any practice's ongoing success.
The specialist medical network operates in a cyclical fashion, with each party carrying equal importance. Given this, it is integral to truly understand your patients, highest value services and your referrers, and tailor your growth strategy to them.
For busy practices with seemingly endless to-do lists, this may sound like an unachievable feat… but with the data and reports already in your Clinic to Cloud practice, you can develop your own data-driven growth strategy in just 3 easy phases - Analyse, Act, and Adjust.
Phase One - ANALYSE:
The first phase is your analysis phase. During this, your key objective is to identify your key value patients, services, and referrers. Clinic to Cloud's advanced reporting functionality allows for this and more, though for the sake of brevity this article will discuss three inbuilt reports - Patients, Referrers, and Items.
In Clinic to Cloud's Patients area, you can develop a thorough understanding of who your patients are, and use this information to create a profile for one or more of your most common patient groups.
Use the in-depth filtering options to quickly assess your patient database and answer questions like:
- How old are the majority of your patients?
- Where do your patients live?
- Which gender do most patients identify as?
- Are most of your patients members of health funds?
- Do you have a significant group of DVA-covered patients?
- How many patients are using a Healthcare or Pension Card?
Similarly, the Referrers Report provides critical insight into the key drivers of your growth and revenue. Access the report via Reports > General Reports, and select Referrers to begin searching. Identify your key value referrers using the figures appearing in the Income Generated column, and ask yourself questions like:
- Who are your referrers?
- Where are your referrers based?
- Who are your top income-generating referrers?
- How do you typically communicate with your referrers?
The Item Number Service Date report will provide a breakdown of your most commonly-performed services, the billing amounts, and any associated payments relating to each service. Set up the report using the in-depth filtering options, then view a table of results plus a visual breakdown in the form of a pie chart of all results.
Phase Two - ACT:
Now that you understand the key drivers of your practice's revenue growth, share your findings with your team - especially the unexpected ones! From here, simply tailor your practice's offerings, communications and marketing plans to suit your predominant patient, referrer and item groups.
This part is the easiest, and is a perfect opportunity to collaborate with your team. Simply enhance your patient experience to make your practice more attractive or accessible to your key patient groups. Share the data with your team, and use the profiles you have created to identify common needs or trends.
- If the patients your practice treats are predominantly older in age, consider adjusting your practice's communications and general ambience to suit - using appropriate communication channels for your patients' preferences or ensuring any posters or healthcare information in your waiting room are printed in an accessible format.
- If your patients are predominantly children, consider developing a parenting newsletter or sponsoring events at local community groups or schools.
- If your patients are predominantly covered by DVA, Pension or Healthcare Cards, you might consider equipping your team with some professional development or training in the handling of sensitive issues. You may also wish to provide relevant information about applicable community services in your waiting room or patient communications.
If you have identified that your referrers are predominantly local, consider hosting or attending local professional education events or informative panel discussions.
You may wish to thank your highest value referrers through small gifts or tokens of appreciation at key times such as Christmas and other religious or cultural celebrations (where appropriate). Many GPs also distribute newsletters or other regular communications to their community - consider reaching out to some of your referrers with an offer to collaborate.
Review your practice's scheduling arrangements and adjust these if they do not align with the most commonly-billed or highest-value options.
Make more time for your most valuable services, and consider reducing the time allocated to items or services that are less frequently performed. From an operational perspective, this will improve both your patient experience and your team's culture - happier patients result in more fulfilled teams!
Phase Three - ADJUST:
The final phase in the development of your growth strategy is ongoing, and by far the most integral to your sustainable success. To continue evolving your practice in line with your patients' needs, run and re-run the Analyse and Act phases regularly - perhaps on a quarterly basis.
Assess the changes in your revenue or practice operations with your team, and consider implementing a patient survey to gather feedback directly from your patients. Take note of any changes in the trends emerging through your reports, and test new ways of working or communicating to ensure you're always putting your best foot forward.
Attending Clinic to Cloud's regular webinars and Practice Management Panels are the perfect way to gain new creative ideas or insights from both practices and product experts across the country. Our Help Centre provides comprehensive instructions for performing these reports, and our Customer Support Specialists are always on hand to assist with any specific questions you may have regarding the critical business intelligence reports featured above.