Hopefully, the first thought that you had, in terms of how to improve profitability, was not “increase my fees.” While it is always possible, if you are billing below the provincial fee guide, that you SHOULD increase your fees, this is not necessarily the first thing you should do.
In actual fact, one of the real tried and true methods of increasing profits is by increasing the quality of service to the patients/clients. This will lead to happier patients and clients, and a resultant abundance of referrals.
Where to Start?
Have you ever asked your patients or clients what they wanted when they first came to you as a patient? If yes, did you write this down in the chart and do you keep focused on meeting their desires on an ongoing basis?
Another approach would be for your staff to ask a survey question of every patient/client that you treat over the next month to find out what your patients want from your practice, and then write the answer down verbatim. For instance, this was done in a dental office and it was found that patients hated the typical dental office odor and would feel happier if that was gone. So the dental staff started baking little loaves of bread at the office and that beautiful aroma filled the office and was VERY favourably received. They also gave away the bread – which was also popular.
Maybe the survey would show that they want you to run more on-time (because you run behind schedule). Or maybe they want fresh, upscale magazines for them to read or TV to watch in the reception area when they get there early. Maybe they want a gentle doctor or a fun doctor or even better parking facilities. You really won’t know what it is until you ask. Make a game to get 100 answers by a certain date. It takes almost no time to do this and write the answers down on a pad of paper.
How to Improve Quality of Care:
When you have 100 answers, go through and count up how many of each type of answer so you can see which category of response was the most stated one. Then you need to work on fixing things up to meet the patients’/clients’ needs. Sometimes you have to be incredibly genius at finding a solution. Get your team to help brainstorm on this and come up with ideas.
Just the action of asking your patients or clients about this shows that you CARE how their experience at your practice can be improved. Going ahead and fixing it will be the final evidence that you DO care.
The quality of the patient/client care, when improved a level or two, will definitely result in increased profitability.
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