Empower Your Practice
Journal for Practice Managers

How Can a Private Clinic Use Practice Management Software to Boost its Patient List?

Andrew Morozoff
August 30, 2018

When patients are facing uncertainty and increased expenses in their everyday lives owing to uncertain economic conditions and political issues like Brexit, it becomes increasingly difficult for the private healthcare system to attract patients who would normally make do with public sector services. We have put together a number of simple steps to help you increase revenue from private services offered by your medical practice. Let's start by taking a look at how to analyse some financial data with practice management software.

Analyzing Business Activity with Practice Management Software

To properly evaluate the dynamic of business activity with practice management software, it's recommended that you monitor your main key performance indicators in a systematic fashion, perhaps on a weekly or monthly basis. Here are some of the main indicators you can start monitoring first with a practice management system.

  • Doctors’ workload - the length of a practitioners workday and how much of this is spent providing consultations to patients;
  • Revenue per doctor - how much revenue each doctor personally brings to the clinic;
  • Consulting room occupancy rates - how much each room is occupied and for how long it is vacant;
  • Workload per time period - which working hours are most busy;
  • Revenue per type of medical service;
  • Profit margins per service - how much a given service generates in marginal profit;
  • Patient profile - what constitutes your typical patient: gender, age group, socioeconomic status, educational background.

Once you have all the data you need, it’s time to develop and roll out your plan of action.

Developing a Plan of Action

So you've analyzed the data gathered by your practice management system, identified both strong and weak points, and defined your typical patient. That's half the job done but you've still got to contend with your plan of action. To help you bring it to life, let's look at each individual performance indicator one by one.

«Doctors’ Workload»

A weekly workload of more than 80% can be considered typical. If a doctor or nurse is busy seeing patients at least 80% of the time, it's highly likely you can say this practitioner is being put to work effectively.

If your practice management system shows that a given practitioner experiences an average workload of 50-80%, then you ought to take steps to increase this. For example, you could:

  • Increase the scope and number of adverts you are using (social media, outdoor advertising, internet marketing etc.);
  • Run promotions and offer discounts for appointments with certain specialists.

It's worth noting that any efforts made to increase the workload of a particular doctor should not be to the detriment of others. After all, we don't want to simply invert the situation and end up with one doctor seeing the majority of the patients. Instead, our goal is to even out the workload and boost revenue for everyone’s benefit rather than merely redistributing it.

If a practitioner is busy less than 50% of the time, it's probably best to part ways or at least to rearrange the terms and conditions of their employment. If you believe that the specialist in question has the potential for growth, you may want to encourage them to improve their professional qualifications and experience before returning to work with you.

Case in Point

For example, we had a general practitioner who was known as a real grafter, willing to work from sunup to sundown but who had a low workload. We encouraged her to pursue a special interest in cardiology so that she may treat patients with certain heart conditions. Our board of directors examined this case personally and decided to foot the bill for the additional courses required in exchange for the practitioner signing an agreement to work with us for at least 3 years after receiving her qualifications.

As a result, she now has a workload of over 90%, working mornings as a GP and afternoons as a GP with a special interest in cardiac complaints. It's a win-win situation for us as the clinic receives extra revenue and the doctor gets an advanced qualification and the right to command a premium for appointments.

To be continued.

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