Leveraging your facility, equipment, and technology
Well-managed practices realize they need to reinvest to keep their practices moving forward. Here's how they plan to leverage their facilities.
The 2005 Well-Managed Practice (WellMP) Study participants recognize that they need to reinvest to keep their hospitals moving forward. As one respondent says, "Our goal is to leverage our facility space effectively and use technology and equipment to increase our practice's efficiency and make it easier to practice medicine. We let technology give us more time to do what we love most: practice medicine."
Your facility is the first and last thing clients see when they visit your practice. Imagine their impression if it's a cramped space. Imagine the inefficiencies when clients and doctors are ready to start patient exams but are forced to wait longer because there aren't exam rooms available.
The average WellMP has about 5,600 square feet and four exam rooms. Several are planning remodeling and expansion projects that nearly double their size. In fact, 13 percent plan to remodel their current facility in the next two years; they plan to spend an average of $316,000. Fourteen percent plan to expand their current facility, with an average estimated project budget of $842,000. And 8 percent plan to build a new facility. The estimated cost: $1,325,000.
Do you feel your facility holds back your growth? Ideally, you'd start planning about five years before you think you'll need an expanded facility to determine how much you'll need to grow your revenue and transaction numbers to meet the new financial demands.
Your technological solutions-or lack of solutions-also could be holding you back. Yet many veterinarians resist change in this area, either because it's an unknown or they believe it's a nuisance to set up. But the truth is, updated office technology offers improved efficiency-and can reduce frustration for team members and improve clients' perceptions of your practice.
For example, practices can communicate with clients more effectively by using each client's preferred approach and by reaching them at times when they're available and receptive. This improves your clients' scheduling rates for recommended health care.
Seventy-seven percent of WellMPs use the Internet to offer client education, and 20 percent of respondents with Web sites let clients schedule appointments online; 12 percent let clients access patient information. Imagine the time your receptionists could save! Granted, not all clients will use the Internet, but it's likely you'll see more and more of your younger client base expecting Internet capabilities so they can do business with your practice.
As part of your strategic plan, decide which technologies will meet your strategic goals. These decisions will guide you and help you make wise investments for the future of your practice.