Is it Time for a Medical Practice Makeover?

Is your practice beginning to feel stagnant? Maybe the goals you had for your medical office are constantly falling short, or turnover is high or patient retention is down. Whatever the reason, when it comes to your medical practice, you can’t afford to be stuck in a monotonous routine. Let’s explore some questions that need to be asked to determine if it’s time for a practice makeover, and what to do if it is.


Is your patient base growing or declining?

Patients leave, it is a part of any medical practice. However, when they do, it is important to understand why in order to retain patients in the future. If your patients are leaving, and you’re not getting new ones, that’s a huge problem. While the general public may not always be the easiest to please, keeping them happy doesn’t require a PhD. Patients must receive the utmost care throughout each appointment experience. From appointment making and the front desk greeting, to the actual treatment and all the way to a follow up call, it is essential a patient feels valued. Whether it’s correcting long wait times, fixing scheduling issues, modifying your office hours or becoming more advanced with technology, it’s important to find out what’s not working and make it better.

Is your team experiencing burnout?

Let’s face it, working in the medical field is tough. The mental, emotional and physical demands can take a toll on you and your staff. When dealing with patients, it is essential your staff remains mentally and physically healthy throughout these daily challenges. Research and implement strategies to battle burnout at your medical practice, keeping you and your staff healthy and ready to care for your patients.

Do you have a lot of employee turnover?

Employee turnover is far more costly to practices than most managers realize, unfortunately it’s a fact of life for most medical offices. However, this fact doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It is hard to lose people you’ve come to rely on for running your practice and the financial impact can hit hard. Find ways to minimize turnover and ways to learn and benefit from it when it happens.

Are you on top of modern day technology and engaging with your patients?

Are you utilizing social media and a quality website to stay in touch with your patients? If not, its time. In addition to social media, include an informative blog along with an online patient portal on your website so your patients can easily access their records and important documents.

Do you have a quality marketing plan in place?

Marketing is important for businesses and brands in the medical industry, but unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as promoting a sale or buying ad space. Executing the wrong strategy could lead to an epic business fail. Marketing in the medical field must follow a different set of rules in order for a practice to gain awareness and the trust of its patients. Implement a medical marketing plan that will help you define some clear goals and prepare your office for the future. Use this plan to help give your medical practice what it needs to surpass your competition while staying on the path to success.

Are no-shows a constant problem?

Missed appointments are a huge problem among all medical practices. From wasted time to loss of revenue, no-shows can throw the best planned day into a tailspin. Studies show that even the best practices have high no-show rates. With this being such a common theme, it’s not shocking that this is a constant concern among medical practices. If no-shows are a reoccurring problem at your practice, it’s definitely time for a policy makeover and maybe even a more sophisticated reminder system.

Is your staff productive and efficient?

We all want our medical offices to run as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Managing your medical office efficiently maximizes productivity and creates more profitability. When your practice is truly productive, you can see fewer patients while retaining a strong bottom line. If this is not the case at your office, it’s probably time for a review. By adding some simple strategies and daily habits, you can reduce the stresses created by unproductive office.

How is the physical design of your office?

Is it the right size for your patient base? How is the daily flow? Are the exam rooms structured properly? If the layout of your practice doesn’t make sense it may be time for a makeover. Make sure the space is optimized for improved performance, a better patient experience and a more efficient office. When planning a design makeover for your office, don’t forget about your waiting room. There are many ways to improve the experience by making your space more enjoyable, comfortable, and visually pleasing without breaking the bank.

As you look over this list of questions, identify where the strengths and weaknesses of your practice are. If there seem to be more flaws than strengths, it’s definitely time for a makeover. We hope these questions help to get you and your practice inspired and ready to take your business to the next level.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
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