If you run your own private medical practice, there’s going to come a time when you need to expand. You’re bringing in new patients on a regular basis and you’re running out of room, as well as available appointment times within your small staff body. And while this amount of success is always a good sign, you need to move fast in order to keep up with demand.
Which means now’s the time to make your expansion plan, if you have no outline for it already. However, when you’re working in the medical world, you’ve got to be extra careful about the decisions you make. Lives could literally be in your hands, and making mistakes can be disastrous.
But that’s why we’ve made this post today. Some elements of the expansion process will be challenging, and you need to get them right. So if you’re looking for some advice on expanding a medical business without too much drama, check out the tips below.
Justify Your Expansion Clearly
Before you make any concrete decisions about your expansion, you need to be able to justify it. Taking on new patients, as well as bringing in new doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is not cheap and never will be. As such, there needs to be a clear demand for bigger and better services from you. Your current profit line needs to be strong, and you need to anticipate growth in a similar vein for the next 6 months at least.
Aside from this, you also need to have an action plan about how you’re going to expand beyond the physical. New treatments? Telemedicine services? General better patient care? This is the important second degree of your expansion justification, so write it to be as detailed as it would when being put in front of an investor’s eyes.
Start Hiring Early
Once you know how you want to expand, it’s time to start hiring. Get people into position early on; you need to be sure of how your new, bigger location is going to be staffed.
Plus, you need to give yourself plenty of time to hire, as the job market moves fast and candidates get snapped up quickly. If you get your advert out early, you give your practice the best chance of securing some genuine medical talent.
Secure Patient Data
When expanding a business through a new location, you need to get online and expand there too. Not only does this mean a better website that can handle more traffic, but it also means your data banks will take a step up too. It’s an exciting time all round!
However, your work isn’t done once the web master finishes coding. Seeing as most files are digitized these days, that means anyone can get in if you don’t take digital exploits and the coding backdoor into account. And throughout all this excitement, some data could very well slip through the cracks.
So how are you going to ensure your patient files will be kept safe during your move? Decide this now. Many hackers target at times when they know a company’s admin is up in the air, and if you’ve posted about your expansion online, there could be someone lying in wait.
Pick a New Location Strategically
You’re not just moving to have more space to work with. You’re moving to be closer to patients, to be closer to main transport links, and to provide a better hub of care within your local area. This means you need to take your time in securing new real estate for your practice.
You need to be clear with any estate agent about what you’re looking for. Make sure you note down these needs for yourself as well – put down stats and figures about necessary space for equipment, staff, and patients on this list. Then when it comes to property viewings, try not to deviate.
Work with an Experienced Moving Company
This is a very important note, as it’s going to be hard to ship your office equipment personally. So, once you’re ready to move, make sure you book in with an experienced moving company that knows how to handle your specialist equipment.
A broken machine can cost upwards of $20,000 to replace, and if more than one critical element of your treatment chain is delivered faulty, that cost is going to be hard to account for.
Do your research. When it comes to medical machinery movers, you’ve got to be very, very careful about the way your inventory gets packed and loaded. You’ve just moved into a new location, hired new staff, and developed your ability to provide patient care – your budget isn’t going to stretch to replacements right now!
Stay Up to Date Online
We mentioned earlier that it can be a security risk to post about your expansion on social media. Many companies become wary of sending out any word of their move as a result. However, it’s good to let your client base know what’s going on in the most accessible way possible.
Most of all, people need to know when you stop trading in the old place and start trading in the new one. They also need new contact details and the address of your new location, as well as details about any new patient-facing staff coming on board. You can then let the people on your mailing list know the full details, but continue to post simple updates on your professional account at least once a week as well.
A medical practice can scale easily, as long as you know what the effect will be on your patient roster. So make sure you plan around the people you serve; keep their data secure, work to make your service more accessible to them, and make sure you post regular social media updates about what’s going on. The more you prepare here with the tips above, the better your expansion will run in the long term.