5 Reasons Why Private Medical Practices Fail and What To Do About It

Medical professional putting on a latex gloveWritten by Veronica Turner.

Running a successful medical practice offers a unique set of challenges. It’s not just about being an excellent clinician, but also about mastering the art of management and client support.

From underestimating the work involved to failing to plan for the future, there are several pitfalls that often cause private practices to fail. But with strategies like refining client satisfaction rates and carving out a unique position in the market, these hurdles can be tackled efficiently.

Why Private Medical Practices Fail and What To Do About It

In the high-stakes world of private healthcare, understanding why some medical practices falter is crucial. Let’s examine five reasons and explore strategic solutions to rectify these issues.

Doctor’s Underestimate the Work Involved

Building a business from scratch is a lot of work, but many doctors underestimate this. After all, they went through medical school, so how hard could creating a business be? Unfortunately, many doctors find out the hard way that running a private practice is incredibly difficult.

The biggest issue here is that doctors assume patients will simply come to them, especially since there’s a doctor shortage in the US. Not only are patients not guaranteed, but there’s so many more doctors to worry about. If they aren’t prepared, their private practice could fail.

How Doctors Can Be More Prepared

Take stock of everything you need to do before opening up your practice. For example, you’ll need to know where your practice will be located, if you’ll take insurance, and who your ideal clients are. This will give you a better idea of how to market to your patients and customers.

Next, consider how many clinician workers you’ll have, how much you’ll pay them, and how you’ll be able to afford bills and taxes. Finally, think of the licenses and regulations you need to follow to run your practice, including HIPAA, privacy policies, and legal documents.


Low Client Satisfaction is a Rampant Problem

Doctors routinely drop the ball when it comes to client satisfaction. If you look up most private practices in your area, you’ll notice a lot of low ratings. These ratings can either come from the doctor (not listening to patients), the practice (dirty office), or the reception (rude staff members).

Costs also play a part as to why private practices don’t pay attention to customer satisfaction. However, if you don’t spend money on keeping your clients, you’re going to lose them. Not only that, but there’s a possibility they’ll leave a negative review that deters future patients.

How to Improve Client Satisfaction Rates

The first thing you need to do is to follow the best patient retention strategies. You’ll need to return phone calls and emails quickly, create an easy-to-navigate website, and clean your office. Make sure you focus on client confidentiality and building an online scheduling system.

And above all else, hire good doctors. Your doctors should be able to listen to their patients and take their concerns seriously. They should have the time to sit with the patient. If your patients feel rushed or glossed over, you’ll have a hard time keeping your private practice open.


The Medical Practice Isn’t Unique or Informative

Doctor shortages are a massive problem, but this doesn’t mean patients will automatically sign up for your private practice. And even if they do, they won’t stay long. To actually attract clients and pull them away from your competition, you’ll have to do something unique and noteworthy.

And what if your patients can’t even find you when they look you up online? If they can’t locate your number or address or whether or not you’re accepting new patients, you’ll just frustrate and confuse your patients. Not only that, but they’ll feel like their time is being wasted.

How to Separate Yourself From the Competition

First, take a look at what other private medical practices are offering in your area. You should at least offer the services they do. Alternatively, you could be known for something. For example, if no one offers a blood lab on site, then it’s a great idea to provide this service to your patients.

Keep in mind that uniqueness won’t matter much if you don’t market your services appropriately. On your website and social media, and on traditional media, think about how you’d want your patients to remember you. Make advertisements that show what you value and how you’ll help.


Lack of Planning for Future Growth

All business owners need to have a present and future mindset. The present mindset is essential for preserving your reputation and keeping client satisfaction high. The future mindset is vital for attracting new clients and ensuring that you keep growing (or don’t go backward).

Without a growth mindset, it’ll be difficult for doctors to stay in the game. This is why goal setting is so important. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’ll be hard to get there. On top of this, you need to set the right goals. Aim too high or low, and you won’t reach what you set out to do.

How to Create Goals With Your Analytics

You can start by actually tracking your analytics by using tools like Google Analytics. From there, you can establish your key performance indicators or KPIs. These could include total appointments in a month, total gross income in a month, and customer satisfaction scores.

Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals to figure out what you want to achieve. A SMART goal could be, “I want to improve my customer satisfaction score by 25% in 2 months by calling clients back within 1 hour after leaving a message.”


Not Being Flexible or Adaptive

One of the most frustrating things a patient could ever experience is when a doctor isn’t up-to-date with research. Some doctors, for example, still tell concussion patients to avoid all stimuli within the first 48 days of the accident when this is proven to worsen symptoms.

A doctor’s lack of knowledge can affect their relationship with the patient and potentially hurt them. And even when a lack of flexibility isn’t this serious, it can still impact growth. For example, practices need to know about new marketing strategies to be successful.

How to Change With the Times

Make it mandatory for doctors to stay up-to-date with new medical information. Doctors should be tested to see if they can communicate with patients responsibly. If a doctor under your care provides poor medical advice, it’ll affect your patients, your bottom line, and your reputation.

Consider hiring a marketing team to find different ways to connect with your customers. Plenty of private practices are using tools like TikTok to connect with younger audiences. Also, consider writing a blog to improve your organic reach. This will help you populate on Google.


In Conclusion…

Navigating the complexities of running a private medical practice can be challenging, but with the right mindset and strategies, you’re more than equipped to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Remember not to underestimate the work involved, keep a keen eye on client satisfaction rates, and always stay unique and adaptive to changes. With meticulous planning for future growth guided by reliable analytics, success is just around the corner, no matter where you operate.


Author’s Bio: Veronica Turner is a health and lifestyle writer with over 10 years of experience. She creates compelling content on nutrition, fitness, mental health, and overall wellness.




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