There are many industries in the world that you can think about starting a business in. However, when it comes to sustainable success, the medical industry is one of your best options. There will simply never be a case where people are no longer in need of medical services. It’s something that’s constantly at a high-demand, and your business can step in and provide the right solutions.
When running a medical business, you have countless considerations. There are plenty of legal issues you need to ensure you understand, not to mention equipment costs, pricing, and your general service list. However, the biggest concern is your patients. These are the people that will pay for your service, and they demand a lot of attention.
Speaking of which, there are plenty things to think about with regards to your patients. One of which is ensuring you provide the highest level of service possible. Through doing a bit of research and drawing on your own personal experience with medical companies, it’s easy to come up with one of the main issues most patients have; time. It can take too much time for someone to book an appointment, or it takes too long for them to receive a call about test results, etc. Even when they’re in the waiting room, they’re there for ages. People hate waiting, and they hate wasting time!
Consequently, you need to avoid playing with your patient’s patience when you run a medical business. Below, you will see a few ideas to help you lower waiting times and ensure patients are seen to quickly.
Create An Online Booking System
It’s remarkable how many medical practices don’t have some type of online booking system set up. Yes, lots of patients do like to call up and make their bookings, particularly if they’re quite old. Plus, they like having a conversation with a human, as it gives them confidence and reassurance that they’re made the right booking. But, you can’t deny that there are loads of people out there that would prefer to do things online. It’s way more convenient, there’s pretty much no waiting around – as opposed to on the phone where you can wait for half an hour or more in a queue – and you have physical evidence that you made the booking.
These days, there are plenty of companies that develop online booking systems for various medical practices. The systems are designed to be compliant with patient confidentiality laws, and they’re a simple way to let people book appointments. Someone can view your website, and book an appointment in seconds. They also benefit from seeing when all the available appointments are. Not only that, but you benefit from having a clear booking system that shows when patients are booked in, and helps avoid double bookings. If the system shows a slot is already booked up, then there’s no way for an accidental double booking to take place. If your existing system is done via the phone and with a physical diary, then you can easily make mistakes and double book by accident. This frustrates patients, and they’ll take their money elsewhere.
Outsource A Call Answering Service
Running a busy medical business means you may be unable to answer the phone at all times. Especially if you’re the only employee at your practice. Some medical businesses – like running a chiropractor clinic – can easily be done all by yourself. The benefit is that you save money by being the only employee. However, the negative is that you’re the only employee, so you have to play the role of receptionist as well as the medical practitioner.
Nevertheless, there’s a perfect solution for this problem. All you have to do is look around for a phone answering service. There are companies out there offering a physician answering service that’s HIPAA compliant and perfect for people in the medical field. In essence, you get a team of people answering your phone whenever it rings. They’re based remotely, and the fee you pay can be significantly smaller than hiring employees as you don’t have benefits packages, sick pay, etc. So, when someone calls up, they can be spoken to right away, and their issue can be dealt with. It’s such an effective way of being prompt, while not testing the patience of your patients.
Set Realistic Appointment Times
You may think that, once a patient is booked in and arrives at your practice, then the job is done. You’ve secured some business, and the money is in your pocket. However, even if you’ve followed the tips above, you can still play with their patience here. No one likes sitting in a waiting room for more than they expected. If someone has an appointment at 11, and they’re still waiting around at 11:15, then the annoyance starts to set in. Think about it, they may have chosen that time because they have other commitments later in the day. So, by seeing them late, you could throw their whole schedule off and really annoy them.
In fact, you can irritate them so much that they leave a negative review of your business. This will discourage other people from seeing you, meaning you lose potential profits. Why do a lot of medical businesses leave patients waiting? Most of the time, it’s because an appointment ran longer than expected, which sets everyone else back. How can you avoid this? Accommodate for long appointments. Don’t have appointments set for every ten minutes when you know the average one lasts half an hour. You may well secure more patients, but they won’t be happy. As a result, it’s unlikely you’ll see repeat business from them.
To conclude; if you run a medical business, then you need to pay attention to your patients and respect their time. Implement faster booking systems to let them book things online and avoid double booking. Offer quick phone answering services, so they’re never left hanging. Last but not least; ensure they don’t spend too long waiting for their appointment in your waiting room. This helps keep your customers happy and leads to positive reviews that help fuel your business.