The healthcare landscape continues to change, and today OB-GYN practices must work to achieve growth and success in an era of consumer-driven healthcare. Millennials, in particular, have had a significant influence on the changes within the healthcare industry, and now it’s more important than ever to begin looking at patients more like retail consumers. Practices across the country are having to change their care delivery models, the ways they communicate with patients, and the message they send out to patients.
What can you do to ensure the continued success of your practice, despite the changing healthcare environment? Here are four critical keys to building a successful OB-GYN practice in 2019.
Key #1 – Work on Retaining Current Patients
Remember this crucial piece of marketing advice – it’s always cheaper to retain a current patient than to acquire a new one. New patients are important, but you must focus your efforts on keeping the ones who already visit your practice. If you’re failing your current patients, it’s pointless to spend big bucks on a marketing plan for new patient acquisition. Steps to retaining your current patients include:
- Get Your Patient’s Perspective – Learn what your patients think about your practice. What do they want? What don’t they want? What do they like about your practice? What don’t they like? An easy way to do this – give patients a short survey card to fill out after every visit.
- Focus on a Memorable Patient Experience – While you’re an expert at diagnosing and treating women’s medical problems, your practice may not be focusing enough on the patient experience. Simple changes that promote a positive patient experience suggested by MDEdge include:
- Padding cold metal stirrups
- Offer cloth gowns instead of paper
- Keep the rooms warm enough
- Warm speculums before use
- Talk to patients face to face after your patient is dressed
- Make patient calls yourself
- Embrace Technology – Patients appreciate it when their medical offices embrace technology and use it to improve the patient experience. A few suggestions include:
- Use an online scheduling system so patients can easily schedule appointments on their own
- Offer an online newsletter
- Stay active on social media
- Set up a patient portal (one practice was able to improve engagement and reduce collection times after implementing a new patient portal)
Don’t forget, working to satisfy current patients isn’t just about patient retention – word of mouth continues to be one of the best ways to bring in new patients. When your patients have an excellent experience, they’ll help market your OB-GYN practice for you.
Key #2 – Focus on Patient Acquisition
Keeping current patients happy can do a lot to help you acquire more patients, but your OB-GYN practice should be focusing some of your marketing dollars on new patient acquisition. It’s essential for growing your practice and boosting revenue. A few tips that can help:
- Become a Thought Leader – It’s important to become a thought leader in the OB-GYN space. This may include writing guest articles or even speaking on OB-GYN-related topics at local events.
- Focus on Educating Your Audience – It’s easy to simply advertise, but in today’s healthcare landscape prospective patients want to be educated. Use blogs and social media posts to provide readers with useful information.
- Get on Board with Social Media – Speaking of social media – if you’re not already using it, you need to get started. If you’re already running a blog on your practice website, blogs make great posts for social media.
- Get Involved in Your Community as a Media Resource – Get to know the local press. Be the one they go to when they’re writing articles or when they need an expert for local news.
Key #3 – Motivate Practice Staff
Your staff is critical to the success of your OB-GYN practice and any type of marketing program you have in place. Without knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff, patients will be disappointed, and your marketing plans will fail. But how can you motivate your team?
Get started with a well-defined mission statement. It should not only include the purpose of your practice, but it also needs to include the methods of achieving success. In short – it’s a road map for everyone on staff.
When you keep your staff motivated, you create a team environment where everyone works together effectively. And when you value your team of employees and include them in the processes of running the office, they become invested in ensuring the practice is a success. Just a few tips that can help you keep staff members motivated include:
- Regularly reviewing staff performance. People appreciate feedback if it’s delivered constructively. And don’t forget to end reviews on a positive note.
- Encourage continuing education.
- Recognize accomplishments and achievements. When staff members improve, tell them.
- Praise in public. Give public praise for things your employees are doing right.
- Keep employees involved in decision making.
- Reward staff members for reducing expenses.
- Foster a fun, positive environment in the office.
Key #4 – Consider Outsourcing OB-GYN Billing and Coding
If you want your OB-GYN practice to grow in 2019, you need to consider outsourcing your billing and coding. Why? Your goal as a practice is to make sure the patient experience is the number one priority. It’s even more critical as healthcare becomes more consumer driven. More and more practices are realizing that the key to focusing more on patient care is to ensure they’re spending less of their time on medical billing and coding.
Just a few of the benefits of outsourcing your OB-GYN billing and coding include:
- The ability to concentrate more on your core competencies
- Save the time and effort needed to take care of billing and coding procedures
- Avoid the investment it requires to maintain extra staff and infrastructure needed to perform billing and coding in-house
- Improve efficiency and reduce the workload on staff
- Reduce errors that cost your practice money
- Lower denial rates
- Boost practice revenue
If you’re ready to get back to what you do best – treating patients – consider outsourcing your billing and revenue cycle management. At M-Scribe, we specialize in OB-GYN billing and coding, and we’ll partner with you to lower denials, boost reimbursements, and grow your OB-GYN practice. To learn more about our medical billing and coding services, contact us today for more information.