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Strategies to improve the efficiency of your practice and to scale up your practice

15th August 2022

Growing and scaling up your Practice

There will come a time when you start thinking about growing your practice. Is your current clinic doing well and is ready for growth? Or perhaps, you are managing a group of clinics and want to scale it up further? Let us take a look at two approaches toward growth and the strategies to grow your clinic quickly and efficiently.

Growing your practice would not be all rosy and easy. More clinics may translate to greater revenue, but alongside comes more people to manage, more patients to serve, and more problems to solve. You will struggle to be in two places at the same time, let alone three or more. Many moving pieces are operating independently of each other which can be overwhelming to manage.

It is also crucial to get things right from the start as legacy issues, left unresolved, may also manifest in the new clinics. For example, inefficient clinical care processes can impede workflow efficiency, resulting in an increase in operational costs. Growth, when done correctly, gives rise to increase in revenue whilst also keeping incremental costs at a lower rate, ultimately achieving increased overall profits.

Growing your Practice: Different approaches

Let us first take a look at the various ways to grow – vertical and horizontal growth (also known in certain situations as vertical and horizontal integration). Vertical growth, a traditional strategy for many new businesses, means scaling your services within the existing line of business. This comes in various forms, from offering new services, to grooming your existing clients to be more receptive towards treatments that have higher profit margins. On the other hand, horizontal growth strategy looks at growing the sheer number of customers, number of employees, and also more physical clinics.

Apart from these two types of growth, we would also want to keep in mind the concept of scaling. When it comes to scaling, the key highlight here is efficiency. How does a clinic operate more efficiently? How do you increase revenue as efficiently as possible with lower incremental cost? Regardless of whether you’re pursuing vertical growth or horizontal growth, expanding efficiently enables you to achieve greater profit margins.

Growing your Practice: Improve operational efficiency

Growing your practice will inevitably be about improving operations. After all, it is the backend operations that drive and move your services, thereby allowing you to deliver quality, timely healthcare service to your patients. To do so, many practice owners have taken the decision to invest in technology to automate daily tasks and operations as much as possible. It is highly recommended that you use technology to handle the routine, repetitive low-value tasks, so that your people can focus on the more high-value tasks and quality patient care.

Technological investments let you scale up operations across your clinics with much less effort. For example, sending automated reminders to all patients ahead of appointments, or automated submissions of the CHAS claims immediately after the appointment. Your staff can maintain quality patient care even as the number of patients grows, and you can be assured of standardisation of top-notch patient service across your clinics.

Growing your Practice: Identify competitive edge

Knowing your strengths is a great way to kickstart your growth journey. But to do that, you need data and insights! Log into your practice management system and have a look under the hood at several facets of your clinic.

Firstly, revenue. Which service generates the most revenue? Which segment of your customers does the majority of revenue primarily come from? Secondly, services. Which healthcare services are the most popular? Thirdly, operations. Which time of the day do you get the most patients? How should you plan, coordinate and schedule your clinic assistants based on patient volume trends?

Harnessing insights from the data will not only give you an edge and allow you to outperform your competition, but they also enable sound critical business decisions to be made to drive your vertical and horizontal growth strategies.

Growing your Practice: Getting practice management right

Ultimately, growth of your Practice is not a destination, it is a journey. Being cost-effective and insights-driven in your decision making are key levers that will foster greater revenue growth in your clinics. These strategies can be applied to most healthcare practices, including GPs, dental clinics, chiropractic clinics and more. If you keep these factors in mind when expanding your practice, you will certainly be able to do so more efficiently.

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