The opportunity to grow your practice or center is an exciting time in your career. The advantages and opportunities for scaling are endless, but there are some steps that need to be taken before you begin to expand. The first and most important factor that needs to be considered is “knowing your why.”
Knowing Your Why
“Knowing your why” means knowing your goals for expanding your practice. A key consideration when defining your goals is creating benchmarks to make sure the data you collect is aligned with strategic priorities. Not only does it help reach your goals, but also measure your growth.
Tracy Belsan, Market President of PE GI Solutions, emphasizes the importance of defining your goals through the benchmarking method. Ask yourself, “What is the current state of our practice? What is the future state, and how do we back into that?” This allows for a realistic look into what you want and how to get there.
After defining goals, physicians need to look at other assets that play a role when expanding and operating a practice at a larger role than before. Belsan offers some additional questions physicians and leaders should ask once they identify their goals:
- Whatever the goal is, are you in a financial position to execute?
- Are you in the position with enough physicians to execute?
- Do you have the right leadership on board from an administrative perspective?
These questions address assets that are often overlooked when a practice is trying to expand. Without developing these assets along with expansion, it can harm the scaling of the practice or impact patient access strategies.
Assess Your Financial Position
Beyond “knowing your why,” there are a number of other factors you should take into consideration when thinking about scaling your practice. One key factor is your financial health.
The idea of having substantial finances can be obvious, but it is one of the most overlooked assets when a practice is trying to expand. Scaling your practice has many benefits, but practices need to be mindful of growing at a pace that can be supported long-term. The benchmarking method should be utilized here as well.
Human Capital Concerns
With expansion comes the growth of your staff. From front office employees to administrators to nurses, the more patients you can take on, the more staff you are going to need to keep an efficent and effective office.
An important, and often overlooked, aspect when you are scaling is patient interaction. The larger your practice becomes, the less personal and more routine patient interaction becomes. A recent study by IT service management company Avtex suggests there is “room for growth” in patient interaction. They found 68% of patients reported feeling that providers needed to improve how they interact with patients.
To address this, Belsan suggests hiring staff for the front office who are patient focused.
“Practices and centers alike should be in search of someone who is 100% patient focused, has a strong sense of customer service, the ability to be passionate and empathetic, and the ability to be a good teammate,” she says.
Making sure you are hiring the right people who are focused on the patients bridges the gap when you are expanding your practice. Your patients will still feel heard, while also receiving the same resources and care.
Examine Leadership and Partnerships
Strong leadership and partnerships are essential when expanding, without them, it is nearly impossible to scale. Partnering with PE GI Solutions is partnering with experts in the GI industry.
“PE GI Solutions helps evaluate the opportunity; we help the physicians understand what they want to do and the ‘why’ behind it,” says Belsan. “We bring an executive team, we bring data, we bring infrastructure, and we bring industry best practices to scale what a physician wants to do.”
A strong leadership group and partnership can make a huge difference and enhance the scaling of your practice with great success. PE GI Solutions makes sure all assets are being maximized and benchmarks are being completed.
Identifying you “why” and determining your goals are the most important part of scaling your practice. However, it’s important to not overlook vital assets such as your financial position and human capital. It is critical to form strong partnerships as a means to help you expand. PE GI Solutions is one such partner that can play a vital role in helping you manage your growth through expertise and industry-leading advice, while allowing you to do what you do best, caring for your patients.
This story was originally published in the July 2023 issue of the PE GI Journal by PE GI Solutions. PE GI Solutions is now a part of SCA Health. To read more from this and past issues of the journal, click here.