The opportunity to grow your practice is an exciting time in your career. The advantages and opportunities for scaling your center are endless. However, before embarking on expansion, certain steps need to be taken. The first and most important factor to consider is “knowing your why.”
Knowing Your Why
“Knowing your why” means knowing your goals for expanding your practice. When defining your goals, a key consideration is to create benchmarks to ensure that the data you collect aligns with your strategic priorities. Not only does it help reach your goals but also measures your growth.
Tracy Belsan, Market President of PE GI Solutions, a strategic business line of SCA Health, 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 you to have a realistic look into what you want for your practice and how to achieve it.
After defining goals, physicians need to look at other assets that play a role when expanding and operating a practice on a larger scale 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 the expansion, it can harm the actual scaling of the practice or impact patient access strategies.
Assess Your Financial Position
Beyond “knowing your why,” there are several 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 may seem obvious, but it is often one of the most overlooked assets when a practice is in the early stages of expansion. Scaling a practice can bring numerous benefits. However, practices need to be mindful of growing at a pace that the practice can support. The benchmarking method should be applied 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 take on, the more staff you are going to need to keep an efficient 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 study by IT service management company Avtex suggests that 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 explains.
Hiring patient-focused individuals helps bridge the gap during the expansion of your practice. Your patients will still feel heard, while also receiving more resources and care.
Examine Leadership and Partnerships
Strong leaderships and partnerships are essential when expanding—without them, it is nearly impossible to scale. Partnering with SCA Health and PE GI Solutions is partnering with experts in the GI industry.
“We help evaluate the opportunity and ensure 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 to what the physician wants to do.”
A strong leadership and partnership can make a huge difference and enhance the scaling of your practice with great success. SCA Health ensures the maximization of all assets and completion of benchmarks.
Identifying your “why” and determining your goals are the most important aspects of scaling your practice. However, it’s important to not overlook vital assets such as your financial position and human capital. As you expand, it is critical to form strong partnerships as a means to help expand. SCA Health 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: care for your patients.