In the rapidly changing landscape of American healthcare, more and more doctors are choosing to be employed by hospitals over owning their own practices. The lure of not having the worries of running a business or making payroll while maintaining a captive customer base may be tempting for some; however, being employed by a hospital does come with some negatives. Answering to a manager and lack of technology choice can feel stifling, especially to a physician coming from a private practice.
It may seem that patients have been passive in moving from a cozy doctor’s office to an ultra-modern hospital, but that’s simply not true. There are several patients who are actively choosing to stick with private practices, and here’s why:
Whether it’s close to work or home, the #1 factor when it comes to choosing a doctor is convenience of location. For some, the hospital may be closer, but still not convenient. Parking at hospitals can be a nightmare, and for patients in big cities like Los Angeles, may come with high pay-to-park fees! Your neighborhood doctor’s office with ample, free parking could be a shining beacon!
Try calling a hospital and ask if your doctor can squeeze you in this afternoon. It’s probably not going to happen. Hospitals are scheduling patients further and further out, pushing many to visit urgent care and retail walk-in clinics more regularly. When a physician is able to maintain a flexible schedule, patients are more likely to address and follow through with treatment for potential health issues, and ultimately, a higher quality of care.
3. Friendly Staff.
Every member of your staff is on your marketing team. Patients don’t base their loyalty solely on level of care, but the experience overall. It feels great to be greeted by a familiar face, and directed to the coffee/tea station while you wait. Inevitably, with large institutions comes bureaucracy, and the experience at a hospital can feel impersonal.
4. Personalized Care.
While Mrs. Smith’s blood pressure is “within the range of normal,” it’s not within her range of normal. This kind of information may go unnoticed at a large hospital, but to the private practice physician who knows Mrs. Smith and her entire family well, elevated blood pressure could raise some red flags. This kind of healing wisdom comes from years of service and commitment to a community, and is a value to patients far more than the healthcare industries realize.
When marketing your private practice, you may want to consider non-business office hours. Today’s American worker is under a lot of pressure when it comes to asking for personal time. If you keep office hours on the weekend, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon you are likely to draw a wider, insured patient base.
We at M*Modal are here to support you in running your business they way you want to. Our products are designed to create more time for you to care for your patients, your family and yourself, with the flexibility to adapt to your preferred workflow. Learn more about how M*Modal can help your business here!