There are many benefits of growing or joining a practice with multiple locations. A multi-location practice has real tangible benefits over solo offices. Some of which include economies of scale, greater market access, larger pool of capital, combined interests and workflow productivity. Not to mention there are a number of strategic management decisions that exist for practices with multiple locations from referral quality to the ability to pilot new healthcare technologies that perhaps a smaller practice would not have the wiggle room financially (or operationally) to implement.
That being said, there are challenges associated with every new practice added into the system. As the number of staff and patients increases with expansion, challenges arise in running the practice efficiently.
NY-based multi-location practice Schweiger Dermatology is a prime example of a practice that has managed to grow quickly and efficiently. Schweiger Dermatology runs its medical offices like a business, and Julie Zuckerman Gessin, Group Vice President of Clinical Operations at Schweiger, has tips for business-minded practice managers and owners to expand their own. Below Julie outlines her 10 Steps to Building an Efficient Multi-Location Practice.
10 Steps to Building an Efficient Multi-Location Practice:
- Cross train staff to help with staff call outs and vacation
- Use speciality Pharmacies to help decrease incoming phone calls
- Set meetings with your team to keep everyone on the same page
- Set a rhythm for changes so staff knows when to expect them (every Monday, first Monday of the month etc) this still help Staff feel if there are constant changes
- Make a list of the providers specialities and send to other providers so they know who to refer to
- Ask staff for feedback constantly- they know where the issues are
- Bring in efficiency consultants for expert and outside options
- Save documents in a central area where all staff can access them
- Call out good work when it happens- your staff appreciates it. Do it publicly- email, signage etc.
- Audit your policies often. You may outgrow them and hey may start to fail as your grow
These tips can be useful in managing any number of multiple teams in a medical office environment. Have an external call center? What about a rotating front desk staff? Having these 10 core points operate smoothly will lead to better efficiency, reduced costs and room for expansion.