How can a strategic business review help your practice excel?

How can a strategic business review help your practice excel?

When you are running your own private practice, how do you take a step back? To stop and evaluate, and to listen and learn from your patients and team? 

 

Are the values and vision you hold dear, understood and communicated to all your stakeholders, referrers and patients? 

 

Doing this is hard within your own practice. Taking time away from the demands and stresses of “business as usual”, to pause and evaluate whether you are offering the best experience to your patients and your team is important but also challenging. So how do you achieve this? 

 

This is where a strategic business review comes into its own. Undertaking such a review will immediately help you to identify the strengths of your practice, and pinpoint the weaknesses, creating an opportunity to highlight and rectify any problems before they become ingrained. 

 

Most businesses conduct annual employee performance 360 reviews and find them extremely helpful with staff development and management, however, much greater value is to be had from running a whole business review, covering both your patient’s and employees’ experience of working with your practice. The process of looking at every aspect of your practice by reviewing each part of the structure from the top down, will reveal exactly how it is perceived, and identify any gap between your view of how you want to be perceived and reality. 

 

What is a business review? 

A business review evaluates key aspects within your practice that are the pillars of its success, through an in-depth audit and interviews with key stakeholders. 

 

The process is usually managed by an external partner, covering areas such as: 

Business objectives 

Vision, Mission and Values 

Service offering 

Key sectors, target patients 

New patient/referrers strategy 

Marketplace perception 

Your people – staff engagement 

Patient experience/journey 

 

The output of the review is a comprehensive report, providing evaluations and recommendations that engage your team, identify your ideal patients and referrers and ensures your brand messaging and values are woven throughout all of your practice communications and patient journey.  

One of the benefits gained by a business review is the feeling of inclusion amongst your employees while contributing to creating a more positive workplace. 

 

The report 

From the answers obtained in the interviews, the review of supporting documentation, clarifications and from research, an extensive report is produced, which addresses all of the areas above and summarises your successes and challenges in each area and provides recommendations to improve, including, but not limited to:  

Competitor analysis  

A review of your brand messaging and story and suggestions on your messaging going forward  

A full website audit  

A review of all your communications, social media, marketing collateral, pitch/presentation documents  

Development of user personas for your target patients and referrers  

A ‘secret shop’ to experience your patient journey  

Results from a staff engagement survey to inform Values and identify any areas for improvement  

The report concludes with recommendations for all of the key areas: – Business strategy, patient experience, your people, brand messaging and marketing strategy and activity.  

It will also provide a 3-month marketing plan that incorporates your Brand Strategy which can be implemented at your own pace.  

 

Tough read 

Any review you undertake can be a difficult read as it will enable you to uncover issues of which you were completely unaware. The process and findings can feel quite personal as your practice is your passion. The key is to thoroughly evaluate the results and make changes where necessary.  

 

A review can broaden your view of your practice, patients, referrers, workplace and employees and steer you away from assumptions. It will allow you to identify the improvement opportunities and create a strategy to implement them. 

The idea of any review can seem daunting, and the results can be brutal and difficult to accept, but it can be an especially useful way of identifying issues and weaknesses before they become a real problem affecting practice performance. When managed properly, the results can lead to changes that ingrain best practices within every layer and ensure that your employees and patients feel listened to and valued. The most important part of any business is the employees and ensuring they are all on board with the values and ethos of the business allows the company to develop and flourish in its given field.  

 

If you would like to find out more about our Designated Business Review, please do get in touch: 

Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director 

michelle@designatedgroup.com 

Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

In today’s world, patients are more informed than ever before. They have a range of tools to help them with decision-making when it comes to choosing a private practice, which is why it’s important to understand how your practice is perceived and the reasons why. 

Clinic perception is driven by a range of different things for patients, they will have different experiences depending on where they are in their research journey. 

For example; 

  • How easy is it to find you on the internet or social media? 
  • Do you look credible and trustworthy? 
  • Can they find your contact details? 
  • Do you answer the phone or emails? 
  • How do you correspond with patients? 
  • What do others think about you? 
  • If you’ve used them before have they remembered you? 

Patient experience is key to practices success, because if you give the patient a positive experience then they will remember you and become an advocate for your practice. A loyal patient is a more profitable one because they will promote your practice free of charge and return to you in the future! If they have a poor experience, then they will tell everyone and anyone who will listen which can be very damaging, especially when it’s broadcast across social media. 

That is why understanding the patient journey is so important. Knowing that all the patient touchpoints for your practice are on brand and up to date and that your internal processes are set up to truly deliver a positive patient experience. 

A typical patient will research and evaluate your clinic and your competitors before deciding whether to engage with your services. By understanding this journey, and the influencing factors that help with their decision-making, you can better position your clinic to meet their needs as well as deliver a positive experience throughout the process. 

  

Typically, patients go through 3 different stages before making a decision. 

PATIENT JOURNEY
  1. Awareness stage– a patient is looking to solve a problem
    During this stage, a patient will be researching and looking for educational information about the problem they want to solve or the need that they have. 
    At this stage, patients will be looking at these channels; Google searches so SEO is important at this stage, website, social media and any advertising. 
  2. Considerationstage– a patient is considering options to solve the problem 
    During this stage, patients will be reading what you offer on your website and competitor websites to see who offers what. They may also be reading articles and case studies. Most importantly patients will be looking to understand what other people think of you so they will be influenced by testimonials either on your website or on trusted patient satisfaction websites e.g. Doctify etc 
  3. Decision stage – the patient evaluates and decides on the clinicthat will help them solve the problem
    At this stage, they will make contact with the practice, either by email, telephone or through the contact form on your website. This is the stage where internal processes are key to ensure the patient experiences are good and finds out any specific information they require. They are kept up to date and informed about the service they are interested in and feel valued. 

Just as important as the 3 stages above, is the aftercare experience, which is when you can really make a patient feel valued and turn them into a loyal patient. This is the time to ensure you have all the relevant contact details and GDPR compliance to make sure you can keep in touch with the patient in the future either through newsletters or emails. 

Capturing patient satisfaction through surveys or testimonials is also important for your practice. If they’ve had a positive experience then they will become an advocate and give you a good patient satisfaction rating or testimonial which money can’t buy! 

What to do now? 
Now is the time to review all the patient touchpoints for your practice, and make sure that all your patient-facing marketing channels are up to date and relevant. Review your internal processes so that you understand what happens when someone gets in contact with you and how is it managed internally to ensure they receive a positive patient experience. 

This is the patient journey and by understanding all of the elements that contribute to this, you will be able to successfully grow your practice and ensure it is better than your competitors and deliver a positively memorable patient experience. 

If you would like to find out more about how Designated can help with understanding your patient journey, please do get in touch: 

Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director, michelle@designatedgroup.com 020 7952 1008 

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