With the increasing competition in the healthcare industry, healthcare institutions must offer excellent patient care services while minimizing operational costs. It does not matter the number of clients you attract or the amount of revenue you generate; your profit margins will determine whether your business is profitable or not. Reaching more patients, reviewing operational costs, improving patient service, and building a positive reputation are tips for improving profitability in the healthcare industry.
1- Invest in Technology
Medical practices demand a lot of routine administrative tasks that reduce productivity leading to workflow inefficiencies. Handling insurance claims and manual data recording or paper medical recording is expensive and wastes practitioners’ precious time. Investing in electronic medical records (EMR) software goes a long way, saving on time and costs since practitioners can access the patients’ medical records by only clicking a button. In addition to the EMR software, having an interactive platform where customers can learn, ask questions, get responses and give reviews and feedback gives your institution a positive reputation.
2- Maintain an Online Reputation
Having an online reputation is pivotal to increasing your client volume and consequently increasing revenue. An online reputation will not only attract new customers but will also help you retain your existing ones. Therefore, it is essential to have mobile-friendly websites, regularly update your website, write informative blogs, and be active in online forums and groups. Having a professionally done website ensures increased engagements with your customers.
3- Fine-Tune Pricing Strategies
How you package and price your healthcare services communicate significantly to your potential and existing customers. Pricing should be reasonable and consistent with the value of the patient care services you are delivering. Although decreasing costs on medical services would increase profitability, never overlook the importance of pricing. Merely cutting on costs of offering services will not always lead your medical practice to increased profitability. Since you can only cut costs to a specific limit, increasing the prices of services could provide your facility with a more sustainable and assured means to profitability.
4- Make Operational Changes
it is necessary to reduce operating and marketing expenses while attracting new and retaining existing patients. Healthcare practitioners can increase their sales volumes by upselling and cross-selling. Offer new services that complement your existing service packages. To show concern and care to your patients, use a relationship-based model that keeps your customers returning for repeat business by offering discounts for a bundle of visits. To motivate your clients, treat them with giveaways, special deals, and discounts when they try your services. To eliminate inefficiencies in workflow processes, implement a successful management model such as Lean Six Sigma.
5- Have a Strong Patient Support
Healthcare institutions can achieve profitable growth by ensuring customer satisfaction that leads to patient loyalty. Poor patient care services have severe impacts on the reputation of your healthcare practice and consequently your profit margins. Winning new customers in healthcare is six to seven times more expensive than retaining one existing customer. This signifies the importance of having strong patient support, which translates to profitability. Patient satisfaction is directly proportional to customer retention and profitable growth.
6- Build and Stick to a Budget
Budgeting helps measure progress and performance by analyzing variances for a certain period: Annually, semi-annually, or even quarterly. Budgeting for all administrative functions and investments such as technology to reduce costs (for example, EMR software) and contribute to marketing efforts (for example, social media and website marketing) and sticking to it will ultimately lead to profitable growth.