5 Habits of Highly Effective Practice Builders
by Ben Cummings
Doctors are under attack.
· Managed care, thinks you make too much income
· Patients are more resistant to care recommendations
· More competition
· Today there are more health care options for patients!
In this special report, I will detail five habits of highly effective practice builders. These five factors are based on my work with over 3,000 doctors from around the world. If you would like more success in practice, than measure yourself by these five habits that I will detail now and see “how you score.”
Habit #1. Acceptance of the idea of a comprehensive approach to practice promotion
Patients come to us typically wanting patch-up care. Doctors typically recognize that this patient needs a comprehensive approach to care, and that’s when the Case Plan is suggested. In the same way, doctors that first find me desire a “patch up approach” to practice building.
I only need an ad… or a magic line I can deliver…
That will fix my new patient problem.
I feel exactly like the doctors, who are dealing with a patient who thinks they need only one treatment when in reality they need a comprehensive approach to solve the problem. I once asked an extremely successful doctor who was attracting over 95 new patient s month, what was his secret?
“I don’t know of one way to get 95 patients. But I know of 95 ways to get one patient & and I use them all!”
Put another way, this doctor understood that the secret to practice growth does not lie in any one particular strategy. Instead, the secret is to employ a collection of low-cost and no-cost methods, each of which produce decent results…
That when combined produce substantial patient flow!
Just like health success lies in taking a comprehensive approach to care…
It’s also true that the secret to substantial patient flow, is understanding that practice success comes from taking a comprehensive approach to practice promotion.
Habit #2. An emphasis on developing “practice equity”
Practice equity, is the loyalty and value of the patient base. You see, when the patient likes and trusts you, they tend to
· Accept your recommendations
· Refer people
· Continue care
Practice equity, is measured by the degree to which a patient likes and trusts you. It’s funny, but I’ve never met a doctor who said to me…
You know Ben, I have bad relationships with my patients!
It seems every doctor likes to think that they have good relationships with patients. Yet, when the practice struggles, we know it’s typically a result of little or no ‘practice equity.’ I’ve found it nearly impossible for doctors to objectively evaluate their relationships with patients. I can tell you, low referral practices desperately need to enhance ‘practice equity’ immediately.
Smart doctors understand that their ability to sell patients on their care recommendation is in direct proportion to the depth and strength of the relationship. There are numerous ways to enhance practice equity, but they all come down to…
Constantly growing the Doctor-Patient relationship.
For instance, with the new patient the effective practice builder will purposefully find ways they can orchestrate trust. In other words, structure the new patient experience in such a way that you are able to continually demonstrate your competency.
With existing patients, the goal is constantly expanding relationships. This is done using numerous strategies which extend beyond the scope of this report, but briefly this can be accomplished by…
Transforming the patients experience from:
· Class I experiences (‘oh, they remember me’)
· Into, Class II experiences (‘oh, they really KNOW me!’)
This is the staff and doctor who pro-actively find ways to personalize care, and blow away the patient with phenomenal patient relationships
Habit #3. The extraordinary “wow experience”
Today’s patient is having terrible experiences in most medical offices. In offices with capitation programs, the patient often waists long periods of time and receives rushed service. And in most other offices, it’s not that the patient is getting bad care…
It’s just that the patient is getting apathetic care. Patients don’t feel appreciated. They’re not wowed by the practice. It is the doctor who proactively re-orchestrates the practice experience around wowing the patient, who will find his lobby filled with happy patients.
I worked with a doctor who was struggling to attract adequate new patient flow. We substantially improved new patients by:
· Taking a comprehensive approach to Practice Promotion
· Finding numerous ways to enhance “practice equity” with existing patients
· And… redesigning his office, so that his patients now had a jaw dropping wow experience
Just making these three changes, his personal income now exceeds $500,000 a year (prior to this, he struggled to pay his practice expenses). You see, the reason a wow experience has such impact is because 99% of practices only deliver service. But they don’t deliver a wow experience.
What is word of mouth marketing?
It’s when patients leave your practice, and can’t help but tell others about your service.
How do we stimulate word of mouth? We make it easy for patients to talk about us…
By giving them a story to tell!
You give them a story to tell, when you delver an over the top wow experience when they come to your office that blows them away. Period.
Habit #4. Give patients exactly what they want
In a survey it was found that patients want the following from their health care provider:
· Certainty the doctor can help them
I wish to focus on the last one. Patients want certainty that you can assist them. It was found that patients prefer doctors who present an organized approach to care versus the “treat as you go” disorganized approach.
This is good news, because it means:
· Patients WANT comprehensive case plans
· Patients WANT doctors who are organized in their recommendations, not frantic and scattered
· Patients are WILLING to consider comprehensive case plans
This is good because most doctors believe patients only want patch-up care. Yet, they’re telling us they only want patch-up until they are told you can assist them, in the form of an organized case approach.
However, doctors find numerous ways to screw this up…
· Doctors see $250k care a month but will only sell $25k in care, because they Fear Rejection
· When patients reject a recommendation, Doctors move more towards a confusing, indirect style, of not taking a stand with the patient, and not recommending and organized comprehensive care plan
Giving patients exactly what they want means:
· Seeing patients, when they want to be treated
· Delivering concise, short, Reports of Finding – not wasting people’s time with lengthy drawn out lectures
· Being organized in your approach to wellness
You see, they’re going to get care one way or the other. If not from you, from your competitor. My best clients the ones doing over one million a year in practice collections…
· Communicate the full extent of the patients needed care
· Presents them with an organized plan
· Makes it easy and convenient to receive that care…
· And then steps back, and allows that patient to make up their own mind, without being pressured or harassed in any way.
This my friend, is the winning formula for giving patients exactly what they want. The smart practice builder will do everything possible to deliver accessibility, convenience, and an organized approach to care – while allowing the patient to ultimately make the decision on how to proceed.
Habit #5. School is never “out”, for the effective practice builder
The fifth habit of highly effective practice builders, is that they never stop learning and growing. It’s true that “the rich keep getting richer.” I like to say this is true because…
“The successful never stop learning.”
It’s true that School is never out for the pro. I’ve often found that doctors who need my help the least, are the most frequent buyers of my courses, seminars and consulting advice. Why would an already successful doctor be the biggest purchaser of practice building advice? Doctors who struggle often will skeptically say, “Because they can afford it.” Yet my personal experiences working with 8 of the ten largest practices in America have shown me…
That successful people became successful, because they never stopped working on the growth of their personal development.
Doctors doing monster numbers each year, got that way by pursuing excellence in information. Excellence in information helped them attain excellence in practice. Few of these doctors were able to attain excellence in practice, all on their own. There are too many factors behind running today’s successful practice. The successful doctors, will be the first to tell you that! The successful practice builder never stops learning.
The effective Doctors continually educate themselves, as the fastest way to improve the practice. That’s why they are successful, compared to their peers.
I hope you enjoyed the five habits of highly successful practice builders. For more information on this topic or for more practice building ideas, please visit www.PracticeBuildingCenter.com.