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Business Philosophy to Run a Successful Spine Practice

Nicola Hawkinson, DNP, RN, RNFA

Successfully running a spine practice can be much harder than most physicians expect.

If spine is your specialty, it is easy to assume that running the practice will be easy; this is not the case.In the ever-changing healthcare industry, what worked one, five or ten years ago will not work for your practice today. Here are a few tips on how to run a successful practice:

Start with Small Changes
All practices are different from the size and location to the physician's specialty. There is always room for improvement no matter how up-to-date with technology and efficient you think the practice may be. If you don’t know where to begin when implementing change to your practice, starting small is always the best option. You might be looking to implement new retention or training measures for staff but instead of trying to do two things at once focus on one and make sure that works well before moving on to another task. Give yourself a timeline for making changes so you are able to see measurable outcomes.

Physician Referrals
With such a demand for high quality healthcare it is easy to get caught in competing with other practices. Understand that it is more beneficial for your practice to have a working relationship with other physicians rather than compete with them. Maintaining a strong referral relationship with like-minded MD’s creates a strong, patient foundation that has the potential to grow. Sending your patients to a physician whose medical opinion you trust increases your chances of creating long-lasting relationships with your patients. Be competitive by utilizing the best tools and technology to treat your patients and give them excellent care.

Be Consistent
After implementing change to your practice, and understanding what works best, make sure that you stay consistent with the changes you make. Don't steer away from what is working for your practice; you want to keep patients happy and healthy. Use patient surveys as a way to gauge how patients feel about how your practice is serving them. Stick with what is creating positive change to your office.

Know Your Employees
Physicians have a heavy load of responsibilities to maintain on a day to day basis; the quality of your employees can easily be overlooked. The health of your patients is of utmost importance; but let's not forgets that having a welcoming, friendly voice answering your office phone and assisting your patients properly has a direct effect on whether or not your patients decide to choose you as their healthcare provider.

See the article as originally published on Beckers Spine Review.

 Learn More
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How Spine Surgeons Can Help to Lower Hospital Readmissions
The Business of Spine - April 19, 2010
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