It’s no secret that we’re on the verge of another recession. The only debate is if it has already arrived or if it will arrive in the next six months. While most of the headlines right now are about tech layoffs and a lack of venture capital for startups, the recession will impact every industry, including healthcare.
Luckily, you can recession-proof your healthcare practice today and escape the worst impacts. With a recession-proof plan in place, you can endure whatever the next few months bring–and possibly grow your practice in the process.
How a Recession Impacts Healthcare Practices
During a recession, money gets tighter and people spend less. There are usually more layoffs too, which means many people might not have the same healthcare coverage as they do in economic periods with a higher employment rate.
While basic healthcare offerings will always be in-demand, elective treatments like LASIK surgery or cosmetic injections may not be booked as often, impacting your practice’s bottom line. Scaling back on administrative time, increasing patient outreach, and streamlining your workflow can help you see more patients and increase your revenue, even during a recession.
Recession-Proofing Your Practice
Recession-proofing your practice can help you maintain or increase your current revenue over the next year, but how exactly can you do it?
The first step is easier said than done: don’t panic! During a recession, you want to keep a steady head instead of acting from a place of scarcity. For most practices, this will look like making logical, informed decisions on where to cut back and ramp up, streamlining your workflow, and increasing patient outreach.
To do these three things effectively, you need up-to-date data and analytics on which offerings impact your practice’s bottom line. An EHR and PM system provides that necessary data, but it’s also important to have advanced analytics to see the full picture of what is and isn’t working for your practice. It also offers other tools to streamline administrative processes so your practice can serve more patients in less time.
Steps You Can Take Today
While economists don’t agree if the recession has arrived yet, there are some steps you can take today to make sure you’re ready for when the economic situation impacts your healthcare sector. With the proper EHR and PM management tool and advanced analytics, you can complete these steps within the next three months.
During a recession, you should free up more of your team’s time to focus on what’s generating revenue. The fastest way to do this is to optimize your practice’s workflow.
The right EHR and PM management tool is a partner working 24/7 to make your process more efficient for both your team and your patients. One of the best EHR and PM suites on the market is from Nextech, a company which helps practices across the country to streamline their workflows.
With a streamlined workflow, you also have the time to adjust your budget as needed–and when you use Nextech, you have up-to-data to make informed budget choices too.
Increase Patient Outreach
An important step during a recession is to increase your cash flow. A higher cash flow helps practices avoid layoffs and provide the best care and procedures for patients. To increase your revenue, your practice needs to bring in new patients and get current patients into the office for their checkups. But current patient and new patient outreach can’t be timely if it’s not automated.
Automated messages get new and returning patients in your office in as little time as possible because automated message symptoms allow you to:
- Send follow-up reminders automatically, increasing the likelihood of patients booking their follow-up appointments
- Welcome new leads to your practice and inform them about how they can book an appointment without your team having to manually send out a message
- Allow your team to set up other automated communication sequences based on your procedure-marketing campaigns
With Nextech, you also have easier access to patient data than with other EHR and PM tools, allowing you to make automated sequences faster. Simply plug the data from Nextech into an automated template and schedule your outreaches.
Limit Administrative Time
Time is money–and one of the biggest time suckers for many practices is administrative tasks, such as locating patient data, collecting insurance claims, and getting a patient set up for their next appointment. While these tasks are necessary, they can suck up your team’s time–time which could be spent seeing more patients.
Implementing an EHR and PM system can help reduce the time spent on administrative tasks, giving your team more capacity for lead outreach and serving current patients.
With Nextech’s EHR and PM system, practices have seen results such as:
- Saving over 30 seconds of administrative time per patient
- Completing patient consults in under an hour after implementing Nextech
- An average time savings of 20 percent per week, thanks to quicker chart updates and scheduling
The Time is Now
While recession-proofing your practice might seem like a task for tomorrow’s to-do list, the best time to create and implement your plan is today. Depending on what actions you take right now, you can either be reacting to recession–panic and scrambling–or ready to cruise through whatever the future brings with increased potential to grow your practice.
Want help future-proofing and empowering your practice with data for 2023? Join our webinar on December 7, 2022 at 12pm EST to learn more about analytics and setting key performance indicators (KPIs). This webinar is specialized for ophthalmology, but the information can apply to any and all practices. Register here!