Looking for new ways to serve and care for your patients? Who better to learn from than the people who work in pediatrics with you?
“Leverage the knowledge of your peers,” says Chip Hart, director of PCC’s Pediatric Solutions Consulting Group. “The ultimate beneficiaries of these efforts are your patients. After all, the more you know and learn, the better you can help the people you serve.”
Whether you prefer to connect via phone, online, or in person, there’s a lot you can learn from other pediatricians. Not sure if you’re doing everything you can to stay up to date in the industry? Or just not sure where to begin? Here are some simple steps to get you plugged in.
Network and Share Information Virtually
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers many opportunities to connect and engage, including a Listserv for the Section on Administration and Practice Management (SOAPM). If you’re not a member, join! It is open to any pediatrician interested in managing a private medical practice. Posting a message on the Listserv is a chance to yield tips, recommendations, and opportunities to connect with experts all over the country.
Also consider plugging into virtual communities, including:
- PCC Talk, which is a place for PCC users to ask questions to each other and the PCC team about everything from pediatric workflow and practice management to billing and reporting.
- The AAP’s Section on Administration and Practice Management (SOAPM), which has counseled thousands of pediatricians on a variety of practice management topics.
- The Pediatric Practice Management Alliance (PPMA), a subcommittee of SOAPM, was created specifically to connect practice administrators and managers with their colleagues. PPMA resources include webinars and a Practice Transformation website with links, articles, its own listserv, and more.
- Your local AAP chapter, which is likely to offer additional online resources geared toward your region.
Take Advantage of Free Information on Social Media
Chances are you’re already plugged into social media and following other pediatric practices and industry-specific resources. But now’s the time to get intentional about looking to these platforms for tips, advice, and trends.
Looking for new accounts to follow? Try these:
- PCC’s Facebook, where we post updates about everything from pediatric billing practices to improving patient recall.
- We are Pediatricians Facebook group, founded by members of AAP SOAPM
- Pediatric Inc, a blog focused on business practices in pediatrics
Make Real-life Connections
Hart challenges pediatricians to seek out new perspectives when trying to solve a problem.
“The answer to the questions about managing your practice is not in your space,” he said. “You need to get out of your office to learn anything.”
Consider exploring meetings and seminars outside of the pediatric-specific space. This could include local business roundtables, your chamber of commerce, and events at local universities or business schools. It can even be as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee with the pediatrician or specialist who works down the road from your practice.
Find the Time to Attend Conferences
While conferences often require time away from your patients, they provide unique opportunities to shift from working in your business to working on your business.
Conferences not only bring together a wide range of talented pediatrician professionals, but they provide opportunities to learn from diverse experiences in the field. Your patient group may not look the same as the pediatrician sitting next to you at a seminar — and that could make all the difference in how you serve patients in the future.
Update Your Digital Space
“If you haven’t updated your site substantially in the last two or three years, that’s a good place to look,” says Hart. After all, updating your website can improve care experiences and help patients find you online.
At a minimum, your website should include basics about your practice, including:
- Contact information
- Accepted insurance carriers
- Practice hours
- Payment and billing options and contact information
- Convenience items (e.g., school and sports release forms)
- Disclosures on relevant philosophies (e.g., whether your practice asks about immigration status or takes patients who aren’t immunized)
Other information that can help you stand out includes:
- Patient education materials
- Videos and blog posts
- Office news and announcements
Simplify the Digital Experience for Your Patients
According to the Pew Research Center, the share of Americans that own a smartphone is now 85% (up from just 35% in 2011). That means that even if your website looks great on a desktop, if the navigation doesn’t work well with a smartphone, visitors are likely to have a poor experience and leave.
“If your website is not easily used and navigated using a cell phone, you are losing patients,” says Hart.
Revisit Your Social Platforms
Creating a Facebook page, or revamping your current page, is another way to make small changes that have a big impact.
Consider creating or updating your social platforms to include information about your practice, tips and tricks that address concerns you’re hearing in the office, and links to reputable online resources.
Not sure where to start? Find out what accounts and platforms your patients and their families are following. What kinds of posts are they liking and sharing? Whatever is grabbing their interest, add that type of content to your platform. This will help you craft posts that grab their attention, inspire, inform, and entertain, ultimately bringing more visitors to your website, event, or practice.
Update Your Physical Space
Lastly, look at your practice with a fresh set of eyes.
“You need to hear what your patients hear and see what your patients see,” says Hart. “Enter the waiting room and sit in a couple of different chairs. Look at the space from a patient’s point of view. Is the rug faded or stained? Is there furniture in need of repair or toys in need of replacement?”
The best part about this exercise is that you can make many changes immediately and with minimal effort, such as applying a fresh coat of paint in the hallway or replacing items that have fallen into disrepair.
The work is ongoing
It can be so easy to stay within the four walls of your pediatric practice and continue with business as usual. But there is so much that you can incorporate into your everyday practice to improve care experiences — and it all is waiting for you just outside your front door. When you think outside the box (and the office), you can find easy ways to provide better care to the people you serve.
Join us at the PCC Users’ Conference
Looking for an opportunity to plug in and connect with others in the industry?
Our PCC Users’ Conference (July 19-22) in Burlington, Vermont will bring together experts in the field from across the nation, all with the same goal — to help you run a better, more efficient business that can serve more people.
We are proud to be featuring some of the best speakers in pediatrics, including:
- Dr. Colleen Kraft, 2018 President of the AAP
- Dr. Sandy Chung, President-Elect of the AAP
In alignment with our theme, Resilience and Rejuvenation, discussions will focus on:
- PCC updates
- Office workflow
- Practice revenue and management
- Industry trends
- And more!