If you're a Doctor, Physio, Surgeon or Osteo, how are you supposed to look after your Private Practice if you can't work, or see patients?
If you’re a Doctor, Physio, Surgeon or Osteo, how are you supposed to look after your Private Practice if you can’t work, or see patients?
This week, many of my noble colleagues who work part-time in the private sector, have been called back, full-time, to their role in the NHS. We salute all the folk who are working in difficult and scary conditions.
Some of us will no-doubt be shortly behind them in supporting the NHS, but we also have to remember that there will come a time when the pandemic passes.
It’s really important that we do what we can to keep our practices going, even if we’re in the situation whereby we can’t be seeing patients, or patient numbers are severely reduced.
Remember, that when the dust settles, there will be an enormous backlog of people who need our help.
Indeed, many patients are in pain and suffering now, who we can still be helping.
If you have no way of currently continuing your Private Practice (either because you’d been called to the NHS, are looking after others, or can’t work remotely), listen up!
Don’t switch off your Private Practice.
Don’t hibernate it either.
Keep it in ‘help is coming’ mode and keep in touch with your patients.
Private Practice Clinicians who keep their communication channels open, will be those who will thrive when we do return to business as usual.
Here’s a great example. I have a limited company with my husband, and like many limited company directors, we’re feeling pretty abandoned by the Government (who has sorted out rescue for the employed and self-employed, but not for us).
Without prompting, my accountant is been in touch, personally, to enquire how I am feeling, and his company has sent out useful correspondence to everyone on his email list, with calm advice.
Even though he can’t really help me much financially, his contact has meant everything.
In contrast, some of my personal friends have described a tumble-weed approach from their accountant.
They’ve heard diddly-squat. Guess which accountant’s details they’ve been asking for?
Find one hour to take action to preserve your Private Practice, if you’re going into NHS battle, or have to close your doors for a while:
1) Don’t panic.
Many Clinicians are worried that they might lose their patients forever, because they have to ‘go away’. Take care of them now, and many will stay loyal.
2) Is there any possible way, you can continue to see just a handful of your most urgent patients?
Even if you’re going full time into the NHS, you might just have the energy to see 3 or 4 patients a week virtually. Need help with setting up a zoom account for remote consults? Get in touch and I’ll happily give you my time for free to help you do this. Css@privatepracticeninja.co.uk
3) If you haven’t already, send out an email to all of your email list/patient list/referrer list.
State what your current situation is and remind them that you are still here intermittently at the end of an email. If you find yourself having to immediately cut their care mid-point, to try hand them over to a buddy.
4) Set up a ‘Hello Bar’ banner on your website to update everyone.
‘Hello Bar’ is a great way to display news as a banner or a pop up on your website, and there’s a really good free version. All you need is the log in to your website, and Hello Bar will take you through some really simple steps to get your banner set up. You don’t need any fancy website techy skills and it will take you five minutes. https://www.hellobar.com/
5) Resist the urge to claw back every penny by shutting things down.
I’ve heard GPs who work in the aesthetics world, asking their marketing managers to ‘shut down their websites’. This is madness. Hosting costs a very small, and your website will help you to stay visible.
Please keep your pecker and your website up.
6) Reach out to your referrers and literally schedule a date each week in the diary to ask how they are doing.
They will remember you upon your return.
7) Is there anything educational or inspiring that you can send via social to your audience?
Breathing techniques can help all of us to keep calm, and what are you tips for DIY desk set-up?
8) Send some posts from the front line.
Your beloved patients and clinical colleagues will want to hear from your and hear about your experiences. Can you share a twenty second video at the end of a shift, or show them what PPE really looks like?
9) And finally, don’t forget to pick up the phone.
I’ve had amazing calls with patients I’ve forged a strong connection with in the past, and they we really pleased to hear from me. Make the effort to do this with your patients and with your colleagues. You will be top of mind when they next need your help, and will tell others about you.
Feeling worried or frightened about the future of your Private Practice? Please get in touch. You’re not alone.
Now it's time for you to grow your Private Practice.