My conversation with a final year student who is looking at purchasing a clinic and was very much impressed with the size of the database (until I started asking him questions about it) got me thinking about some of the areas in a practice where quantity is perceived to be a good thing but quality is so much better. So is it going to be quality or quantity?

Your patient database

Many of you will have had conversations with us similar to the one I had with the student. Whether you are looking at buying or selling you’ll be looking at the same information in order to negotiate a good deal.

As a seller you’d be wise to think about these things long before you want to sell. As a buyer, don’t immediately get stars in your eyes by the 10 000 plus patients in the filing cabinet.

And if you’re not buying or selling it is still worth considering the points below to maximise the return of the years you have invested in growing your database so far.

  • How many patients do you have on your database?
  • What percentage of those are active? (Perhaps you’d measure this by how many have appointments in the diary or how many have been to the clinic in the last year or two?)
  • How is the information stored, what is stored and how easy is it to interrogate the data?
  • Are you GDPR compliant?
  • Are you focusing on quality or quantity?

Your social media

The number of followers, likes and connections you have are usually just ‘ego’ metrics – the higher the number the better you feel.

The engagement you have with your connections is what matters. Whilst quantity is important in social media and marketing, the quality of the quantity is what is going to result in more new patients.

We often hear clinicians say that social media does not work. Ask yourself the following:

  • What percentage of your connections across all the platforms fit the profile of your perfect patient or perfect referral source?
  • What are the engagement statistics?
  • What does your audience best respond to?
  • Do you have a structured plan in place?
  • Are you focusing on quality or quantity?

Your other marketing activities

One of the statistics I came across from SalesForce (a leading Customer Relationship Management system) is that 79% of leads are never converted to sales.

It therefore seems obvious that the quality of your marketing leads really needs attention.

When running our marketing courses and indeed in client conversations we often hear about all the marketing activities that haven’t worked. Was the failure to do with the idea or was it the execution of the idea? Start by asking yourself these few questions:

  • Is your website clear about who your ideal patients are? Or are you trying to attract absolutely anyone which often falls on deaf ears?
  • How many events / business networking do you attend and how many patients come your way as a direct result? Is it time, money and energy well spent?
  • If you take part in discounting schemes, are you attracting the quality of patient you desire or just the quantity that makes you look busy for a while?
  • Which referral sources are you best spending time nurturing to get quality referrals from?
  • Are you focusing on quality or quantity?

Your team

Not many practitioners have had leadership and management training.

The clinic environment naturally falls into a pattern of ‘ships that pass in the night’ as the principal and associates rarely work the same shifts all week and if they do they are usually all treating patients so don’t get the quality time together.

The same is true for the relationship between the admin team and clinical team – the owner and practitioners are rarely in the practice if they are not seeing patients.

When team meetings do occur they usually end up being a session to complain about everything that’s gone wrong. How can you improve the quality of your engagement with team members?

  • How often do you have team meetings? Whilst quality is important, quantity needs to considered too (from no regular meetings to one every so often would be a good start!)
  • What can you do differently to make team meetings really valuable?
  • How often do you have 1-2-1’s to discuss goals, progress, expectations with each team member rather than only having ‘chats’ when something goes wrong?
  • How often do you celebrate individual and team successes?
  • Are you focusing on quality or quantity?

Your numbers

Quality versus quantity needs to be mentioned in context of the numbers too! Well, of course the more money coming in the better right?

Be careful not to get too excited about the quantity of money coming in and not keeping a track of the money going out.

The quantity one wants to measure here is quantity of profit (your bottom-line) One also wants to see money in the bank rather than on your aged receivables.

Over analysing can also get in the way – be careful not to spend all your time coming up with every statistic under the sun (quantity) and not having enough time to make pro-active decisions based on the most important numbers (quality)

  • How clear are you on how your business is really doing?
  • How up to date are your accounts? We recommend monthly management accounts
  • What are the important numbers you need to know about your practice weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually?
  • How pro-active are you in managing your business rather than just your patients?
  • Are you focusing on quality or quantity?

How can we help you focus more on quality? Email us

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