Business AdvisoryHealthcare and Medical

What it takes to run a successful specialist medical practice

Adam Murray
3 April 2024
4 min read

Running a successful specialist medical practice entails various crucial elements. Here are five key factors to help optimise your practice: building referral networks, staying current with procedures, maximising occupancy rates, nurturing staff, and regularly evaluating expenses and fee rates to ensure competitiveness and financial sustainability.

Five factors to medical practice success

1. Building referral networks

Regardless of how you operate your specialist medical practice, building and maintaining a referral network (from GPs) and holding a high standard for your work are two crucial factors for growth and sustainability.

Building and maintaining your referral network can provide a continuous flow of patients to your practice. But how can you build this network?

By sharing your skills and services with the medical professionals around you. This can be done in a variety of ways, from sending a mail-out to GPs in the area with information about your presence and the services you offer, to holding seminars for medical professionals to attend outlining your services and skills (this has the added benefit of giving you the opportunity to meet and greet or describe the services you provide in greater detail).

These tactics are also a great way to inform other medical professionals of any new techniques you may be adopting and the benefits of those techniques.

And most importantly, maintaining relationships with GPs is easier when you keep them informed about their patient’s treatment progress.

2. Staying current with procedures

Quality of work speaks for itself and the majority of specialists are sufficiently skilled to produce high-quality work, but that does not mean you should rest on your laurels.

Staying current with the latest and most beneficial procedures is essential to ensure your work is up-to-date and competitive in the field of specialist services.

Being an early adopter of new techniques can position you as a leading specialist and boost referrals for specific conditions.

3. Maximising occupancy rates

Optimising occupancy rates is vital for running an efficient medical practice. Ensuring full utilisation of practice premises maximises revenue and covers rental overhead, and with rising rent costs and cost-of-living, prioritising full utilisation is necessary.

There is little point in having a 5-room practice if the rooms are only used one day a week each, for example, if rooms are kept vacant for specialists that work, or are present, for only part of the week.

4. Nurturing staff

We are faced by an extremely tight employment market at the moment. Attracting and retaining the right staff at a reasonable remuneration level is challenging. However, we need to think outside of remuneration alone, and offering more than just competitive pay is key. Factors like work environment, education, personal development and career progression are all proven factors for not only retaining staff, but for productivity. Staff that have a clear understanding of their roles and career paths lead to smoother practice operations allowing specialists to focus on providing medical care rather than constant recruitment efforts.

5. Regularly evaluate expenses and fee rates

Regular evaluation of practice expenses and fee rates is essential for maintaining profitability and competitiveness and should be undertaken at least quarterly. A quarterly assessment ensures that all expenses, both internal (e.g., rent, wages) and external (e.g., hospital facility fees) are thoroughly examined. This enables the practice to make an informed decision when setting fees, staying competitive and financially sustainable.

Seek specialist advice

Findex can provide specialists and specialist practices with accounting, taxation, business advice, performance consulting, benchmarking, structuring, valuations and wealth accumulation & protection advice.

Getting specialist advice for your medical practice can mean the difference between struggle and success.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the thought or position of Findex (Aust) Pty Ltd ABN 84 006 466 351 (Findex).

Author: Adam Murray | Partner

Adam joined Findex in 2013 having previously worked in Melbourne for over nine years where he gained considerable experience in business advisory. Adam provides advice and guidance to businesses so that they can achieve their goals and full potential.