5 Tools to Help Elevate Your Private Practice
Actionable tools to successfully improve your practice outcomes and successes
By Brian Gallagher, PT
As a physical therapy owner, you have already brought your passion for physical therapy to life when you first opened your clinic’s doors and started treating patients within the community.
Often, though, owners quickly get bogged down when confronted with the knowledge gap between being a great physical therapist and running a successful business.
Nevertheless, since passion isn’t easily extinguished for true entrepreneurs, practice owners are always on the hunt for more ways to take their practice further. It’s what leads owners and practitioners to join the APTA and connect with others in our industry to discover what treatment techniques and administrative tools are propelling practices forward.
Based on our experience, owners who implement these five recommendations can expect to elevate their private practice in a variety of ways.
1. Optimize Your Personnel Training with an LMS
Creating repeatable processes means they are also scalable, which enables your team to grow faster than they would if you had to reinvent the wheel every time a particular function was carried out.
When used for new employee onboarding and training, a learning management system (LMS) can be a crucial part of your retention strategy and adds many benefits to your private practice and your new hire engagement.
Live training can be wildly inconsistent, with different trainers taking different approaches and potentially even passing on unapproved methods and shortcuts picked up along the way. An LMS ensures all new hires receive the same consistent onboarding experience.
By introducing development opportunities to your employees and management team, owners actively improve their staff’s career satisfaction, which reduces churn. It’s easy to add additional training and advancement opportunities with an LMS so you can always address gaps in knowledge and continually improve your processes.
In these ways, an LMS operates employee onboarding efficiently while keeping your focus on the overall operations of the clinic.
2. Improve Structure with an Organization Chart
The old adage, “What gets measured gets managed,” is popular because many people can directly relate to it. So, how does this apply to using an organizational chart in physical therapy management?
The process of developing a fully operational organizational chart involves a deep dive into the functions and resulting products of each division and each team member. You’ll need to establish their individual statistics to measure their products based on how well they wear their hat for their post, then establish metrics to track the performance of the overall division and ultimately company wide.
A detailed organization chart also takes the question out of the chain of command “structure” and empowers your management team with streamlined communication pathways to allow for better collaboration of your vision.
3. Increase Revenue with a High-Performance Website
According to a report by SEO Tribunal, there are around 3.8 million searches entered every minute into Google,1 which makes a high-performing website a necessity instead of an option.
As the digital doorway to your practice, if your website isn’t performing well, you’re likely leaving local searches, additional appointments, and ultimately more revenue on the table.
The Elements of a High-Performing Website
An Appealing and Intuitive Design
A beautiful website that is easy to navigate draws the user in and invites them to learn more about your private practice and book an appointment. If the look and feel of your website is done correctly, it will easily set you apart from your competitors.
The online ad network Chitka has found that 33% of search clicks go to the first organic Google listing,2 making SEO as crucial as ever. High-performance SEO strategies account for the large volume of mobile searches by building a fast and responsive website for any size screen. It will also be optimized for crucial keywords and include relevant, helpful content.
Continuous improvement of a physical therapy website means tracking your metrics like visits, bounces, click-thru rates, keyword rankings, conversions, appointments, etc. Tracking a website’s metrics with Google Analytics or reporting software helps you home in on your specific audience’s behavior and needs.
4. Manage Efficiency with a Stat Tracking System
Do you have your finger on the pulse of your clinic’s performance? Do you know the ROI of your staff members, equipment and programs and understand where there is an opportunity for improvement?
Defining your goal targets like cost-per-visit, for example, can help you measure your efficiency and implement targeted plans for improvement with additional training to support meeting those objectives.
You’ll be able to reward your top performers and coach those falling behind for the continuous growth of your private practice. This leads us to our final tool.
5. Motivate with a Pay-for-Performance Compensation Model
The easiest way to snowball success is to reward top performers for their hard work. In 2021, with insurance reimbursements rapidly dwindling, it’s more challenging than ever for the small business owner to keep staff on the payroll that consistently falls behind. A great solution is to adopt a pay-for-performance model.
Pay-for-performance models focus on three core elements of care: efficiency, production, and quality. This means that your top performers who are filling the most open slots, delivering more care per patient, and getting high NPS scores will be appropriately compensated for their performance. Those staff members who aren’t meeting these goals will be motivated to get there or replaced with someone who will.
This may attract the go-getter clinicians who love the opportunity to make more for doing what they always do: a great job. In turn, you’re free to focus on operations and recruiting staff who will own their role, take care of your patients, and help your private practice thrive.
Take Your Private Practice to the Next Level
Once upon a time, you opened your private practice to fulfill a vision for what physical therapy in your community can be. Now, it’s time to bring that vision to life.
Invest in yourself and your business to create the clinic of your dreams. Using a learning management system, creating a strong organizational chart, a high-performing website, tracking stats, and paying for performance are the tools that can lead the way.
1SEO Tribunal. 63 Fascinating Google Search Statistics. https://seotribunal.com/blog/google-stats-and-facts/. Published September 26, 2018.
2Lee J. No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic [Study]. https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2013/06/20/no-1-position-in-google-gets-33-of-search-traffic-study/. Published June 20, 2013.
Brian Gallagher, PT, the founder and owner of MEG Business Management. He may be reached at Brian@megbusiness.com.