Options and considerations for expanding your practice
As your practice grows, you’re likely looking for ways to increase patient volume. How you grow your medical practice is up to you, but one thing is universal: big picture thinking is key. That starts with identifying your long-term goals. Maybe you have the option to expand at your current office location. Perhaps you’re planning on hiring additional doctors and you like the idea of starting from scratch. In that case, moving your practice to a new, larger space or constructing an office from the ground up may be right for you. Of course, you might even be able to redesign workflow more efficiently within your existing space to help increase production. Careful consideration of your available options will help you make the best decision.
Expand your existing office
When you’re looking to avoid disruption to your medical practice, sometimes it’s possible to grow your existing office space rather than move your practice entirely. Not only is expansion and renovation easier on patients, it’s simpler overall since there’s no new address. Typically, a design/build firm will enlist project phasing to minimize the impact of expansion and help keep your office up and running throughout the build. Since office expansion limits the risk of patient loss due to frustration and inconvenience, this may be the right option for your growing practice.
Move to a new, larger office
Changing your office address is never easy. However, when you’re looking for ways to increase patient volume, there’s no getting around the need for extra space. When expanding your current office space is not an option, moving to a new, larger office may be best. It’s important to note, however, that making a move is a costlier option, and it poses logistical challenges that may disrupt your practice and lead to some patient loss. On the plus side, doing so gives you complete flexibility to design a modern, streamlined practice space from scratch — one that optimizes productivity through smart, practical, design at a brand new premises.
Open another office
There’s something to be said for keeping your existing office address — and branching out. Rather than pick up and move, opening another office is another way to grow your medical practice, make your practice more valuable and pave the way for future growth. Through doing so, you may be able to attract additional doctors and doctor’s assistants, as well as add new nurses and lab techs — all in a setting that you can design as you see fit. Of course, this type of expansion does not come cheap: opening another office costs more than simply expanding your office space or moving your current office to a new address since you’ll need to invest in additional equipment, furnishings and support staff. What’s more, this option carries an element of risk since ongoing, increased patient volume has to justify the expense.
Optimize existing office space
Perhaps the least costly and quickest fix when you want to grow your medical practice is to renovate your existing office space so it’s more patient and staff-friendly. Updating your existing office space to accommodate an expansion and improve workflow comes with its own set of challenges though. While it’s likely the most cost-efficient approach to expanding your medical practice, it is also the most disruptive since renovation work happens in tandem with seeing patients. Additionally, doing so may also require the office to close for a period of time. Without money coming in, covering your expenses can get tricky. Before deciding to optimize your existing office space, consider whether or not it’s the permanent solution you require.
Whether you decide to move your practice to a new address, open another office or optimize the space you already have, weigh the pros and cons, including cost considerations and convenience for your patients and staff. At the end of the day, the right decision for your practice is the one that best improves the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of care — and the one that meets your bottom line.