The summer slow-down is a challenge for most businesses – but especially for private medical practices. With family barbeques, day trips and exotic holidays on the horizon, people are far too busy having fun to worry about their health issues. Most practices see a decrease in appointments and increased cancellations – unless you happen to be based in a sea-side town or popular resort.
Patients also tend to be healthier in the summer. Pain is alleviated, colds are cured and the surplus vitamin D keeps underlying issues at bay. Patients suffering arthritis, inflammation and terminal conditions also feel slight respite in the warmer weather, and are more likely to cancel routine appointments to attend social events. Injuries that do increase during the summer are often urgent – broken bones, head wounds and paediatric patients are normally taken to hospital. In fact, Accident and Emergency departments take the brunt of cases – experiencing up to a 20 percent increase from May to August.
However, high temperatures can have an adverse effect on chronic illnesses and medication – which some patients may not be aware of. The seasonal availability presents an opportunity to advise patients on the best ways to manage their treatments.
With so many fluctuations to consider, managing your private practice effectively can be challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of four steps you can take to combat the seasonal slump.
1. Remind your patients of their upcoming appointments.
Maintaining communications throughout the season is vital. Your medical professionals and administration staff may be on holiday too, so you need an automated solution to keep track of reminders. A private practice management system – like PPM Software – will send emails, texts and letters to patients so they know you’re expecting their visit, so they won’t be tempted to cancel for trip to the beach!
2. Pay attention to detail.
Hot temperatures can have acute effects on certain diseases. Patients with diabetes need to monitor their underlying condition closely in the summer. Blood sugar levels can be difficult to manage as temperatures rise, so patients may need extra guidance. But don’t worry about scheduling last minute appointments – with PPM Software’s diary function, its simple. Find out more here.
3. Keep your pricing fair.
No one likes wasting money – neither you nor your patients. Ensuring patients are informed of any cancellation charges will encourage them to come into practice. As a gentle reminder, you can add financial information onto invoices and communications using your medical billing software.
4. Monitor mental health.
Warm weather has a positive impact on many physical ailments, but for patients with mental health conditions, the summer can be a struggle. There is a relationship between depressive episodes and higher temperatures, so your medical professionals may see an increase in therapy appointments. You can also check medical histories using your private practice management system. PPM Software compiles patient data in accessible files and reports – helping your doctor’s deliver the highest level of psychological support to those who need it throughout the season.
These tasks may seem like a lot of extra effort – especially if your private practice has seasonal staff shortages. But with a comprehensive medical management system, you can handle all administrative duties at the touch of a button. PPM Software is an indispensable tool – not just for summer, but all year round.
Discover how we can support your private practice here.