No one is born knowing how to successfully run one clinic, let alone several of them. With so many moving parts, managing a growing healthcare business can sometimes feel like directing traffic. To keep everything moving in the direction of business success, it’s critical to achieve efficiencies.

Here are six ways to improve operational efficiency across multiple behavioral healthcare clinics.

1. Focus on Retaining Existing Clients

Building up a network of loyal repeat clients is a good sign that you’re successfully executing your multi-site management skills. Repeat clients help get businesses through the ebb and flow of seasonal patterns. It’s also easier (and less expensive) to keep current clients happy than to constantly have to generate new ones through marketing.

Those are major benefits! In fact, when hospital systems were surveyed about their level of satisfaction with owning multi-unit health clinics, they reported that the two biggest challenges of managing multiple locations were the seasonal patterns of patients and difficulty executing successful healthcare marketing campaigns.

Having client retention as a strategic goal is a great way to improve your business operations. Organizing your strategic planning around client retention will motivate you to improve patient experiences, which affects many different aspects of operations, from facility management to IT and care delivery.

Client retention also benefits the client. When clients suffering with conditions such as depression, trauma, or substance abuse come back to therapy, they can diligently work toward reaching their treatment goals.

Unfortunately, the statistics on early termination of behavioral health treatment could be better. Nearly 50% of clients stop attending therapy between the first and third session, with 65% of clients ending therapy before their tenth visit. This amount of time is not sufficient. Most forms of treatment require 11-13 sessions for a majority of clients to reach their desired outcomes.

2. Provider Engagement: Leverage a Powerful Tool You Already Have

New tools are so appealing! You could spend your entire profit margin by adopting an endless stream of new marketing tactics, new software platforms, and more. But efficient businesses make the most of the tools they already have.

As a healthcare business, the most valuable resource you have is your team of providers. Engaging therapists, psychiatrists, and nurses can be a great way to improve patient experience and outcomes, in addition to achieving other operational and marketing goals.

Provider engagement can help you keep current clients happy and support accelerated their treatment outcomes faster. When clinics are able to improve client experiences and keep them coming back, it can also lead to more incoming business. Word-of-mouth referrals from repeat clients are wonderful (and free!) marketing tools.

3. Support Behavioral Health Practitioners’ Efforts to “Join” Quickly with Clients

One of the most powerful aspects of therapy is the emotional connection between the therapist and client. “Joining” is an ego-fighting technique used to resolve any resistance a client may have toward therapy. It’s an act of a therapist meeting the client where he or she is, mirroring the client, and sitting with them through whatever it is that  they are experiencing.

For some who are in therapy, this can be a very healing intervention, as joining can offer clients a feeling of connection they’ve never felt if they grew up in an environment where they were consistently criticized. It can also help build positive rapport that makes clients feel more comfortable in therapy.

Since each therapist and client is unique, it’s not always easy for a therapist to join with each person they work with during their first few sessions. However, as mentioned earlier, that’s the time frame during which roughly half of clients stop coming in.

Behavioral health clinic managers can support therapists’ ability to connect as quickly as possible with new clients. Helpful tactics can include group strategy meetings on joining with clients, supervision for therapists who need it, and training on how to best join with clients. Have a meeting to gather your providers’ input on what tactic would be most helpful.

4. Make Manual Paper Processes Digital

There are numerous manual paper processes that must be executed on a day-to-day basis in behavioral health clinics, from behavioral health assessments and session notes to insurance forms and client files. An operations team can quickly get overwhelmed by the paperwork from just one behavioral health clinic, let alone a group of clinics.

The good news is that these processes can be digitized in an effort to reduce waste and ensure you have the most updated, accurate information on hand at all times, from any location.

Paper files can be lost or destroyed, but digital medical records can be accessed and updated in real time and are less likely to suffer any demise from the obstacles of life. Streamlining your manual paper processes into a HIPAA-compliant digital format can help keep everyone organized and efficient.

5. Streamline Your Marketing Efforts

Operating a multi-unit behavioral health business presents its fair share of obstacles, but your healthcare marketing strategy shouldn’t be one of them. Streamlining your marketing efforts across multiple locations, brands, and platforms is essential.

Marketing resource management systems can be used to make marketing processes as efficient as possible. An MRM can be used to streamline branding guides, marketing collateral updates, and even marketing budgets and compliance across brands and locations.  Staying on top of compliance measures by ensuring you are following both your brand and HIPAA media guidelines is important when marketing in the healthcare industry.

Other tools that help your marketing team stay on task include project management systems, as well as social media management platforms that allow you to schedule content across several platforms in advance.

6. Take Your Satisfaction Surveys Digital

There’s no better way to gain insight into client satisfaction than by asking. However, a paper questionnaire is inefficient. As with the manual paper processes mentioned above, surveys too can be digitized.

HIPAA-compliant text message surveys offer a convenient way to gauge your customer satisfaction rate without the need for paper or filing cabinets. You can use a survey tool to create a survey, manage data collection, and even mine your data for actionable business insights.

If you’d like to gain valuable insights to help with your healthcare marketing techniques while improving your clients’ experiences, check out the smart surveys available through Calibrater Health.

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