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How do I get my healthcare practice through COVID-19?

Introduction

The economic impact of COVID-19 is unfathomable. No one, not even the greatest economic minds can agree on what will happen going forwards from a macro-economic perspective.

However, in this article I want to be more industry focused and look at the specific reasons why there is hope if you run a healthcare practice. Then I’ll review the financial measures that you should take to maximise your personal and business cashflow so that you survive the next few weeks/months. I’ll conclude by looking at the specific actions that I believe you should take in the next 3-6 months to bump-start your practice and start generating income again.

Hope

The economy is global and circular. With an economic shock as large as COVID-19 everyone will be affected. But, some individuals and businesses will be impacted less than others. Below I’ve listed a few reasons why I think you should be more hopeful than many entrepreneurs if you run a healthcare practice:

Survive

If I’ve convinced you that there is cause to be hopeful, these are the financial actions that you should take (or not take) to help you survive the next few weeks/months:

Action

With your finances stabilised its time to start taking some positive action. Every business is different but with no imminent possibility of face to face consultations, the only viable opportunities to generate short-term income are video and tele consultations.

I know many of you are adapting your businesses with amazing results but for those who might be struggling to get to grips with video consultation here are four things to consider:

Does your speciality lend itself to video consultation?

Some obviously don’t but many surprisingly do, particularly when there is no other option. Over the past few weeks a whole host of physios, speech therapists, podiatrists, psychotherapists and many more have been in touch to let me know how they’re switching to video and/or tele consultations.

Here’s just one example from Dianne Ashcroft at Lane Ends Podiatry. She’s put this informative and entertaining video together to explain to her clients how video consultation is going to work despite not being able to get hands-on.🦶

Are you able to offer video consultations?

Zoom, Skype and FaceTime all provide potential platforms for video consultations but none of them offer the kind of protection, control and audibility that clinicians might need.

Be sure to check with your practice management system provider to see if they offer (or are planning to offer) video consultation capabilities in the next few weeks/months or as long as you believe lockdown is likely to last.

Here at WriteUpp, we’ve released a fully embedded video consultation platform within WriteUpp that you can use to schedule and conduct video consultations directly with your patients. Here’s a quick summary of its capabilities

If you would like to know more chat with us at writeupp.com or take a free 30 day trial with 1000 FREE video minutes by clicking here.

Are you set up for video consultations?

As a remote business we’ve been using video chats for 7+ years and we’ve learnt what works well and what doesn’t. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some practical tips on how to ensure that your video consultations are effective and professional.

Can you generate enough income from video consultations for it to be viable?

A number of the practitioners that I’ve spoken to (virtually!) over the past few weeks have made the switch to video consultations but are only getting a handful of enquiries.

Please don’t let this dampen your enthusiasm for video consultations.

Try instead to put yourself in the position of the person (in lockdown) requiring your services and consider how they would find you or get in touch. Most likely it would be online so here are few simple tips to help you get started:

To build upon these tips we’ve asked our friends at UpRaw Media in Amsterdam to help us on this. They’re one of Europe’s top PPC (pay-per-click) agencies and have tons of experience at generating demand online. We’re going to work with them to pull together in a more detailed article on this specific subject over the coming weeks.

Conclusion

I don’t have a crystal ball and as I write this, we have no idea how long this will last and for that reason alone I personally believe you need to have a positive plan.

If your assumption back in February was that Coronavirus wouldn’t impact us, you were wrong. If, when lockdown began, you believed that it would be done and dusted in 3 weeks you were probably being naively optimistic.

Here we are 4 weeks in, the government has deployed most of its financial firepower (grants, loans, funding etc) and there is no perceivable end in sight. Normality is not returning any time soon and in my opinion if you accept this reality head on you stand a much better chance of getting through this.

As a healthcare professional there are reasons to be hopeful. If your finances are under control (as much as they can be) and you have time to consider how you can repurpose your skills to generate an online income you will survive this. You may be battered and bruised but you’ll make it through.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

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