The Benefits of Diversifying Your Practice
By: Cheryl “Chae” Dimapasoc Canon, PT, DPT; OptimisPT Director of Implementation and Compliance
While most private practice outpatient clinics start off with a single discipline, it’s no coincidence that the largest practices in most metro areas almost always offer PT, OT and Speech and many offer behavioral and nutritional consultation as well. A multidisciplinary team is a group of different healthcare professionals who specialize in specific disciplines. By combining these services, rehab clinicians provide education to clients, encouraging positive behavioural changes with a focus on improving their quality of life, functional capacity, ability for self-management and long-term sustainability to reduce the risk of illness and injury in the future.
While many outpatient private practices that offer only one discipline are successful, here are some reasons you may consider adding another discipline:
- It’s easier for a referral source to send a patient to one place if they need multiple disciplines versus a different practice for each service needed; then they’re likely to remember you as the clinic that has multiple offerings.
- Once a patient develops a rapport with your therapist, they’re likely to come back to or request your clinic if he/she ends up needing other services; a 1-stop shop. It’s much easier to get an existing patient to add another discipline than getting a new patient.
- Patients’ care yields better outcomes when a comprehensive approach, that encompasses all relevant healthcare professionals, is used.
- Team members can learn from each other in coordinating a plan of care that addresses the entire person and has common goals.
- The patient feels like an entire team is monitoring their progress and making changes along the way as needed.
- You may not have enough volume of new patients to fill up three therapists of the same discipline, but you will likely have enough to fill up three therapists of different disciplines.
Collaborative teamwork maximizes team members’ knowledge and understanding of each other, as well as a better understanding of the patient’s overall needs. In addition, from a business perspective, adding disciplines will make your practice more appealing to referral sources and patients. They know by attending therapy at your practice, they will receive a more comprehensive approach to their care.