Besides considering how the office affects your current practice, think about how the facility fits into your future. Offices often hinder doctors' ability to change the way they practice. Don't, for instance, let your office impede these four growth strategies:
- Adding physicians or merging practices. Carefully project your future office needs early in the planning process. Real estate issues sometimes completely derail a merger or make new-doctor recruiting grind to a halt. "Squeezing in" a new physician is at best a very short-term alternative to acquiring needed space.
- Building patient-management teams. Moving to a team-management patient care approach, many physicians discover that office limitations prevent them from being on the staff, like mid-level providers and patient educators, they need to make the approach work.
- Adding in-office procedures. Technological advances continue to move medical and diagnostic procedures into the office. Many payers prefer practices able to provide more services, so don't let yourself lose out simply because you lack the additional work space.
- Bringing in new revenue. Colleagues around the country are breaking new ground with expanded lines of service, like optical shops, physical therapy, new diagnostic tests, executive physicals, and even medically related retail. Ideas like these require expanding or redesigning your office.