COVID-19 pandemic affected the world of healthcare heavily. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, private outpatient offices experienced a 45% decline in hours in the US alone. Now that the pandemic restrictions are being lifted, the perspectives of going back to the normal workflow are growing. And practitioners treat the situation differently. Some feel like getting patients back will be a challenge. Others already think of ways to get more patients in their clinic. To ease the minds of both groups, we will go through the ways of resuming private practice after the pandemic.
Steps into reentering private practice after COVID restrictions
Step 1: Set up some new rules
Coronavirus cases may have started to cease, but the risks of catching the virus are still there. Introduce a set of rules before resuming in-person psychotherapy or physical therapy sessions, and make sure your patients familiarize themselves
with those rules. For example:
- Ask your clients to check their temperature right before heading to the appointment. Recommend to reschedule of the results are 100°F (37.7°C) or higher;
- Encourage social distancing and other preventive measures: put the chairs in the waiting room at least 6 ft apart, make sure sanitizers, tissues, trash cans are available;
- Prioritize card payment methods.
But it’s also no secret that people are starting to get pandemic fatigue. Try to not smother them with restrictions: show what you’re doing for their safety as well. For instance:
- Reassure the clients that your office is getting ventilated properly, and all the surfaces and inventory, including couches, tables, mats, etc., are disinfected regularly;
- Confirm that you, their specialist, is vaccinated, and follow the latest area regulations;
- Showcase your place of work on your private practice office on social media, demonstrating how cozy, safe, and modern it is.
That last point brings us to our next step.
Step 2: Switch to a hybrid practice model
This stone kills at least two birds — with several birds-within-the-birds.
First, re-entering the practice should be a gentle process for the practitioner. Whether you’re a therapist, a masseur/masseur, a yoga instructor — or any other kind of a specialist, really — don’t try to bring all the clients back en masse.
Invite a few trusting ones at first, then start adding more hours. If you’ve relocated your practice and are looking for new clients, don’t rush it too: in a way, treat your workflow as if you were a newcomer. It won’t take long till you’re back on track.
Second, if you’re a therapist, lots of your patients have definitely attended pandemic counseling remotely. Some of them are now eager to get back to in-person sessions, some want to resume telehealth meetings, and others would want to keep it blended.
If you’re another kind of healthcare practitioner, there’s a chance that during the pandemic your clients got used to attending the nearest spots to their house — be it a beauty salon or a doctor’s office. Traveling far wasn’t an option for a while, and people found it convenient.
What a hybrid private practice format offers is flexibility for you and your patients. You don’t have to commit to a long-term rental in one area of the town when it’s possible to book a healthcare office in a location closest to your client. Those offices are professionally equipped, high-end rentals from your fellow wellness practitioners, and you can book them in advance or on-demand — for just an hour if needed.
Step 3: Invest in marketing
We’ll keep it short and sweet: a good marketing strategy, both the online and offline kind, is the surest way to reload your private practice. And since the world is recovering from the pandemic stress, make sure your supply meets the demand. Offer special programs for psychological or physical therapy after the outbreak. Introduce and re-introduce recovery through acupuncture practice. Do whatever is in your professional power to recharge your patients’ vitality — it’s what they need the most right now.
If you’re a healthcare or wellness specialist returning back to private practice, rent your perfect office with Wellerz!