This video is about Viewpoint
Dr. Jefferey R. Kile, MD, MHA, is owner of Pediatric Associates of Kingston (PAK). He has served as a pediatrician at the practice since 2003, and this year expanded PAK to include a new location in Pittston, PA, about 10 miles away from the original location.
“How people think of their health care has changed,” Dr. Kile said in a recent interview with Verden Group CEO and founder, Susanne Madden. “When you look at the marketplace for healthcare – or anything – it’s pushed toward convenience. How can we get our brand to other places so people will come to us? There are pressures from various places like telehealth, and other competing healthcare systems where they have the money to get people to where they’re at. We had to get ourselves to where they are.”
Here are some quick tips from Dr. Kile’s interview on how other independent practices can determine if it’s time to grow. See his full interview here.
Dr. Kile’s advice on how to know if it’s time to grow
- Always test the waters first: Ask yourself, can we do this? Can we make it work?
- Take the time to assess whether your brand is established enough to move out further into the community.
- Constantly test the marketplace: Is there a population I can serve, who will come to me?
- Conduct a marketing analysis and financial analysis—numbers must validate your desire to grow.
- Take a critical look at a community’s demographics, population and location in order to objectively determine if your expanded practice could be supported.
- Be diligent about your homework. Dr. Kile spent 18 months to two years assessing the market before expanding.
- Make sure the final numbers line up. While expanding a practice is always ultimately a leap of faith with lots of uncertainty, the basics—such as rent and startup costs—have to make sense and be able to be supported.
- Survey your market to see what opportunities and threats there may be.
- Assess your threats and competition in order to determine whether you can be a competitor in your field. It’s time to grow if you know you can do it better than the competition: with a better space, better parking, and better proximity. Successful expansion relies not just on competing, but on thriving.
Dr. Kile’s best practices for growing a practice
- Spread yourself out into the larger community instead of making patients come to you at only one location. Meet people where they’re at.
- Make it easy for patients to find and get to you.
- People in rural areas have to travel. So being close to the highway can be a great decision.
- Look at patient populations. Don’t plant yourself in an area with no growth.
- Look at places that are growing, specifically places with children if you are a pediatrician.
- Create a “heat” map. Where are the schools? Where are the children? Always consider the growth factor.
- Consider the added convenience for existing patients—can they have choice in accessing more than one location?
- Don’t assume that if you build it they will come. Think instead, how can I get my name out there to the masses?
- Be mindful of all marketing avenues available to you, and take advantage of them.
- Build on your existing brand name whenever possible.