That wise old real estate adage of "Location, Location, Location" is as relevant for psychology and medical professionals as it is for retail entities. If you're looking to move to a new location or opening your first clinical practice, choosing the right spot is essential to your ultimate success.
Based on a 2014 report from the Associated Press, 50% of patients weigh the location of a healthcare practice when choosing a professional. That's why putting careful consideration into where your clinical practice is located is important. Consider these five elements when choosing a new location.
This is the most obvious consideration when looking for a location for your clinical practice. You need a location that's in an area potential clients will be comfortable going to but you also need to keep your costs to a minimum. This is especially true if you are starting a new clinical practice rather than move an established one. The careful balancing act between quality and cost can be assisted by utilizing the services of a realtor or other professional familiar with properties in the area.
Determining how many providers there are in an area, as well as how large their practices are, what their specialties are and what they specialize in is a pretty basic aspect of choosing a new location. To position yourself so that patients come to you, you need to check the population-to-professional ratio for the area you're considering. This info can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The lower the number of professionals within your industry that are in the area, the less competition there will be and vice versa. Often, healthcare professionals will saturate upscale areas and completely miss the enormous opportunities which exist only a few miles away in middle- and lower-income areas.
With that said, referring partners should not be considered “competition”. They may be in your field, providing something that compliments your services Therefore, it is just as important to align your referral network in close proximity.
Another consideration is how accessible your location is for your patients. Consider locations near bus routes, major highways and train stations for patients who need to commute from nearby communities. Most realtors will tell you that a good location is within 20 minutes of the area you intend to serve.
For patients who drive themselves, you will need adequate parking. A location that allows you to provide your patients with free parking is ideal and makes your services more accessible for those with lower incomes.
Consider what it is like for your patients to receive multiple services. Offer options that allow them easier access to you AND easier access to those services that compliment yours.
The look and feel of your location's outer appearance will be the first impression potential clients have of your clinical practice. Any location that projects the concepts of cleanliness and health will appeal to patients, while one that isn't may turn these potential clients off from retaining your services.
The design at a Resource Center allows for your client to visualize a myriad of options. Collaborating with other providers and resources help gain trust and long term care. Ultimately, patients can access more support through the design of a Resource Center, uniting a comon goal.
The professional resources in an area that you can utilize to help your patients is another consideration. Resource Centers are one of the factors that you should consider when choosing a location, as well as the proximity of referring physicians that may send new patients to your clinical practice. This ability to collaborate with a full healthcare team allows you to provide inclusive services to your patients.
Additional community resources and clinical support groups are another consideration. The Autism Resource & Treatment Center (ARTC) is one of those groups.
Wrapping It Up
There are a number of criteria to consider when choosing a location and the above list is only the beginning. Making a poor choice of location can sink even the best clinical practice.
One way to guarantee you choose a great location is to work with the Autism Resource & Treatment Center. We take the doubt and danger out of finding a new location by providing you with our established center. If you are a professional psychologist (or you are a licensed professional who serves the Autism community) strongly consider working with or offering your services through the ARTC center, contact us today!