Tips for Adding Gynecological Services to Your Midwifery Practice

Tips for Adding Gynecological Services to Your Midwifery Practice

Gynecology is a medical discipline dedicated to female health care concerns including the development, diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of disorders and diseases distinct to the female reproductive system. The medical care of a women and her child before, during, and after birth is attributed to the field of obstetrics (Cunningham et al., 2010). Gynecology and obstetrics are related disciplines concerned with female reproductive health.
In every single phase of a woman’s life, she experiences multiple events associated with reproductive development such as menarche, menstruation, pregnancy, maternity, and menopause. Birth practitioners can provide a wide range of services that meet her health needs from puberty through her child-bearing years, menopause and beyond.

As an established midwife having your own practice, adding gynecological services is not a bad idea. Midwives are health care professional who provides a range of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, contraceptive counseling, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care. Having to include gynecological services in your practice is another way to provide women with expert and personalized care. A gynecology screening is recommended for annual screening for all age group of women and any time a woman has concerns about symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar, and vaginal pain, or abnormal bleeding from the uterus.

Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include:
-Issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause
-Family planning, including contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy termination
-Problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
-Sexually transmitted Infections(STIs)
-Polycystic ovary syndrome
-Urinary and fecal incontinence
-Benign conditions of the reproductive tract, for example, ovarian cysts, fibroids, breast disorders, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, and other non-cancerous changes
-Premalignant conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia, and cervical dysplasia
-Cancers of the reproductive tract and the breasts, and pregnancy-related tumors
-Congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
-Emergency care relating to gynecology
-Endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the reproductive system
-Pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses
-Sexuality, including health issues relating to same-sex and bisexual relationships
-Sexual dysfunction

Gynecologic tests include:
-Transvaginal / transabdominal ultrasound
-Vaginal swabs
-Smear tests
-Hormonal blood profile
-Tumor markers
-Routine blood tests
-Urine test
-Mammogram

However, you cannot just jump into decision of adding gynecological services to your practice. Midwives are known for providing care in “pregnant women” and that non-pregnant women may hesitate to come to you. Here are some tips you can use to successfully add gynecological services to your midwifery practice.

1. Work on Retaining Current Patients
Remember this crucial piece of marketing advice – it’s always cheaper to retain a current patient than to acquire a new one. New patients are important, but you must focus your efforts on keeping the ones who already visit your practice. If you’re failing your current patients, it’s pointless to spend big bucks on a marketing plan for new patient acquisition. Steps to retaining your current patients include:

-Get Your Patient’s Perspective – Learn what your patients think about your practice. What do they want? What don’t they want? What do they like about your practice? What don’t they like? An easy way to do this – give patients a short survey card to fill out after every visit.
-Focus on a Memorable Patient Experience – While you’re an expert at diagnosing and treating women’s maternal problems, your practice may not be focusing enough on the patient experience. Simple changes that promote a positive patient experience suggested by MDEdge include:
-Padding cold metal stirrups
-Offer cloth gowns instead of paper
-Keep the rooms warm enough
-Warm speculums before use
-Talk to patients face to face after your patient is dressed
-Make patient calls yourself
-Embrace Technology – Patients appreciate it when their medical offices embrace technology and
use it to improve the patient experience. A few suggestions include:
-Use an online scheduling system so patients can easily schedule appointments on their own
-Offer an online newsletter
-Stay active on social media
-Set up a patient portal (one practice was able to improve engagement and reduce
collection times after implementing a new patient portal)

Don’t forget, working to satisfy current patients isn’t just about patient retention – word of mouth continues to be one of the best ways to bring in new patients. When your patients have an excellent experience, they’ll help market your gynecological services in your midwifery practice for you.

2. Focus on Patient Acquisition
Keeping current patients happy can do a lot to help you acquire more patients, but your Midwifery practice should be focusing some of your marketing dollars on new patient acquisition. It’s essential for growing your practice and boosting revenue. A few tips that can help:
-Become a Thought Leader – It’s important to become a thought leader in the midwifery space. This may include writing guest articles or even speaking on Midwifery and Gynecological related topics at local events.
-Focus on Educating Your Audience – It’s easy to simply advertise, but in today’s healthcare landscape prospective patients want to be educated. Use blogs and social media posts to provide readers with useful information.
-Get on Board with Social Media – Speaking of social media – if you’re not already using it, you need to get started. If you’re already running a blog on your practice website, blogs make great posts for social media.
-Get Involved in Your Community as a Media Resource – Get to know the local press. Be the one they go to when they’re writing articles or when they need an expert for local news.

3. Motivate Practice Staff
Your staff is critical to the success of your midwifery practice and any type of marketing program you have in place. Without knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff, patients will be disappointed, and your marketing plans will fail. But how can you motivate your team?
Get started with a well-defined mission statement. It should not only include the purpose of your practice, but it also needs to include the methods of achieving success. In short – it’s a road map for everyone on staff.

When you keep your staff motivated, you create a team environment where everyone works together effectively. And when you value your team of employees and include them in the processes of running the office, they become invested in ensuring the practice is a success. Just a few tips that can help you keep staff members motivated include:
-Regularly reviewing staff performance. People appreciate feedback if it’s delivered constructively.
-And don’t forget to end reviews on a positive note.
-Encourage continuing education.
-Recognize accomplishments and achievements. When staff members improve, tell them.
-Praise in public. Give public praise for things your employees are doing right.
-Keep employees involved in decision making.
-Reward staff members for reducing expenses.
-Foster a fun, positive environment in the office.

4. Consider Outsourcing OB-GYN Billing and Coding
If you want to add gynecological services to your practice, you need to consider outsourcing your billing and coding. Why? Your goal as a practice is to make sure the patient experience is the number one priority. It’s even more critical as healthcare becomes more consumer driven. More and more practices are realizing that the key to focusing more on patient care is to ensure they’re spending less of their time on medical billing and coding. Just a few of the benefits of outsourcing your GYN Services billing and coding include:
-The ability to concentrate more on your core competencies
-Save the time and effort needed to take care of billing and coding procedures
-Avoid the investment it requires to maintain extra staff and infrastructure needed to perform billing and coding in-house
-Improve efficiency and reduce the workload on staff
-Reduce errors that cost your practice money
-Lower denial rates
-Boost practice revenue

References
*4 keys to building a successful OB-GYN practice in 2019. Coronis. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.coronishealth.com/blog/4-keys-to-building-a-successful-ob-gyn-practice-in-2019/
*Development, C. (n.d.). Gynaecology services. Gynaecology services | London | United Kingdom. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.cardiacscreen.co.uk/gynaecology-services.php
*Gynecology. Gynecology – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/gynecology