Why Location Matters for your Pediatric Office

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Everybody hates a long commute. Forcing parents to travel long distances under bridges, through the city, and up a mountain with a sick child to take them to the doctor is not practical. We know from our own purchasing decisions that a good location can encourage people to stop in, while a bad location is out-of-sight and out-of-mind. The same can be said for medical practices. Finding the right address can be the difference between a thriving practice and failure.

Local Online Searches

Many people target their Google searches to a specific location. For instance, if a new family is looking for a pediatrician in South Euclid or a pediatrician in Mill Valley, it is likely they will search those exact terms. If your address is outside of a certain boundary, it is less likely to be found on Google. Today, it may be more important to be visible in the digital world than the physical world, yet your actual address can inform your internet findability. 

Demographics 

If your patients are 18 years old and younger, it wouldn’t be wise to set up shop next to Sunny Acres Retirement home in Sarasota, Florida. Pediatricians should avoid communities where the median age group is old enough to get a senior discount at the local Denny’s. It’s advantageous to know the demographics of your community and target locations where there are lots of families and space for the community to grow. The internet has expanded most practice’s reach exponentially, but the majority of your patient’s parents will not want to commute too far out of their neighborhood to get to their kid’s appointment. 

Ease of Follow-ups and Emergencies

There are very few concerns more important to parents than their child’s health, and while nobody plans or expects an emergency, new families will want to be close to their pediatrician in case one occurs. Also, a good location can encourage parents to be more diligent at scheduling follow-up appointments for their child, where an inconvenient location may deter parents from coming in when they think they think it is not absolutely necessary.

First-year Visits

Recent parents will be in your office a lot during the first year of their child’s life. The first-year appointment routine can be exhausting for new families since new appointments come up almost every month. Due to the consistency, your patients will prioritize convenience and a close commute. Knowing how your patients are thinking and what they would want can help you determine an appropriate place to establish your practice. 

Competition

While you will want a location in an area with lots of families, if there are many other pediatricians in the neighborhood, it may not be a good move. The doctor-patient relationship can last through adulthood, in some cases until a patient is 26 years old when kids can no longer be claimed under their parent’s insurance. It is near impossible to break up established relationships unless the provider plans on retiring or the patient is unhappy with their care. If you see an opportunity to attract families to your practice, don’t forget to consider the competition, too. Can you persuade people to switch? Is there potential in the future? Think about the long-term plan and decide if local competition will be a factor. 

Visibility and Access 

A location in a highly-visible place, such as a busy intersection next to the crowded Starbucks, serves as free and abundant advertising. Simply seeing your sign daily can encourage new patients to consider your practice. If potential patients see your office on their way to work or near their local grocery store, they already know of your convenient location for them. Knowing that it is simple to get to can play a role in their decision to schedule at your office. 

Connecting to Your Community 

Pediatricians will want to get involved with their communities. Not only can you boost a reputation among your patients by community involvement, but it is also a great way to attract new ones. By participating in local activities, sponsoring activities, and appearing and speaking events, you will earn trust and authority from those who might not know who you are. If your home and your office are on the outskirts of the neighboring town you are not involved in, chances are your practice will have a hard time growing. 

Just like any other business, the location of your pediatric office is a major factor in the success of your practice whether you’re a pediatrician in Highland Park or a pediatrician in Arlington Heights. People will travel for high-level care, but you are doing you and your staff a disservice by setting up your pediatric office across town. Consider these guidelines and make sure you’re in a visible location with low competition and plenty of potential patients to boost your chances of success.