Improve Your Practice

Practice managers need to consider ease of travel and accessibility to the practice for patients and should make this a priority.


The following should be considered:

  • public transport availability
  • car parking within the practice
  • if parking is not available in the practice car park, how far are the nearest parking options and what are the potential costs and time limits?

Healthcare services benefit from being in close proximity to other medical and allied health services. This provides convenience for patients who may be required to undertake medical tests from a range of medical services, and in marketing terms it makes your practice more appealing to patients. For example, a general practice located close to a pharmacist is convenient for patients to fill scripts. An orthopaedic surgeon located close to radiology services is convenient for patients who may have a degree of immobility. Many practitioners may also need to be located reasonably close to hospitals for ease of access when performing duties as a visiting medical officer. Ideally, practices should also be ground floor level or accessible by a lift, as stairs will be a deterrent for many patients for a variety of reasons, including patients requiring a wheelchair and parents/carers with prams.

Find a local map and locate all existing health and medical services. You will often find they are close to each other. When establishing a new practice, consider locations central to the majority of other services. You may also wish to consider any areas that are not well serviced by your particular health service type. For an existing practice, ask yourself, “How would people get from one service to another? Is access to services easy?”


Your patients must be able to find you easily. Particularly in the case of general practice, a location in view of passing traffic can increase your profile and boost accessibility as potential patients will be aware of you. Even with an excellent location, good signage is needed.

As well as physical visibility do not forget your visibility in other mediums: a practice website, online Yellow Pages/White Pages, positioning in online service listings. Today, a social media strategy using social networks is important e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Such strategies need to follow the regulatory guidelines for their use in a healthcare practice.

Improve your practice

In setting up your practice, you will have researched and planned using the following steps:

  1. Identify and categorise your present practitioner skills/experience and interests.
  2. Consider the patient population that would benefit from your practice’s skills and experience.
  3. Identify where those patient populations are.
  4. Identify who will be your referrers.
  5. Choose the location for your practice to match the potential patients.

Consider the following:


A fundamental principle of market research is knowing who your customers are. Consider the total population and the size of each age group. This basic set of statistics, available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, will inform you of how many young children, teenagers, young adults, families and elderly make up the population. This will give you an indication of the suitability between your type of practice and the patient population you want to provide a service to, and the local population. Is there alignment?

Town planning

Contact the local council for information about new developments and incoming new businesses. Also check the proximity and size of the central business district. Are there other desirable services nearby (supermarkets, cafés etc.) – this may help increase visibility and also help the practice to be seen as an integral part of the community.

Practitioner density

A simple check of the internet will give an idea of how many practitioners service the local area and their field of medical practice (note that many practices no longer advertise in the local phone book). Your Medicare Local may also provide some useful information regarding existing services in your area.

Back-up services in the area

Contact the Medicare Local, local public hospital or community health provider to establish the allied and other community support services available in the area. Who provides them and how often?

Next page

  • What type of premises will suit?
  • Things to consider when deciding on the type of premises required:
  • Contacts

This publication is proudly brought to you by Avant Mutual Group. The content was authored by Brett McPherson, reviewed by Colleen Sullivan and Avant Mutual Group.

This publication is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2014.

IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance products and Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions, and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. Practices need to consider other forms of insurance including directors’ and officers’ liability, public and products liability, property and business interruption insurance, and workers compensation and you should contact your insurance broker for more information. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us.