Like any type of business, starting a healthcare practice is a risk, and it can take a lot of time and effort. The good news is that healthcare is an industry that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as medicine is a critical part of everyone’s lives all around the world. If you’re thinking of starting a healthcare practice,
Here are five critical steps to take and consider when starting a healthcare practice:
Most people know that when starting any kind of business, you’re going to need to develop a business plan— and the same is true for a medical practice. The good news is that when starting a healthcare practice, you don’t need a full-blown business plan, but only a pro forma instead. It’s a more condensed version of a business plan that focuses on financial projections and obtaining financing for your practice, including:
- Executive summary
- Main objectives
- Income projections
- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses. opportunities, threats) analysis
Although telemedicine has become more popular in recent years, it’s still necessary to have a physical location to starting a healthcare practice— and having both will be even more beneficial to your practice. Setting up a physical location includes choosing a site, negotiating the terms of your lease (or buying a building), and securing a Certificate of Occupancy. Other factors to consider include:
- Local competition
- Parking availability
- Standalone vs. multi-use space
Once your location is secure, don’t forget about furnishing it. This includes simple things like tables and chairs for your waiting room, artwork (e.g., paintings, sculptures, etc.) in the waiting room and examination rooms, mats, trash cans, etc. If you’re still considering taking virtual appointments, the place to get started is by learning about the regulations for telehealth appointments so that you ensure you’re offering your patients the best service possible and within the norm.
Although you can be the sole physician in your practice, you can’t run it alone. This means that you’re going to have to hire other healthcare professionals. With today’s technology constantly advancing, there are now unique ways to hire highly skilled professionals for your business. Consider utilizing a virtual medical assistant at your practice for a cost-effective solution that leverages the latest advancements in healthcare support. The type of professionals you hire will depend on your practice’s specialty, but in addition to a supervising physician, starting a healthcare practice will have:
- Lab technicians
- Medical billers and coders
- Nurses and/or nurse practitioners
- Office managers
- Physician assistants
Everyone you hire must be fully qualified to perform the duties they’re hired for, This includes receiving recertification for skills like CPR and First aid, which can be obtained online through websites like ProTrainings.
The type of healthcare practice you plan to open will also determine the type of medical equipment you’ll need to purchase. All medical practices will have basic healthcare equipment (e.gelectronic health record system, office equipment, practice management software, etc.), but specialty practices will need the equipment necessary for their specialty.
All businesses have a set of rules and regulations that all employees and employers must follow, and starting a healthcare practice is no different. This includes health and safety issues that could threaten those who enter your business. The standards set should cover all daily operations that go into running a medical practice, including both the business and the healthcare sides. Keep in mind that because the healthcare industry is constantly changing, so should your policies and procedures to keep up with the industry.
Don’t forget that in addition to creating these policies and procedures, you should have the proper licenses, permits, and business insurance (i.e., medical malpractice insurance) required by medical clinics.
Just as with any other type of business, you’ll need to create a website to be able to market your practice and let people know you’re open for business. Digital marketing (marketing done online) is the best way to get the word out about your practice. Even though you have a physical location and you serve people in person, creating a website gives you access to various forms of digital marketing, including:
- Content marketing
- Google Ads/pay per click
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Social media marketing and email marketing are also going to be a huge part of digital marketing. You can also use traditional forms of marketing (e.g., word of mouth, newspaper ads, billboard ads, etc.) in addition to digital marketing to optimize advertising.
It takes a lot to starting a healthcare practice, but it is worth it in the end. Even though the majority of businesses fail within the first five years, healthcare is a little different because it’s something that everyone needs. There is still competition, but you can differentiate yourself by offering multiple services (including telemedicine) and/or establishing your practice in underserved areas.