Opening a private medical practice requires juggling a great many balls at the same time to make sure you get everything done and in place correctly. If you make a mistake, it could impact your hard-earned brand reputation, which might jeopardize the business in the long-term.
Here are some of the most important things you’ll need to do before you open your doors and start seeing patients.
Register Your Business
The first step to opening any business is getting it registered as a legal entity and complying with any regulations and licensing requirements you might need. Medical practices have some unique requirements like being able to provide certificates of registration for your medical practitioners as well as your pharmacist if you’re going to have a dispensary on-site. Ensure you check the requirements in your area and gather all the required documentation. You might also need to create a business plan if you’re going to rely on financing in the initial stages of getting your business open.
Legal and Financial Assistance
The early stages of opening a medical clinic are a good time to look for an accountant and attorney you can work with. You will need an accountant to help you set up the business on the right financial footing. Look for someone who shares your vision for the business and is happy to work with you in the long-term.
The same applies to an attorney. You may need legal help from time to time, as lawsuits may be filed against the business. Again, make sure you hire a firm of attorneys with the right experience and who you can work with.
Get Your Records Organised Right Away
Patient records have long since transcended past cards in a filing cabinet and entered the digital age. Medical insurance companies also usually have automated systems that require you submit requests via their online systems so having good and reliable IT infrastructure as well as a patient information management system, often called an electronic health record system. Ideally, it should be able to handle billing and health records too. The more of this that can be automated, the less time it’s going to take away from your front office staff and the more efficient your human resources can be.
Acquire the Equipment You Need
One of the most important things you’re going to need to do is create a list of equipment you’re going to need for your medical practice. This is, of course, going to be dictated by the type of practice you’re opening. Other than front office equipment like computers and furniture for the reception and your office, you’re going to need some specialized medical equipment. This will encompass creating a patient care facility, as well as equipment like sterilizers, scales, monitoring equipment, blood pressure cuffs and any number of other tools. These costs can quickly add up, so be aware of what you’ll be looking at spending.
Decide whether you want to lease or buy the equipment. Larger items, like scanners or X-ray machines, will be expensive, so look at equipment funding from specialist finance companies.
Hire the Right Staff
The wage bill will depend on the size of your practice, but at the bare minimum, you’re going to need an office manager and reception staff. If you’re aiming bigger you might need a nurse and pharmacist, and even other medical professionals like general practitioners, counselors, and dentists if your aim is to create a multi-discipline environment where patients can come for any number of ailments and medical procedures. Staff need to be friendly, trustworthy, and experienced, so having the experience of a trained human resources professional assist you with the hiring process will be an advantage.
Don’t just focus on experience and qualifications. Whilst experience and a glowing CV is undoubtedly important when you are looking for the right person for the job, personal attributes also count for a lot. When you are working in a small team within a new business, it’s vital that everyone pulls together. There will be many bumps in the road, and a clash of personalities can make life a lot harder than it needs to be.
Look for people who you can work with and who have the same ethos as you. Your aim should be to build a team of like-minded people, all of whom are happy to work together for the greater good of the business — and patients.
Just like opening any business, opening and equipping a private medical practice takes time to get right. Being a business owner means having a great many different skills and knowledge of all aspects of the business, so don’t be afraid to consult with people in the lead up to opening your doors to the public.