Whether it’s to escape the chaos of the hospital and treat several patients in very little time or have a work-life balance, starting a private medical practice has many perks for doctors. Having said that, starting a medical practice is a huge responsibility and comes with several challenges. Right from having a revenue plan, getting your health insurance to deciding a market strategy for acquiring patients, there are tons of decisions to make. At such times, it’s important that you also be mindful of the risks associated with running a medical practice. Let us take you through some of the most common mistakes to avoid when starting a medical practice.
Overlooking The Importance Of Having A Business Plan
If you’re planning to open your own medical practice, chances are, you’ll first think of getting a loan or planning a budget. But, if you want your medical practice to succeed, you first need to have a strong business plan and strategy. Do keep in mind that you’ll have to get in touch with several people. These include loan lenders, real estate agents, lawyers, contractors, technology firms, policyholders, etc.
You need to have a documented business plan that includes marketing, finance, management, and market strategies. Let’s not forget the fact that a well-documented business plan will help you improve the performance of your medical practice. So, see to it that you start planning well in advance before laying any bricks and setting up your medical practice.
Not Having A Financial Plan
One of the most common mistakes doctors make is starting a medical practice without sufficient capital. If you want your medical practice to be operational, you first have to have a proper financial plan. You can go through your business plan and analyze the expenses for different things. Take into considerations things like contractor bills, medical equipment, employee salary, etc.
Once you have an idea of the expenses you need to meet, you can consult an investor and get a loan for your practice. Don’t forget to get in touch with a lawyer to understand the terms and conditions of your loan contract along with the interest rates. Another important thing that you’ll need to take care of is having a budget plan for your medical practice insurance. You can always ask for advice from other healthcare professionals running their own medical practice. They can help you come up with a plan in getting yourself a loan and predicting the time period to pay it off.
Not Using Technology
One of the most important things doctors need to update themselves with in today’s time is the advancement in the medical field because of technology. There are several modern medical gadgets for doctors that have replaced many traditional healthcare traditions. So, if you’re opening your medical practice, you could purchase modern gadgets. These could be a digital stethoscope, infrared thermometer, wireless blood pressure monitor, etc. depending on your area of specialization.
Let’s not forget the importance of creating a medical practice website that’ll help your patients familiarize themselves with you virtually. If you want your business to grow, your medical practice website must have elements like an easy-to-navigate web design, a mobile responsive page, an ‘About’ section, etc. Remember that pen and paper appointment lists, records, and patient documents can get misplaced easily. That’s why it’s best if you use a management software to keep track of all your patient records and other documents in a digitized format. You could also look into automation with respect to patient scheduling.
If you’re a tech-savvy doc who prefers the convenience of everything on your phone, there are a bunch of great apps that you can use. Apps like ImmunifyMe, for instance, remove the need to pay for additional software. It helps you with appointment management, patient record management, teleconsultations, and more.
Forgetting To Research The Location
Depending on your budget, you need to find a good location for your practice. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when researching about the location for your practice:
- What is your overall budget for your medical practice?
- Do you want to have your own place or get a place on rent in a shared building?
- Is visibility from the street a priority for you?
- What is the square footage you need for your practice?
- Are you planning to expand your practice in the future?
Additionally, also think about a potential emergency situation in your clinic. If something happens to one of your patients while they’re there, how far is the nearest hospital? Will an ambulance have easy access to your clinic? Your location impacts a lot of your practice’s success. So, not considering it is definitely something you need to avoid when starting a medical practice.
Hiring The Wrong Staff
One of the most important things to consider when starting your own medical practice is finding the right staff members. Let’s face the fact that your practice won’t be run by you alone; you’ll be needing several other people for different kinds of tasks. Right from nurses, peons, and receptionists to an accountant, you’ll require all these people to make your medical practice a success. Do keep in mind that one of the best things to reduce no-patient shows in your medical practice is hiring motivated and enthusiastic staff members.
You obviously don’t want to hire people and then waste your time training every single one of them whilst also taking care of your patients. That’s why it’s best if you interview different candidates before choosing a person for any particular task. Don’t forget to consider their past working experience and do a thorough background check before confirming any staff member.
Failing To Understand Your Competitors
If you’re starting your own medical practice, you’re not only going to be a doctor there but also a business owner. There’ll be tons of responsibilities on your shoulders. Right from managing your staff members, attending to your patients, checking the finances to analyzing your clinic’s overall performance, you’ll need to do it all. While doing so, don’t forget to update yourself with the current market trends in the healthcare industry.
Make sure that you are aware of the kind of changes medical practices go through over a period of time. You also need to check the overall progress of any medical practices running near your clinic. This will help you take appropriate business decisions for yours. One of the earliest measures to take when starting your own medical practice is to choose a location or place that is not in close proximity to other competitors.
If you’re planning to have your own medical practice, you need to be well prepared. Make sure that you do your research and talk to other healthcare professionals to know what helped them have a successful business. If you’ve read the above mistakes to avoid when starting a medical practice, you are ready to start your own business. All it takes is the right mindset, proper planning, realistic goals and you’re good to go. There are several apps out there that’ll help you plan and organize your medical records. One such app is our ImmunifyMe app that’ll help you keep digitized records of your appointments and also offers telemedicine consultations!
FAQs On Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Medical Practice
What Makes A Medical Practice Successful?
One of the best things to do to make your medical practice successful is to communicate with your patients. Apart from that, having a well-behaved staff and easy scheduling of appointments online will help you have a successful medical practice.
How Can I Make My Medical Practice More Profitable?
If you want your medical practice to be more profitable, you need to ensure that you’re giving your patients good quality treatment. Here are some other things that’ll help you make your medical practice more profitable:
- Using modern medical gadgets
- Having a medical practice website
- Easy scheduling of appointments online
- Motivating your staff members
- Analyzing the overall performance of your practice
How Could Your Own Medical Practice Be Improved?
The following are some things you need to consider if you want to improve your medical practice:
- Make provisions for booking appointments online
- Attend your patients on time
- Keep your patient records in a digitized format
- Renegotiate missed appointments
- Have your own medical practice website
- Encourage your staff to be polite
How Long Does It Take To Start A Medical Practice?
Having your own medical practice can take a lot of time as there are tons of responsibilities you’ll need to take care of. It should take you around 9 to 12 months to start your own medical practice. If you don’t want to waste any time, we suggest you start planning your business and make a financial plan well in advance.