For some physicians, there’s no question as to whether you want to start a practice of your own or work for a hospital.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to be in control of the care your patients receive and you desire a level of autonomy that isn’t possible when you’re working for someone else.
Although it’s an exciting and ultimately rewarding path to start down, it can also be quite challenging, especially in the beginning.
Here are some of the considerations you should be aware of when you’re ready to take the plunge.
Give yourself enough time
A common mistake that many new physicians make is not allowing an adequate amount of time for the process. You should give yourself six months.
Keep in mind that your urgency may not be matched by the other people and agencies that are involved. For example, you’ll probably need to rely on the services of real estate agents and lawyers who probably won’t share your timeline.
It’ll also take some time to figure out the technology needs of your new office.
You don’t want to make important decisions while feeling rushed, so be generous with your timetable.
Create a realistic financial plan
You can’t start a practice without money.
Most often this will require the services of a lender.
It can be tricky to determine how much you need to borrow.
If you don’t borrow enough, you’ll quickly find yourself in trouble. Too much can be a dangerous situation, as well.
You’ll want to have a plan in place before you even get to the point where you’re ready to get a loan.
Some factors that need your attention are:
- The specific services that you’ll be offering.
- Your space requirements.
- The cost of your electronic health records system.
- Your marketing needs.
- What your payer mix will be.
Try to calculate what your first year of expenses will be. It may be necessary to seek the help of a financial planner.
Be wise about hiring and firing
Finding the right employees to staff your practice is extremely important.
Hiring people who don’t share your vision for your practice can end up being costly when you take into account the time that it takes to train them in your IT system and the other procedures.
You also need to consider the fact that you’ll be working with these people every day and that they will have significant interactions with your future patients.
Choose the right technology
Technology has gone through major advances and it’s resulting in higher quality patient care.
By this point, you’ve probably had a fair amount of experience with electronic health record software.
As you begin the process of deciding which EHR is right for you and your practice, you may want to do a little research into what programs are being used in your area.
As time goes on, it’s important that your system is able to communicate with the systems of other providers and that you find a vendor with a product that meets your needs.
Medipro can help you determine exactly what will work best for your practice.
You’re also running a business
It’s no longer taboo to look at your practice as a business.
Ignoring that fact can result in a disappointing experience and, possibly, a medical office that never truly gets off the ground.
Don’t be afraid to contact a business advisor to help you deal with this aspect of running your own practice.
The bottom line
Most likely, you became a physician because you cared about helping people in their time of need.
When the task of starting your own practice seems overwhelming, keep in mind that all the preparation and decisions that need to be handled are working toward allowing you to care for people.