A new young physician fresh out of medical school may not have thought too much yet about the business end of running his practice, but he must! Here are certain aspects of the setting shop that a doctor must consider.
Many new physicians find that joining someone else’s practice initially makes good fiscal sense. Becoming part of an existing practice means that there’s going to be a steady inflow of new patients to help establish a newcomer’s patient base. Office staff and other overhead expenses are shared. The doctor isn’t so pressed with having to quickly learn the business end of his profession.
If a doctor insists on opening his own individual practice, he would be a good idea to locate in an established medical office building with other health care professionals nearby to offer advice and make referrals.
If the doctor is practicing on his own, he should allow himself 3-4 months’ preparation time to make sure all his ducks are in a row before that first patient walks in the door. Getting all the necessary furnishings and equipment is a key priority, as is hiring staff.
One of the basic errors that business owners make isn’t spending enough time working ON their business. Too many people spend their time working in their business without looking up to find out which direction it is heading. If you do not take time to steer your ship, it will crash. You need to set aside time on a weekly basis to think about the business and go over each area weighing up what aspects need attention.
A doctor must not forget that the right sort of software will make all the difference in running a paperless and efficient business, so he should seize the time to research and shop around. Outsourcing tasks such as charge and medical transcription are great ways to take a number of the onus off of office staff.
If a new doctor is well prepared and covers all of his business bases before opening his doors, he’ll be in a position to better focus on what he went to school for: taking care of patients.