Setting Up A Medical Practice: A Comprehensive Checklist
Setting up a Medical Practice: A comprehensive checklist
Considering starting your own medical practice? Setting up your own medical practice can be a daunting procedure. There are a myriad of aspects to carefully consider before you can hit the ground running and set up your profitable practice for success. At CRT Network Solutions, we’ve helped numerous medical practices with their setup procedures. We understand the process, which is why we’ve compiled a helpful checklist to help highlight the most crucial aspects to take into consideration when opening your own medical practice. Following these steps may help you overcome core issues you encounter as you become a new practice owner.
1. Consider The Location Of Your Medical Practice
When deciding on a location of your medical practice it is important to consider visibility. For example, people passing by the practice could be potential patients. Situating the practice near other health facilities such as: pathologists, pharmacies or hospitals will also help generate new patients. Shop-front locations are highly desirable as they have the potential to provide new patients due to high visibility and foot-traffic. Additionally, if you are buying or leasing a building, you will need to consider space requirements and a design for the layout of your office.
Another thing many people don’t consider is future expansion and growth of your practice. Whilst a decision to expand relies on financial aspects, it is important to remember that space is a key consideration when starting a new practice.
Having decided on the key selection criteria for your medical practice’s location, you can now narrow down core areas/suburbs of interest. You may also need to check surrounding areas in case you have narrowed your desired locations down too tightly. Once you have determined the area in which you wish to start your practice, you need to investigate possible options and the relevant requirements. Local council planning departments can provide advice regarding zoning regulations, car parking requirements and the approval processes required for operating a general practice in your chosen location.
Consult with two or more real estate agents regarding potential properties for developing a medical practice. There may be projects under consideration that would welcome a medical practice as a key tenant.
2. Create A Business Plan
Putting together a realistic and profitable business plan is the essential first step for any medical practice in the making. By having a plan in place, your medical practice is more equipped for obtaining financing from banks and investors. It is also essential for tracking and delivering on long term goals for growth and expansion.
A thorough business plan requires a strong financial component, taking into account key legislation and law around running a small business. Your practice should be profitable and adhering to all the laws regarding small businesses, so that it may be successful. You will need to obtain various licenses and memberships to practice within an area as provided by the government and other medical governing bodies. The Australian Government offers several benefits for small businesses.
3. Financing and Insurance
Once you have a profitable business plan in place, approaching potential investors and banks for financing is your next step. Compared to purchasing an existing practice, starting a medical practice from the ground up is far more affordable. Your capital will need to be able to cover the cost of premises, technology, equipment and hiring staff. Regardless of the type of medical practice you are setting up, investing in medical indemnity insurance should be a crucial step on your checklist. Establishing compliance policies and procedures regarding patient care and staff training will minimise some risk, however – insurance provides significant protection.
4. Establish Practice Policies
Prevention is always better than cure, and so in setting up your practice, implementing clear policies and best practices is key in preventing any sort of liabilities.
These policies range from appropriate staff behaviour to proper equipment handling and effective management. Establishing procedures beforehand is what can make or break your practice, and so being clear and concise is imperative.
5. Building A Medical Practice Team
Once you’ve set up the previous components, you need to look at staffing your practice. Hiring competent staff whose values align with that of the practice is very important for the practice to run smoothly and efficiently. This includes hiring a reliable practice manager. A practice manager often will have little contact with patients and their role generally covers aspects of management, business, finance, HR and marketing. It is also crucial to continuously work on staff training as your staff sets the standard for your practice in the way they interact with themselves and the patients.
It is important to consolidate and identify all of the equipment that you will need in order to stick to the budget that you have set for opening your medical practice. You will need to consider all the types of equipment that will be required, such as:
- Office Equipment – This includes fax machines, stationary, copiers, scanners.
- Telephone Systems – Many medical practices use key systems to manage a number of external phone lines, fax lines, internal extensions and answering machines.
- Clinical Equipment – This refers to stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, scales etc.
- Emergency Equipment – The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides a number of items to doctors for use in an emergency at no cost. Because these drugs are for the use by a specified doctor they can not be ‘pooled’ within the practice.
- IT Equipment – A new medical practice will need display screens, computers, printers. Here, at CRT Network Solutions, we supply a wide range of IT equipment for medical practices.
7. IT Software and Support
One area often overlooked when trying to set up a new business practice is IT infrastructure. With the right technological infrastructure, your practice can securely manage patient information, efficiently organise appointments and follow ups, provide convenient communication between staff and patients, monitor the financial accounting in the practice and manage the billing aspect of your practice.
A major concern exists however in choosing the right IT infrastructure for your practice; not all technologies work the same for all practices. To analyse the changes needed to implement the right infrastructure, Leavitt Diamond can be used. Leavitt Diamond consists of four components that assess the four cornerstones of a business and how they interact with each other for efficiency. If done correctly, it can determine the best way to implement IT infrastructure in accordance with the practice’s tasks, structure and employees/patients.
Our company is skilled in providing our customers with holistic, turnkey IT solutions for all their medical practice needs. We specialise in medical software and are the preferred contractors for the bigger medical software companies such as:
✓ Best Practice ✓ Medical Director
✓ Blue Chip ✓ Zedmed
✓ Practix ✓ RX
✓ Pracsoft ✓ Genie Medical
We can cover all your IT infrastructure needs to set up your medical practice. We cater specially for New Medical Practice IT Setup & Support.
Why Choose Us For Your IT Software & Support?
CRT ensures your backups are secure and integral by performing routine test restores of your data.
CRT provides 24/7 around the clock monitoring of your server keeping systems secure and efficient.
CRT will monitor your firewall always ensuring your systems are kept safe and secure.
CRT will ensure that there are no bottlenecks on your network hindering speed and efficiency of your medical programs.
CRT have a managed enterprise grade Anti Virus that will protect your PC’S , SERVER’S and Network from attacks from the outside world.
CRT follows strict processes to comply with accreditation standards. We can help you achieve accreditation for your practice.
Network IT Policy
CRT will help you develop an IT policy that adheres to medical standards for your staff.
CRT maintains a high level of availability to trained staff that are always ready to take your call.