As a healthcare professional, you may be concerned about the business side of launching an independent practice. You may have even heard myths about starting a new medical practice. There are a number of misconceptions about primary care, healthcare technology, and the business aspect of a practice that should be cleared up so you can optimize your practice for success from day one.
The Marketing Myth
Myth: A new practice does not need to market to attract patients.
Reality: While many patients will find the new medical practice through word-of-mouth, you will need to employ marketing strategies to let people know you are available to see new patients. In today’s digital environment, individuals typically use the internet to search for healthcare providers, reading online reviews and checking out the information on the practice’s website and social media posts. You need to establish a positive and professional online presence, while employing marketing strategies that will properly position your new medical practice in your community.
The EHR Myth
Myth: The electronic health record (EHR) is time consuming, mostly because only the independent physician can enter patient data into their record.
Reality: EHRs can make your new medical practice more efficient and help you provide higher quality, value-based care seamlessly and effectively. Independent physicians use computerized provider order entry (CPOE) to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve care quality by submitting orders in the EHR.
All members of your care team, including clinical and clerical staff can pend or send orders per the physician’s instruction. The Medicaid EHR incentive program states that “any licensed health care provider or a medical staff person who is a credentialed medical assistant or is credentialed to and performs the duties equivalent to a credentialed medical assistant can enter orders in the medical record, per state, local and professional guidelines.”
Elation Health offers you a full service solution for starting your new medical practice.
The Burnout Myth
Myth: There’s nothing to be done about the inevitable burnout that comes from running an independent practice.
Reality: Burnout is an issue among healthcare providers, affecting family physicians at rates that are higher than average. However, there are steps you can take to manage or prevent burnout as you start your new medical practice. Burnout is typically an effect of stress, which can be managed through self-awareness and mindfulness training, for example.
Remember the reason you are starting a new medical practice. Focus on what means the most to you and your patients. When you are more satisfied with your work, and the quality of your work is reflected in your patient outcomes, the likelihood of burnout can be significantly reduced.
The Patient Experience Myth
Myth: Patients care about their overall experience during the office visit and not about the physician interaction.
Reality: As an independent physician, you have a major influence on the quality of the patient experience in your practice. Your manner of communication, the time you spend with the patient, and the empathy and compassion you extend to the patient’s support network can all determine the level of patient satisfaction. In addition, your actions will set the precedent for the overall patient experience within your practice.
The Business Expertise Myth
Myth: You have to know how to run a business to run a successful independent practice.
Reality: When you are making plans to start your new medical practice, you have many resources that can help you with the business side of providing value-based healthcare as an independent physician. You are a healthcare professional and do not necessarily need to have business experience or expertise to run a successful practice. You just have to know who to call when you need help with administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, billing, and revenue management.