Of all the complaints coming from med students just finishing up their degrees and getting ready to make their mark on the world of medicine, the one thing you hear over and over again is the fact that they learned little or nothing about medicine as a business. In fact, medicine is one of the leading industries in this country as well as in most other developed nations and that’s why it is imperative to teach our doctors how to run a business efficiently so as to realize a bigger profit without draining patients (and insurance providers) of their last proverbial penny.
Are you a doctor just getting ready to go into private practice? If so, here are some tips to help you recognize your practice is a business and should be run like one.
The Most Important Tip of All – Your Private Practice IS a Business
Although most med students start their careers with altruistic visions of making an impact on healthcare and saving the lives of countless people, that is the focus of medicine. Your focus as a doctor in private practice is to find a way to make that care affordable while providing a tidy profit for you in the process.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to studying business administration, it would be a wise move on your part to hire an office manager or pay to have one of your office staff trained. Online would be cheapest. In fact, you could pay for advanced DNP training for your RN at Bradley University and when the course is complete, that DNP could function much like a nurse practitioner but also in an administrative role as a DNP. This would be an extremely cost effective solution that makes good business sense.
Offset the Final Cost to Patients with a Doctor of Nursing Practice
One of the principles of running a sound business is to keep your costs low so that your profit margin is bigger. But also, another core principle is keeping costs competitive for your customers, in this case it would be your patients. When you think of your private practice as a business, your patients are your customers and should be served with the same customer care as you expect when you go shopping, dine out or stay in a 5 star hotel.
When seeking to keep costs lower for your patients, the easiest way to do that would be to set up with a doctor of nursing practice working under you. You would see the most critical of patients and for maintenance and routine checkups or slight illnesses, your DNP would take over.
Raising a DNP up from the Ranks
Of course you know that any business owner will need to make investments and the best investment you can make in your private practice is the team you surround yourself with. Do you have a valued RN but not a nurse with a doctorate in nursing practice? An RN can study to be a DNP online and still work at the office. It makes good, sound business sense to pay the cost of your RN’s graduate studies online because it is an investment in your business.
You get along well with your RN, he/she knows the inner workings of your practice and would be a great addition as a fellow ‘doctor’ but without the M.D. in the title – but rather a DNP. Also bear in mind that a DNP is focused on clinical and research functions so for patients who need monitoring for chronic conditions, a DNP could provide the same services as an NP but would be able to chart symptoms for future ‘cures’ and/or treatments. Both an NP and a DNP can practice advanced nursing but your DNP would also seek broader solutions to common problems.
Remember, your private practice is a business and in order to keep your doors open to patients you must make a profit. It isn’t being mercenary, it’s just good business sense.
These tips should help you realize that you are running a business and by turning a profit you can also offer the best medical care possible. From advertising to training your staff, investments are vital so keep this in mind and soon you’ll have a lucrative practice you can be proud of.