Healthcare Staffing and Location Essentials for Launching a Private Practice
For staff doctors venturing into independent practice, success requires careful planning and strategic decision-making. Fortunately, there are consultants who can help navigate the legal and regulatory requirements of starting a private practice. Then there are the many considerations that go into finding the right location. Just as critical, doctors need to find the right staff to support their practice in the chosen location and help it thrive. There’s help available here, too. Physicians can rely on healthcare staffing agencies and locum tenens support as resources for an efficient and effective practice launch.
According to the AMA, the number of private practice doctors has dropped 13 percent over the past decade, with many now having at least some hospital or health system ownership or private equity investment. Most of these physicians cite increased costs and administrative burdens along with the ability to negotiate more favorable payer rates as reasons to make the change. While it may seem like going into private practice is bucking a trend, it’s still the province of the 44 percent of physicians who are self-employed. For those who seek independence and the ability to establish a practice of their own, below are some tips on how to get started efficiently.
How Can Doctors Staff Up Successfully Ahead of Launching a Practice?
Building a competent and well-rounded team is fundamental to the success of a practice. The AMA provides resources for new practices that can guide doctors in what to consider when choosing staff needs. The key to meeting the needs of the practice is having the right qualified support staff – both clinical and administrative – that break down into three types of roles needed to get a practice off the ground.
1. Clinical Support Staff
Clinical support staff can include nurses, medical assistants, and receptionists. These individuals are integral to providing quality patient care, managing administrative tasks, and maintaining efficient practice operations.
Doctors should seek experienced candidates who have a patient-centered approach.
2. Office Management and Administrative Staff
Hiring staff members who are proficient in handling scheduling, billing, medical records, and other administrative tasks is crucial for an efficiently run office.
Attention to detail, organizational skills, and knowledge of healthcare regulations are desirable qualities in these team members.
3. Collaborative Healthcare Professionals
A network of collaborative healthcare professionals, such as specialists, psychologists, and physiotherapists, can enhance the comprehensive care offered to patients.
Doctors should consider establishing strong professional relationships and referral networks with these specialists to provide optimal care and treatment options to their patients.
How Can Doctors Leverage a Healthcare Staffing Agency to Start a New Practice?
Healthcare staffing agencies have a thorough knowledge of what’s going on in the industry. They understand the labor market and regulatory requirements. That knowledge equips them to advise on how to optimize workforce deployment and staff cost-efficiently.
Clearly Communicate Practice Needs and Expectations
Partner on identifying the specific requirements, preferences, and expectations for each staff position to develop comprehensive job descriptions.
Collaborate with Recruiters in the Selection Process
Actively participate in the candidate selection process by reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and providing feedback. Open communication and collaboration will ensure that the most appropriate candidates are identified and considered.
Consider Using Locum Tenens Physicians
Locum tenens physicians can provide valuable support and flexibility to a new practice. The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations provides resources and information on using locum tenens physicians. The multiple benefits to using locum tenens as resources when launching a new practice include:
a trial period for potential hires to assess their clinical skills, compatibility with the practice culture, and patient interaction style. This trial period can help identify potential permanent hires.
access to specialized skills and expertise because locum tenens physicians often have diverse experiences and expertise in various medical fields. Doctors can leverage their specialized skills to expand the range of services offered by the practice and enhance patient care.
coverage for temporary staffing gaps due to vacations, maternity leaves, or unexpected staff absences to ensure continuity of patient care and practice operations.
What Are the Essential Considerations for Locating a New Practice?
Next up is finding the right spot. In any enterprise, knowing what your clients or customers want is crucial for ensuring its long-term survival. This is especially the case when it comes to medical organizations. Selecting the right location is paramount to the success of a practice. To do that, it’s important to understand what services are currently available in the area to meet the needs of the population, what that implies for staffing, and what facilities are available to meet the needs of the practice’s patients.
Patient Demographics and Needs
Understanding the specific healthcare needs of the community, such as age groups, prevalent health conditions, and cultural diversity, will help tailor services to meet those needs.
Competition and Market Analysis
Identifying the number of similar practices, their services, and patient volumes will help in understanding the level of saturation in the market. Conducting a comprehensive market analysis can identify any gaps or underserved areas to target and can help inform staffing decisions.
Accessibility and Convenience
Proximity to public transportation, parking facilities, and the overall convenience of the location are important considerations for patients. Ensuring easy access to the practice will help attract and retain a larger patient base.
Infrastructure and Facilities
Evaluating the availability of necessary infrastructure and facilities, such as medical equipment, office space, and supportive healthcare services can reveal whether a location can accommodate needs for patient care.
Starting a practice is an exciting and ambitious goal that requires careful consideration of location, staffing needs and effective recruitment strategies. Leveraging consultants, including healthcare staffing agencies, can streamline the process and set up a new practice for success.