Steps to Opening a New Medical Practice: Part One
Opening a new medical practice can be a daunting task, but the process is simple when following the right steps. This three-part blog post series will walk through the necessary steps your practice should consider prior to opening.
Step 1: Where to Begin / Choose an EMR Wisely
You are looking to open your new medical practice, but don’t know where to begin. You have your office space picked out, and now you need to set it all up. But where to start? First, you should decide on an EMR (Electronic Medical Record) to run your practice. There are numerous things to think about when looking. You want something that is not too expensive, as you are trying to build your revenue stream and not go broke in the process. You also need software that will grow as you grow. Finally, you want something easy to learn and use. As you already are heavily involved in starting a new business, you don’t want to get bogged down with a difficult EMR startup:
- Cost Effective
- Easy to Learn
- Easy to Use
There are many EMRs on the market, but only a handful that are developed for small to mid-level practices. You should schedule a demonstration of the software to make sure it meets your needs. When choosing one, please consider the following:
- Do they offer a free trial?
- Do they offer some free training?
- Do they have implementation specialists familiar with new practice startup?
- Do they offer Practice Management software or billing options?
Part two of this blog post series reviews how you can determine the needs of your practice and develop a plan to ensure you run it properly.
Step 2: Determine Your Needs
Once you have started working with a salesperson from an EMR company, ask them if you can speak to an implementation specialist regarding getting started. Usually this person can help as a consultant to help you create a plan on running the practice and ensure don’t overspend on services or hardware you do not need. There are several things to consider as you startup:
- How will you be billing (insurance vs. cash based / fee for service)?
- Will you employ a medical biller or use an outside service?
- Will you need a cloud based EMR or do you prefer office hosted?
- What kind of hardware/tools will your new practice need?
How Will You Handle Billing?
One of the biggest considerations when starting your new medical practice is how you will be paid. Some business owners prefer to start with a “Cash Pay” option, where your patients pay for each visit as they come in. Others choose to hire an internal biller who manages payments through a practice management software. Many choose to use an outside billing service to manage claims. Have a conversation with your implementation specialist to determine which option is best for you and your practice.
How Will You Host Your Data?
Another item to consider is how best to host your software. Many practices are moving to cloud based or cloud hosted EMRS. Others are sticking with the conventional “Office Hosted” option, where your database is stored on your practice’s main computer or server. Again, please discuss what option is best for you with your implementation specialist. They will help you determine what option will be right for you, as well as what hardware would be required to make your office run smoothly. It is very important to know what software and tools you will be using in your office prior to purchasing hardware so you do not overspend, or buy equipment that is not suitable for your needs.
Part three of this blog post series will review your decision-making process and walkthrough final steps to make before opening your practice.
Step 3: Opening Your Practice
Now that you have chosen your EMR, determined your billing option, established what tools/hardware and additional software you need, now it is time to put it all together. You may decide to hire an IT person to set up your computers and network for you, or maybe you can set up your computers yourself, and have your ISP (Internet Service Provider) configure your network for you. Then you can reach out to your EMR sales executive and implementation specialist to set up and install your software package(s). You should schedule your new staff people to come in and work with your implementation person to get you and the staff trained and ready to go. Some EMRs offer some free training options (webinars, videos, etc.), and others may offer paid training options (onsite or remote) as well. Once all of your equipment is installed, and you and your staff are trained, you are ready to open.
Visit Our Dedicated New Practice Page
Opening a new practice is a big undertaking; we collected useful information and a few key recommendations to help out as you embark on this journey. It can be helpful to establish a plan to execute your first steps in the proper sequence, once you know which tasks are prerequisites for others. This helps keep your startup on schedule and helps avoid costly delays. We hope the information we collected here can help you make key start up decisions with confidence and in a timely manner. Our team can help eliminate the headaches of opening a practice so you can enjoy the personal and professional satisfaction that comes with this exciting stage of your career.
Amazing Charts Medical Practice Consultants are here to help! Click here to visit our dedicated New Practice page for materials to assist you with what you should know and be aware of when opening your new practice.