If you are a medical or healthcare professional who is currently thinking about setting up your own private clinic or health related business, you may be wondering what the essential requirements and tasks are to get this process started. Outlined below are some key considerations.
Ensure you have the correct qualifications to operate the business
In England, for example, if you are planning on practicing as an independent doctor, surgeon, dentist, clinic, or care provider, you must register with the Care Quality Commission and check their guidance on regulations. Any person who provides regulated services and activities in healthcare (including partnerships and organisations) must register with the CQC otherwise you will be committing an offence. The CQC will assess your application and if they are satisfied that you are qualified and fit to operate will grant your registration.
Develop a business plan and obtain finance
Your business plan will need to outline the costs to set-up your practice, purchasing any specialist tools and equipment, marketing costs and a projection of turnover. This can be used to help you secure a business loan that will cover your start-up costs. “You will likely struggle to get the funding that you need to start your business with out a solid business plan” says Jamie Barwell, a consultant vascular surgeon who successfully set-up his own healthcare business, Southwest Veins, to treat patients with varicose vein problems. “So, make sure you have a clear plan outlined before approaching your bank” says Jamie.
Make sure you have the correct insurance
You’ll need to speak to various insurance providers to get advice and quotes on insurance plans for your particular healthcare sector, however, most health-related businesses are likely to need public liability insurance to cover the cost of any legal fees in the event of a compensation claim against you, employers’ liability insurance if you employ other staff members within your practice, professional indemnity insurance to help protect you against claims of malpractice, and business equipment insurance to protect your expensive specialist equipment in the event of fire or criminal damage.
Seek legal advice to ensure you are compliant in operation
Not all businesses need to consult with lawyers and legal experts to get started but anyone planning on launching a healthcare operation, where they will be dealing with members of the public and their health requirements, would be wise to ensure you are checking all compliance tick boxes and doing everything you can to protect yourself in the event of claims against you.
Purchase your specialist equipment
For most healthcare professionals, this is likely to be your most significant initial start-up cost. Carefully consider the manufacturers and models of equipment that you would like to use in your practice. It’s a strong selling point for many patients to be able to say to them that you are using the very latest, cutting-edge technology. So, be sure not to cut any corners when it comes to the technology and tools that you need to operate at the highest level. In addition to physical equipment, you will also need to consider the cost of things such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, credit card processors, furniture, and accessories for your clinic.
Recruit your clinical and support staff
It will be up to you, as the business owner, to carry out all the necessary background checks on staff that you plan to employ to assist your operation. Any staff members involved in the medical care of patients will obviously need to have the correct qualifications to do so and you will need to ensure they are trained on using your tools and equipment. In addition, you will need to think about what it is that differentiates you are a service provider to attract the best staff to come work for you. This could involve offering flexible working hours, a workplace wellness scheme, above industry standard pay, career progression and training opportunities, an air-conditioned working environment or other employment perks.
Prepare to open
Before opening your doors to the public there are various other steps you will need to ensure you have covered. This includes incorporating your business as a legal identity (advice for UK traders can be found on HMRC’s website here), developing your company policies, procedures and compliance documentation, setting up your invoicing and payments systems and hiring an accountant to deal with your tax returns.
Starting out on your own in the healthcare sector is both exciting and daunting. There are many things to consider but above all the well-being of your future patients and customers must take priority. Getting compliance and insurance issues related to this will be your first big step, followed by securing the finance to get you open. With your strong credentials, a local marketing campaign will start winning you new patients and customers in no time.