5 Tips for starting a specialist practice
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5 Tips for starting a specialist practice

Congratulations, you’re about to start your own specialist practice! But do you really understand what it takes to build positive cash flow? Or develop the right infrastructure to protect sensitive patient data?

In this article, we take a look at some of the key considerations you need to make in order to set up a profitable specialist practice, while enabling more personalised, patient-centric outcomes.

Cash flow, tax and accounting

Starting a specialist practice can be exciting, but without the right financial, tax and accounting advice, you might be setting yourself up for a tough road ahead. Leasing the right premises, specialist equipment, IT infrastructure and staff, can quickly add up, so before you invest in your specialist practice, obtain medical-specialist financial advice.

This way, you can understand exactly how much you have – and how much you might need as finance in order to set up and maintain a practice that is sustainable – and scalable.

Legal, insurances and policies

Specialist practices are highly accountable, so it’s vital you take the time to understand all the legal implications of starting up your specialist practice, along with getting the right medical indemnity insurances in place to protect your practice.

It’s also prudent to have legal counsel to assist with drafting and implementing employment contracts and internal policy and procedural documents pertaining to patient data security, staff behavior, equipment management, occupational health and safety and risk mitigation management.

Attracting and retaining the right talent

A great specialist practice that delivers patient-centric care is run by healthcare professionals that are passionate and dedicated to better health outcomes. So take the time to attract and retain a positive, hard working, accountable and passionate team around you that can help amplify the vision for your specialist practice.

Meanwhile having the right Practice Manager that is digitally savvy and patient-outcome oriented is vital to ensuring your practice runs efficiently, securely and seamlessly as your patient flow continues to grow.

Add your practice to GP referral directories

GP referral directories like Healthshare’s are comprehensive and include the details of every private practicing Specialist in Australia, but Specialist practitioners shouldn’t assume that their information is automatically updated across all referral directories.

Integrated into MedicalDirector since 2014 and Helix in 2018, Healthshare’s Specialist Referrals Directory is accessible to approximately 65% of GPs Australia-wide when referring patients to a Specialist.
But while Healthshare’s directory includes the details of every private practicing Specialist in Australia, practitioners shouldn’t assume that their information is automatically up-to date across all referral directories. GPs legacy address books are not automatically updated, nor do they allow specialists to differentiate their unique services or the reputation they have worked hard to build.

Business Unit Manager, Practitioner Solutions at Healthshare, Rhys Staley recommends Specialists verify their details at least a few times a year. This is particularly important when you’ve changed your details when starting your own practice.

“It is common for Specialists to add new practice locations, upload patient ratings, update their qualifications and add additional special interest areas so we always advise them to verify their details with Healthshare,” he says.

Another benefit of verifying these details is that the reach for Specialists extends beyond MedicalDirector GP software. The directory is also available on Healthshare’s consumer platform, visited by over half a million patients and consumers per month, and in the Practitioner Directories of Australia’s leading Private Health Insurers.

Future-proof your new practice with the right IT infrastructure

Starting your practice with a robust, innovative and secure IT infrastructure can ensure you seamlessly manage day-to-day workflow and appointments, cash flow and protect sensitive patient information.

Cloud-based specialist software solutions like MedicalDirector’s BlueChip, offer everything from complex invoicing to securing sensitive patient data. You can also reduce no-shows with Blue-Chip’s automated SMS reminders and alerts, to help keep your patient booking flow more efficient. You can quickly view appointments and manage all your reporting using its automated reporting tools.

Importantly, having the right technology from the outset is essential to empower your specialist practice as it grows, and the right, scalable solution can help you achieve your vision for your practice and your patients in a sustainable and seamless way.

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