When physicians decide to pursue an independent medical practice, they move from just physicians to entrepreneurs. Running a healthcare clinic requires them to deliver the best patient care and navigate how to keep the business (clinic) operating. They are now burdened with revenue generation and optimizing the cost of managing the practice.
Entrepreneurship in healthcare is a path that some doctors eventually encounter. Entrepreneurial skills are inherent or learned as healthcare professionals. Hence, physicians need to take time out to study and master running a successful business. This article highlights five entrepreneurial lessons physicians need to learn to succeed in business.
Lesson 1: Embody an attitude of continuous learning, and study medicine's business side and innovations.
Entrepreneurship requires a firm grasp of theories, concepts, and practical business applications. Venturing into a business requires serious thought, thorough research, and controlled experimentation. Healthcare entrepreneurs often encounter problems such as revenue generation, marketing strategies, branding, innovations, patient relations, and more. To learn how to overcome these, they will need to study hard.
Fortunately, physicians are trained to be research experts, from medical school to full-time practice. They can maximize this training and study habit to learn the field and intricacies of entrepreneurship easily.
Entrepreneurship education aids doctors in acquiring or affirming their basic knowledge of doing business in the healthcare system. It can usher in innovations and new ways to satisfy the demands of a modern patient population and keep your practice running and improving for as long as possible.
Some even consider enrolling for a master's degree in business to gain a formal education on how to run a business. Alternatively, a short online business course is worthwhile and requires less commitment than an MBA. You can also opt for reading books and materials about entrepreneurship and the work and experience of others to gain more knowledge on how to be a successful healthcare entrepreneur.
Lesson 2: Tap into your other natural entrepreneurial skills and develop them.
Besides putting hard work into studying, physicians also possess other entrepreneurial skills because of their profession. They can tap into these skills and hone them to help keep the medical business operational. These skills include:
- Identifying and solving problems,
- Risk and cost assessment and management,
- Interpersonal skills,
- Critical thinking during uncertain times.
Physicians are trained on a daily to be solution-oriented. For example, a patient-centric care model trains doctors not to administer medication or treatment that, presumably, fits all. They need to consider the input of the patient and their families to come up with the appropriate healthcare solution. They are great at assessing risks and evaluating the costs of many possible scenarios.
These skills are essential in driving a business enterprise, making physicians a good fit for entrepreneurship opportunities in the healthcare industry. Ideally, their academic and professional background provides a good foundation for running a successful business.
Lesson 3: Ensure effective communication while running your practice and business.
Entrepreneurship opportunities can only flow seamlessly into medical practice with effective communication. Hence, effective communication is a crucial undertaking in the healthcare business. It helps doctors and clinic staff work as a team while engaging patients in healthcare management. When physicians are more effective in communicating with patients and business partners, they build a strong foundation for their business success.
Lesson 4: Invest in a modern, patient-centric practice management system and software.
Another wise entrepreneurial lesson is to use a practice management system with patient-centric software that has the most cost-efficient features. Many software applications have already considered what doctors need to run a medical practice, including the tools to increase revenue and patronage and save on operational costs. Practice management systems help doctors conveniently run their operations and maintain their clinics all through one platform.
For example, Curogram is a leading patient-centric software that helps healthcare providers master the art of patient engagement and front-desk efficiency. It offers 2-way text messaging that reduces the volume of phone calls by up to 50% and customizable appointment reminders that reduce patient no-shows by up to 75%. It integrates with all known electronic medical records (EMRs). Implementing Curogram with a practice management system realizes every physician's entrepreneurial ideas and solves major concerns, such as reputation, brand building, HIPAA compliance, and decreasing overhead.
Lesson 5: Be patient, breathe and relax.
Patience is one of the essential virtues physicians typically exercise when providing patient-centered healthcare. It helps them achieve optimal solutions to health problems and withstand hardships that come along the way. In business, doctors need to gather more of it.
Success in healthcare entrepreneurship requires patience. Positive business results may not come soon. Entrepreneurs may wait months for their companies to gain profit. Sometimes it takes years. Business and medicine are challenging fields. Patience is the primary ‘bulletproof’ virtue medical entrepreneurs need to survive the challenges.
To succeed in medical entrepreneurship, you will need to listen to patients, collaborate and empathize with them, and implement measures that cater to their satisfaction. These increase patient retention and contribute to business growth and increased revenue. It is safe to say then that the success of a physician entrepreneur depends on how much of the practice is patient-centered.