These days, a great patient experience is multi-dimensional; it lives as much in your technology, your architecture and your waiting area as it does in your quality of clinical care.
When a patient enters your practice, you want them to feel a delicate mix of comfortable and confident in their surroundings, to foster trust and minimise waiting-room anxiety.
Below we have outlined a few things that will help prepare you to get your specialist practice up and running.
Finding a space
Medical practice location is important. We recommend conducting some competitor research to ensure you can generate demand for your specialty services in the area. It’s better to set up somewhere with a need for practices in your niche, than compete with neighbouring practices for the same business.
Next, you’ll need to find a space to practice.
Our research suggests opting for more space than you think you’ll need. It might help to make a list of all the items you may need space for in your consulting room, such as:
- A room big enough for a bed and a desk
- Somewhere for your patient to change
- Enough space to comfortably work around your patient, and if needed, bring in equipment
- Power to run diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound machines
- A nurse’s station
All about your Practice fit-out
Once you’ve chosen your space, you’ll need to think about fit-out.
It’s important to understand the legal and regulatory requirements – for example, rooms used for minor surgical procedures need to be accredited to ensure flooring, surfaces and walls are fit-for-purpose.
The Australasian Health Infrastructure Alliance (AHIA) offers comprehensive guidelines on the planning, design and setup of healthcare facilities.
You can also pay a specialised consultant to fit-out your space to regulatory standards, maximise the use of space, and ensure comfort for you, your staff, and your patients. A good fit-out can increase the amount of space you have for consultations, so you can see more patients – sooner, reduce waitlists, increase your cashflow, and improve the patient experience – all at once!
Genie Solutions works with trusted businesses who specialise in fit-outs for practices just like yours.
Fill your rooms
We can’t promise it will be a fun and stress-free time for you, but you’ll also need to invest in the day-to-day essentials needed to run a practice.
Get the ball rolling on the basics, like phones and phone numbers, email addresses and all the devices you’ll need to communicate with your patients, GPs, Medicare and private health funds.
This includes EFTPOS facilities and HICAPs, used in Allied Health for outpatient billing.
We’ve partnered with Ezidebit, Australia’s leading payments company, to bring our customers Patient Payments. Patient Payments quickly transfers the payment amount from your EFTPOS terminal to your Genie Solutions software, automatically receipting and seamlessly reconciling the payment. This reduces user keying errors and the time required to fix them.
Logistics and more
You’ll also need to make a list of office and practice supplies, such as bins for medical waste, dedicated sharps disposal for needles etc.
- Computers and printers
- Security cameras, alarms and security protocols for staff (to protect them in the event they feel threatened by a patient, or need immediate assistance)
- Staff and patient confidentiality training in line with the Australian National Privacy Principles
- Fire accreditations – varied in each state
- Toilet facilities for able-bodied and disabled patients
- Disabled access to your premises
- Consider outsourcing office-maintenance services, such as cleaning
Your clinic location and space are crucial for the day-to-day workflow of your medical practice. Take your time with your decision and research a lot. Make sure you know the legal and regulatory requirements to fill your practice and keep in mind a well thought-out fit out can ultimately increase your cashflow.
Want to learn more about getting your practice up and running? Check out our New to Private Practice Guide