Starting a pediatric clinic is a great way for a qualified physician to improve their annual income and create a stable business that’s mutually beneficial for both themselves and the community. However, as with any serious endeavor, there are going to be inherent challenges encountered along the way, so taking the time to research and prepare is the best way to avoid unnecessary mishaps and shortcomings. With that said, here are some of the most important aspects to consider when planning the opening of your first pediatric care clinic:
1. Streamline Practice Management Processes
As the owner of a pediatric practice you’ll probably outsource much of the management tasks to clerical workers and assistants, but before you start allocating duties it would be wise to make sure you have an efficient and accurate medical practice management (MPM) software that all relevant employees have been thoroughly trained in. By establishing billing & claims processes that are based on reliable medical billing clearinghouse software, you can greatly reduce the frequency of errors without having to fully depend on a conventional clearinghouse service.
2. Network with Local Hospitals and Care Providers
Once you have the facilities and processes mapped out, you’ll want to make sure your clinic is known and well-connected in its region of operation. Most practices get the majority of their initial patients via referrals from other local healthcare providers. Ideally, you’ll want to build ongoing partnerships with surrounding hospitals and clinics. In essence, the goal is to treat the clinic like any other company in its early stages, placing a strong emphasis on networking and promoting brand awareness.
3. Certification and Accreditation
As a new clinic, you’ll need to portray the utmost professionalism and credibility, which is why scheduling accreditation and certification should always be a preliminary step taken before opening day. You may need a line of credit or help from investors to cover the cost of the clinic during the first year or two while you build up a patient base. Being accredited by the Urgent Care Association of America will ensure that both investors and prospective patients take your clinic seriously.
4. Choose a Good Open Date
Finally, now that you have all of your chips lined up, it is time to choose a specific date to open. In general, it’s best to open your doors before the beginning of the school season. Although the summer is the slowest time of year for pediatric clinics, by launching well in advance of the fall you’ll have the best chance of gaining local notoriety before the busiest time of year hits.
Set Modest Annual Goals
In closing, it’s important to keep in mind that the average cost of a recently established pediatric clinic runs about $800,000+ per year, and it’s normal for practices to operate at a loss or barely break even for the first year or two. As such, you should try to set realistic and achievable goals for each year and don’t expect instant success from the beginning.