After a particularly difficult year for public health officials in the United States and around the world, due in the largest of parts to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the healthcare industry is starting to get back to some semblance of normality. With a vaccine on the way and a new health-focused administration soon to be sworn in, the first act of the new presidency will be to take the fight to COVID-19 and eradicate it from the U.S. populace. Until now, the healthcare industry has just about coped with the sudden high demand, and many sectors of it have repurposed their objectives in a bid to help combat the virus. With COVID-19 on the back-foot, it stands to reason that the industry will once again grow and offer opportunities to managers looking to run an effective healthcare practice once more.
Before looking into some ideas on how best to achieve that, it’s worth remembering first that healthcare is a huge industry, encompassing a diverse range of sectors. Physical healthcare, virology, biotechnology, personal injury law, dental care, mental health, pharmaceuticals, paramedics, first response, surgery, and cosmetic care are just a few of the different portions that fall under this particular banner. When it comes to running a particular practice, remember that there is a myriad of fields that you may have to interact with in some measure. Researching every step of the way is, therefore, the first bit of advice for anyone looking to be involved in healthcare management. Beyond that, here are a few more ideas.
Consider healthcare as a business.
In all likelihood, the type of practice that you’re going to be running will be a private one. Private practices, which can consist of one or a group of healthcare practitioners, will usually each have their own office in which to practice medicine. Alternatively, they’ll exist within a larger healthcare environment, such as a hospital or university. However, whilst they work closely with them, private practices are separate entities from the larger environment and are accountable and responsible for themselves. Therefore, there is plenty of room for leadership.
As it pertains to your involvement, the chances are that (unless you have a medical PhD) you aren’t going to be providing any form of medical care. You should still have compassion, but medical treatment will be best left to the health care providers who have years of experience and are fully qualified. However, you can still have a hand in making your practice the best practice there is. Consider running the practice in the same way that you would run any business, with incentivized goals and objectives for your workers. Draw up a list of objectives and key results (otherwise known as OKR) in the same way that any other business would. Obviously, it isn’t a business (and the Hippocratic oath of “first, do no harm” with the demand that practitioners do not sacrifice the standard of care to meet key results). Having a structured workplace, with an alignment of goals through OKRs, rewards success and thus drives up patient numbers helping the practice not only expand but to be more effective too.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of OKRs, or the idea of how to implement OKRs is alien to you, then Workboard has OKR training software available. With Workboard’s OKR coach training software, you can teach yourself not only how to come up with a list of goals to take your practice forward but allow your staff to feel integrated into the plan. OKRs are used in every thriving business, so they may as well be used in the healthcare industry too—especially if it helps your staff help more people. Check out Workboard’s website for more details on this software.
Offer something unique.
As stated earlier, there are many forms that the healthcare industry takes. However, there are also many forms that healthcare itself can take. There are specialists for every organ in the human body and fields related to every illness and condition known to strike each one. Doctors and practitioners spend years of training in particular fields in the pursuit of being able to provide the right patient care depending on the condition. Medical oncology, for instance, is a completely different field to pediatrics, even though there will be occasions where there is a collision between the two. It’s, therefore, a good idea to ensure that some of your professionals have particular expertise in a specific field or two, and then your practice as a whole can offer a wider range of services.
That said, you can afford to go the other way with this idea too, and become renowned as a practice of specialists in one particular field. Such an example of this is how Regional Cancer Care Associates offer cancer treatment in Pompton Plains, NJ. Whilst their oncology care is what they’re known for, they also have the ability to pool their collective knowledge and research newer forms of cancer treatment. As Regional Cancer Care Associates are known for oncology, your practice can also be known for providing for a particular need.
Beyond Physical Health
In addition to the options provided by having so many fields of physical healthcare, your options also extend beyond the norm too. Like Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, a dentist in New Brunswick, NJ, you could choose to form a practice in dentistry or choose to set up in an alternative, lesser covered field like mental health therapy, chiropractic services, or cosmetics.
Remember that the most of same rules apply across the whole of healthcare. As Moore Law Firm, a personal injury attorney in Mobile, AL can attest to, medical malpractice covers all forms of healthcare, from cosmetic to life-altering surgery. Incidentally, it’s best to ensure that the legal side of your practice is covered as well—medical insurance should one of the first things you take out when you set up or take over running a practice of any type.
Healthcare In Today’s World
Until COVID-19 is gone completely, you should expect to see some more changes in the industry. Some alternative versions of healthcare have already become commonplace, such as the emergence of telemedicine to prevent in-person appointments until social distancing becomes less restrictive.
There are plenty of other things you need to know about healthcare in the U.S. that make it different from the rest of the world (such as that healthcare isn’t free at the point of use). The bottom line is this, however. If you run a practice, the benefits are likely to show in the long term, but only after the hard work of today has paid off.