May 17, 2020

Six insider business tips to consider when opening a private medical practice

3 min
Six milestones to consider when opening a private medical practice.jpg
Here are six considerations you should make while journeying to become your own boss. Carefully Consider What to Name Your Business Most physicians use...

Here are six considerations you should make while journeying to become your own boss. 

Carefully Consider What to Name Your Business

Most physicians use their own names when naming their private medical practices, following that with their speciality (MD or PhD). Although there are positive effects to naming your private practice like this -- self branding makes sure that no one else has the same name -- there are negatives ones, too. The major negative effect is the impact your name will have if you want to sell your practice in the future. If you've self-branded it, it'll require a re-branding by whomever purchases it. Here are a few common questions to ask yourself when naming: 

  • Do I want my location or city name included? 
  • What logo do I want to incorporate? 
  • How important is it to include my own name?
  • Is there practice name I want available? 
  • Is the domain name I want available? 
Carefully Consider All Elements of Your Business Plan 

Sure, you graduated from med school, but you'll have to develop a business-like mind when opening your own private practice. Developing a business plan is an important step to successfully starting your new business. A business plan will help you make major decisions about your business's services, structures, pricing, and more. If you're asking the bank to help finance your practice, it'll be mandatory you have one. Either way, you should still take the time to develop a detailed plan that includes all the following elements in it. 

  • Cover sheet
  • Executive summary
  • Description of your business
  • Your target market
  • Your competition
  • Operations plan
  • The management team
  • Marketing strategy 
  • Financials 
  • Risk analysis
Carefully Consider Who You Choose to Hire 

Becoming your own boss means recruiting and hiring people who make up your medical team. Hiring the wrong people is expensive considering the time you'll invest in them to learn all your systems. Instead of rushing into making hiring decisions, take a look at how to hire the right people for your practice. It'll pay off in the end. 

Carefully Consider the Financial Factors Involved 

Most physicians end up receiving loans from the bank to finance their private practice. With that in mind, it's important to create conservative three-year projections and have a line of credit that'll cover your private practice for at least the first three months (even if your business generates revenue). Keep in mind that insurance carriers don't always pay right away, either. Whether you're paying for magazines in your patient waiting room or a PGM Billing system, you'll want to have every penny accounted for while being financially prepared for the unexpected.

Carefully Consider Your Liability Insurance Provider 

In addition to knowing how to tactfully deal with patient insurance carriers, you'll want to make sure you have the best liability insurance provider for your business. Here are six vital questions you should ask yourself before getting liability insurance for your private medical practice. This is very important, so focus as much attention as you can on this part of this process so that you know what you're covered for and how. 

Carefully Consider How You'll Market Your Practice 

Although it's important to pick a business name that sticks out in the market, your marketing work isn't finished there. You should never consider marketing as an expense; it's an investment. Make sure that you promote services and specialities by relating them to solutions. Make sure to avoid these five marketing mistakes when developing your private medical practice. Afterward, check out this video for a detailed blueprint on how to come up with a business growth blueprint and marketing plan for your private practice. 

Have you successfully starting your own private medical practice? What other advice and tips do you have?

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Jun 15, 2021

 NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance 

2 min
Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialling a new sepsis test by Presymptom Health that uses machine learning to detect the onset of the disease

A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England. 

Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year. 

The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time. 

From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.

Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. 

Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.

The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. 

If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”

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