Running a medical practice is HARD

medical-practice-mountain

It is hard to run a small business and thrive. Many years ago my husband and I owned a small business. We kept the business running without much profit. How did we do it? I worked for the local university to help fund our life and he basically lived at work. Five years later, we successfully sold the business. 

It was from that life experience that I learned a tremendous amount and my career was greatly shaped. The number one lesson, just because you may be great at your passion, doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good business owner and a good business owner is not always a great manager. I believe that once you learn that lesson and accept it, you can actually take the steps to becoming a great business owner. The second lesson, you need good systems to support you. 

Since then I have worked in many different fields in various roles, ultimately revolving around building a business or organization to help them thrive. 

I thought that when I became a nurse I wouldn’t ever talk business and systems development again and certainly no more marketing and social media. I was VERY wrong with that assumption. The writing was on the wall. My final paper for nursing school was on the electronic medical record system and the importance of thorough charting from a nursing perspective on patient outcomes. Talk about a boring topic for most new nurses. 

When you’ve had another career, especially one like mine and then you come into the medical world as an older nurse you can’t help but see the systematic business flaws and wonder why? Why is medicine still like this? Where is all the money going? Where are all the primary care doctors? There is certainly a market demand for them! Why is this care process so convoluted by these systems in place? And finally why isn’t there more support for medical staff when they get burned out or hurt on the job, generally because of these poor systematic designs? 

Let me get back to the point. Running a small business is hard, but running an independent medical practice is even harder, especially considering the pandemic. Owning an independent medical practice is different from managing one, just like any other small business. Often these two roles are meshed together and failure is more likely when there isn’t a separation of these roles. There are a few gems out there that can wear both hats and successfully do so; having low staff turnover, long term patient relationships, affording to pay themself and having a work life balance. Maybe ten people on the entire planet total. If you find one, let them mentor you, don’t fear or judge their knowledge. Often these types are humble and lifelong learners. 

Why are lots of these medical providers who also own their business and manage it unhappy or close to closing their doors? Because they need help, and generally we as medical staff don’t like to ask for help. Sometimes in order for these practices to survive the provider who is the owner must also be the manager because they can’t afford a well trained experienced and trustworthy practice manager. Other times, providers don’t have the time to do the groundwork to find great staff. Really though, at this point in the game, most hospitals can’t keep their staff because travel agencies pay three to four times higher. How could an independent practice match those pay rates? They can’t, just like hospitals can’t. So what’s the solution? You need a better system.

If you are an independent medical practice provider who is also an owner and happens to also be managing all your staff, first take a breath. You are doing a great job. Second, you are going to need help fulfilling all the responsibilities associated with each of these roles. Third, invest in a system and support group that can help you do this. Look at the smaller electronic health record companies out there because in my experience as a clinical supervisor and expert user of EMRs, they are a better match. I found Eva, built Eva and helped the clinic I supervised thrive with Eva. Now, I work for Eva to help you. Fourthly, take the time to learn and be trained in your system, not just your staff, but you as well. If you do this with Eva, you can own your business and be a provider and have a personal life. You can even pay yourself. 

Step into your role as a successful provider and business owner with the help of Eva and our team here at EvaHealth. 

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