So you've come this far. You've made it through years of school, studied your skills, and now have come to a very pinnacle point in your plans for your future. You have decided to take the next step and build your own practice. Reaching this point in our careers as chiropractors can be the most exciting and fulfilling part of a lifelong pursuit toward providing wellness to our communities.
But, along with our own grand vision, when we decide to step foot into the world of running our own practice, we also find ourselves presented with some heavy considerations. How do I fund my new practice until I have a stabilizing number of clients? How will I pay my staff until they are fully functioning? Should I avoid all the hassle and simply work for someone else? How do I start small and grow, yet still run a modern practice?
Starting a practice is a large endeavor, and all of these questions are well-warranted. So, how do we mitigate these concerns and pursue our dreams without the fear of bankrupting ourselves before we ever get our practice off the ground? The answer lies in finding the right technology. By choosing wisely, we can solve all of these potential problems before we even begin.
One of the largest hills for a chiropractor to climb when building his/her own practice is the financial burden of employing staff during initial times of low client volume. When starting with only a few clients, you can avoid going through all the expense of billing and front desk payroll by taking on these jobs yourself, granted you have a software that supports you in this approach and eases the number of daily tasks that would otherwise fall on your shoulders. We already know that electronic health records have decidedly become part of the future of healthcare. So the need for filing, scanning, printing, and paper piles is behind us. To take on the other tasks of your future staff successfully, you must choose your technology carefully, as your chosen system must have the ability to grow with your practice and fulfill the immediate needs of an office run by as little as one person.
These days there are many practice management software systems abundant in the healthcare field. By choosing a software tailored for chiropractors, you are selecting a technology that is built around the concept of chiropractic clinic flow, and one which is sensitive to the particular needs of our industry. Keep in mind, as well, that a more expensive practice management system does not always mean a better practice management system. Your software should be sensitive to your financial abilities as a chiropractor with a newly emergent practice.
Research different software packages and find those that automate the tasks of your staff members. In doing so, you can play more than one role in your office, and avoid fully staffing your office before your client load can support them. A software that allows patients to check themselves in can offer you breathing room in your budget by making it possible to postpone hiring a front desk person while seeing up to thirty patients a day, possibly more. Choosing a technology that lets your patients fill out their intake forms online can also relieve a large portion of pre-treatment room paperwork.
With a user-friendly interface, good training, and just a little bit of computer savvy, you can invest in your future, offer your patients the ease and comfort of knowing they are receiving care from a cutting-edge chiropractic office, drastically cut down on your time and overhead, and build a foundation on which to successfully build your practice.
Dr. Michael Failla is the CEO and Co-owner of Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of ChiroTouch. Dr. Failla graduated from Life University College of Chiropractic in Atlanta, GA, and went on to run a highly successful chiropractic office in Seattle, WA, for 25 years. He sold his practice in 2007 and continues to promote health and wellness by helping chiropractors run streamlined and successful practices with more time for their patients and less time with their paperwork. Go to www.chirotouch.com for more information.