It is easy to forget that doctors are entrepreneurs. They are business owners who very likely lack the formal education and experience necessary to run a successful business. That does not mean your doctor is bad at her job. She might well have graduated at the top of her class. Too bad her class did not include many studies in business administration.
Doctors are also not always the most technically inclined people in the world. That is understandable as they have spent most of their time learning the intricacies of healing. While the healing business uses a lot of highly specialized tech, medical professionals often find themselves as lost and confused as anyone else when it comes to everyday computing.
While doctors often hire managers to run their business, technology is a little different. If medical providers are not familiar or comfortable with the latest tech, patients will be the ones who ultimately suffer the consequences. There is a point where technology and business converge so that a critical lack of the one could lead to a steep decline in the other. If your medical practice is ill, here are a few important treatments:
If your medical business is losing clients, it could be that you need to broaden your offerings to cater to those with more than traditional needs. Many doctors partner with chiropractors and acupuncturists. The doctor does not have to specialize in alternative medicine to keep those patients who benefit from it in house.
As a doctor, you can either learn about the benefits of essential oils and how carrier oils can make them more effective, or you can get a partner who specializes in such things to join you in your practice. By doing the latter, you can continue to focus on improving your knowledge and skills in the specialties that matter to you while not having to turn away clients who want to explore options beyond the traditional ones.
As a doctor, you can do a lot more than write a prescription for a drug. You can pass along useful websites to your patients so they can do further research and make them an active participant in their treatments. There are free and paid resources that allow patients to check for things like potential drug interactions. These are some basic ways you can utilize the technology in your office and in your client’s pockets to empower them with information, choice, and ultimately agency with regard to their treatment.
Providing optimal care during the pandemic has been a challenge for many medical professionals. Early on, doctors didn’t even have access to testing kits: the bare minimum technology for treatment. What doctors could do is provide patients a safe way to be seen by a medical professional and safely continue routine treatment. Like all other business people, doctors were forced to learn about teleconferencing technology. Not only did they have to find apps and services that were reliable and platform independent, they also had to upgrade their hardware such as professional-grade webcams and ethernet that could handle their high-bandwidth needs.
Medical professionals not only have to be proficient with these technical details, they have to be proficient in teaching their less technically inclined clients how to utilize these tools. Even if the doctor masters the use of all these technologies, there is one more on which their business depends:
Patient records are sacred, and should be treated that way. Last year, alone, 18 million patient records in 600 clinics, hospitals, and healthcare organizations were affected by ransomware attacks. Small organizations can be even more attractive targets because they tend to have even fewer security measures in place. Everything from scheduling to electronic medical records have to be protected as if they were gold.
The smaller the practice, the more likely it is that such an attack will damage your business. The ensuing legal actions, alone, would probably be enough. The good news is that there are measures you can take. Healthcare IT can be secured. It does require intentional measures. The days of hoping that you are too small to be targeted are well over. If you hold valuable information, you are being targeted.
Healthcare IT is about more than the big iron churning away in a server closet, or the millions dollar scanners that can practically read minds. Those are critical parts of the package. But they mean nothing for your practice if you are not welcoming clients who want more options, utilizing the best teleconferencing technology to enable your clients to see you even when they can’t leave the house, and making data security the top of your tech priorities.