Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of patients have been turning to virtual telehealth practices. Even now that we are slowly starting to get back to normal, the trend has caught on and is here to stay. The convenience of telemedicine means that its popularity is only going to increase. As a nurse practitioner, you may be thinking about starting your own telemedicine practice, and now is as good a time as any. In fact, now could possibly be one of the best times!
There are many pros of a telemedicine business model. For one thing, you get to work on your own time and set the structure of your own practice policies. You are in control of everything from the opening hours, to how you will take payments, and how you will market your services. The best part is that starting a telehealth business does not require a huge amount of overhead to get it off the ground. You can find yourself in a very interesting position when you first consider this idea.
If you are a little unsure of what to expect, that’s only natural. Read on to find out more about some things to keep in mind when setting up a telemedicine practice!
You Get to Decide on Policies
When you start your own telemedicine practice, you will be 100% in charge of deciding the policies you want to enact. This does not just cover medical policies, but everything possible. For instance, this includes how you want to take on new patients. Are you going to have them fill out a questionnaire or give them a call ahead of their first consultation? You will have to decide on a variety of policies, including late patients, billing, scheduling, and so much more.
Chances are you have worked in a few clinics and hospital settings before. If you are unsure how to structure your policies, just think about what worked and what didn’t work at the places you have visited or worked with previously. Think about it as a chance to manage things on your own terms and provide your patients with a system that truly works.
You Get to Work on Your Own Time
Whether your telemedicine practice will replace your day job, or you are doing it as a side hustle, the best part is that you get to work on your own time. If you plan to keep your day job and work only nights and weekends, you can do just that. If you prefer to have your opening hours from 9 to 5 so that you are free to spend off hours with your children, you can do that as well.
Since everything is on your own terms and in your own time, you will have to learn how to schedule your time accordingly. While this is a huge plus of starting your own telemedicine practice! You also must have some form of discipline and be self-motivated. This is not something you can simply decide to skip out on for the day if you are feeling tired when you have patients that rely on you. You are your own boss, so nobody is going to be telling you what to do and when to do it. It’s up to you to keep your practice running and hold yourself accountable.
You Are in Charge of Everybody, Including Yourself
You may not be able to hire help or outsource work right off the bat. However, as your practice starts to take off, you will find that this becomes necessary, and you will also gain the financial stability to do so. While you were working just by yourself, there may not be as much to manage. This can all be very new to you, but you will be the one delegating responsibilities to others. From marketing and branding to administrative help, your employees will look to you for what to do. That can be a very good place to be, but you will have to learn how to manage it well.
The most important thing to remember throughout is discipline. When you have a goal in mind, it’s easier to work towards it. For instance, if you need to make $10,000 this month in order to pay your employees and support your family, work backwards and calculate how many appointments you will need to take on. This is a good way of holding yourself accountable and ensuring that everything gets done as it should be.
There Will Be Roadblocks and Challenges
Despite the perks of starting your own telehealth business, you have to remember that there will be roadblocks and challenges along the way. While you will have help from your employees, freelancers and even contractors, keep in mind that at the end of the day, this is your business, and no one is as invested in it as you are.
However, a necessary part of becoming an entrepreneur is overcoming these roadblocks and challenges. Instead of seeing these problems as obstacles, you may want to look at them as something you have to overcome to reach your goals.
Be Prepared for Decision Fatigue
At the start, being able to make all your own decisions may be new and exciting. However, as time goes by, you may suffer from decision fatigue. With so many different decisions to make and everything falling on your shoulders, this can quickly start to overwhelm you. At this point, retaining mental clarity is important. Instead of dwelling too much on your choices, snap into action immediately.
Call your vendor, delegate a responsibility to your assistant, do what needs to be done. There is no time for excuses such as you are tired or that you are too busy that day. This is your telemedicine practice, and you are the one who’s responsible for making all the decisions. Though you may know this, it can get overwhelming on certain days due to decision fatigue. Regardless of what you have going on in your life at the moment, there are no excuses. You started this, and you must be the one to finish it.
You Will Likely Deal with Imposter Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is likely to strike at some point, especially if this is your first business. People around you may look up to you as a leader or business owner, and you may start to feel inadequate, especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed. Here is where your brain may start telling you things such as “you are not good enough” or “you don’t have those qualities”. This can end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, where some people start to self-sabotage.
Although it’s normal to go through this from time to time, simply acknowledging it may not be enough to help you overcome these negative thoughts. You may even feel like giving up sometimes. However, part and parcel of starting your own business is sacrifice and giving up the things you enjoy doing in order to grow your practice. Just remember that even if you were not a business owner before, you are a business owner now. Remember, you are in charge of your own telemedicine practice, and you are the one who will overcome these challenges to make it a huge success.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Regardless of how overwhelming things can get, it’s important to always take care of yourself. Yes, personal sacrifices must be made, but remembering to eat, sleep and take a mental break is essential. When you are not performing at 100%, neither can your telemedicine practice. Some ways of taking a break include meeting up with family and friends or working out.
It’s a delicate balancing act between ensuring that your mental health is taken care of and making the personal sacrifices necessary for your business to succeed. You already know that personal care should never be sacrificed, so this may mean you need to give up on the extras, like watching Netflix every night or scrolling through Facebook for half an hour every day. These things are unlikely to help your business; however, taking care of yourself is always an investment that will pay off. During the time you would normally be spending browsing social media, use it to work on your business instead.
Let Us Connect You with A Collaborating Physician
As much as being your own boss can be exciting, it is not a walk in the park either. Sacrifices will have to be made along the way, and you will have to put in a lot of time and effort to get your telemedicine practice off the ground.
If you are a nurse practitioner, Collaborating Docs can make this one step easier for you by matching you with a suitable collaborating physician. We have plenty of experience connecting NPs to physicians in all fifty states. As a guarantee to you, you will get your money back if we are unable to find your match within 14 days. To get started, please schedule a Zoom call to request a free quote from us today!