If you want to put together your own medical business, whether you want to offer healthcare as a service to your local community or you’ve got a medical product you want to put on the market, you’re going to need some protections in place.
As a business that deals with some very delicate needs, as well as crucial, private data, it’s impossible to just open up and expect nothing to come your way! Many patients may feel that you mishandled their case, and if a product ends up needing a recall, many more lawsuits could come your way.
But what protection does your medical business really need? How can you ensure you can operate without worry? Let’s go through some of the best methods for keeping your medical company safe below.
Hold the Right Qualifications
As a healthcare manager, you’ve got a lot of new responsibilities, the aftereffects of which can be far-reaching, and that means you need to hold the right qualifications for your role. Most medical business owners have a lot of experience in a relevant field, and also hold a degree to prove that they have a right to offer services and products to people in need.
Of course, there are also specific management degrees for leading a healthcare business, and it might be worth it to look into this kind of course. At the same time, knowing how to run a business in general, without any outside help, would be helpful to you. A business admin degree, for example, is a good follow up course in this case. All in all, it’s worth it to go back to school right now and see where your current degree or lower level qualifications could take you.
Register Your Company/Product
The next thing to do is ensure that your medical business and/or product is registered with the relevant government bodies. In doing so, you’ll be able to go through the credentials process, to ensure that you’re capable of running a medical company and able to take on patients, as well as ensure that any product you offer is able to be entered in the market.
Of course, then it’s time to ensure you’re running with a license. Depending on what you plan to offer, such as what you specialize in, you may need approval from more than just the state licensing body. Be sure to do your own research into this side of things, as it can be easy to miss an approval notice you really need.
For example, if you want to be able to issue prescriptions for medications, you’ll have to be registered with the DEA as well. You may also need to register for each piece of equipment you plan to use, depending on the dangers involved; outfitting a radiology room is a prime example of this.
Invest in Insurance
You’re going to need insurance for your medical company, period. However, there are many different types of insurance for an operating entity like yours, and choosing the right type of cover can be difficult. The way you work, and what you offer, is going to inform your decision heavily, but that still leaves you with a lot of overlap that you’ll have to deal with.
Obviously, the main type of insurance is Public Liability; this is the best way to cover yourself against lawsuits aimed at you, your company, or a member of your staff. You’ll be able to pay for legal fees and settlements that may arise, ensuring you’re not left out of pocket as a result. But you may not be aware that specific Medical Malpractice cover is also available. This concerns only the treatments you may provide, but it works in a very similar way to the public liability above as well as Errors and Omissions insurance.
Of course, it’s up to you which you take out, but make sure at least one of these insurance types are on your side. When you have to deal with experienced medical malpractice attorneys as a small medical company, you’ll be thankful that a form of this cover is on your side.
Keep Your Data Secure
You’re going to have to keep a watchful eye on any data you receive as a healthcare provider – that’s obvious. However, you’re going to need to build specific security barriers, both in the physical and digital world, to ensure this confidential data can’t just be accessed by anyone.
Indeed, as more and more businesses keep more electronic records over physical ones, it’s important to focus the majority of your efforts on how you protect your servers and databases. So, what kind of cloud security do you have? Do you use encryption? Do you regularly change passwords across the board to lower the chances of malicious entry?
These are all questions you’ll have to consider at length. After all, as a healthcare business, holding confidential patient data makes you a very shiny target. The data in your hands can be sold for a big profit, and you should always assume you’re going to be attacked next.
Keep Your Patients Aware
Following on from our point about data, it’s also imperative to let patients know how you operate, and what you do to keep them safe under your care. And even though you’re doing everything possible to keep patient data confidential, you also need to keep them aware of your efforts to do so, or it can all count for nothing.
At the same time, you’ll want your patients to feel calm and secure under your care, so it’s important to be free with information about the way you’re treating them. Answer all their questions, keep the diagnosis process informed, and always seek their consent on matters, even if you know they’ll benefit.
Protecting your medical business takes a lot of preparation. Make sure you’re fully licensed and registered, and focus on ways to keep both your patients and their data safe within your company.