Using your Healthcare Knowledge and Experience to Start a Healthcare Business
Health care professionals who decide to pursue an entrepreneurial path already possess some of the necessary elements to create a new business. These vital ingredients are knowledge and experience. Observations of gaps in delivery or treatment options often trigger health care professionals to create better methods of caring for those in need. The knowledge required to earn formal achievement of certification merged with hands-on experience can serve as a strong foundation for an entrepreneurial venture.
There are two additional essential elements necessary for launching a new business in health care. These components are not always attained during formal education or hands-on practice. They include an understanding of how to produce a good product and the knowledge regarding how to run a profitable business. Both of these skills can be learned and effectively applied to make a new venture successful.
Health care providers can transition into entrepreneurship by starting businesses that fill a niche in some way. As long as disease continues to occur, providers will continue to pursue better treatments for patients. Companies that produce new devices or pharmaceuticals offer entrepreneurial opportunities for science oriented health care professionals. In the pharmaceutical area, better delivery systems for medications and improved mechanisms for patient compliance are areas that will benefit a great deal in the coming years from innovation and entrepreneurship.
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Technology has advanced rapidly but has not become user friendly as quickly in the health care field as it has in most other areas of business. For example, electronic medical records systems may lack settings for important patient care information, requiring further manual inputs by providers, which don’t follow the template, and thus may not contribute to communication between health care providers. Technology oriented entrepreneurs with thorough health care knowledge will likely be the link that allows technology and good patient care communication to fuse, providing better results.
Another potential area of expansion for entrepreneurs includes telemedicine. While the technology for telemedicine services is currently available and implementation has begun for patients, hospitals and providers, the market for telemedicine services still has enormous room to grow. Entrepreneurs who can figure out ways to leverage the convenience of telemedicine and resolve liability concerns will become leaders in this growing field.
Producing a high quality product that you are proud of, whether it is a pharmaceutical delivery system or a biomedical device, is of primary importance. This can be a challenge and may require hiring or teaming up with others who are experienced in the production process. The end result should be something that you are willing to stand by and improve as necessary. The quality of whatever your business produces will embody the reputation of your company.
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The business aspect is a different component as well. While the first three components; understanding the practical need for a new medical business based on experience, possessing the medical knowledge gained through education to build the right service and learning about the manufacturing and creative process are important, an understanding of business is the final important ingredient in assuring that the ultimate product is satisfying to customers and is produced in the right amount at the right price. Health care professionals who want to become entrepreneurs often do so effectively when they combine these necessary elements early on in the process.
About the Author
Heidi Moawad, MD is author of Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine, a resource for health care professionals who are looking for career alternatives.
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