Building An Independent PracticeWorking as a self-employed healthcare practitioner is exciting and liberating. You can take control of your hours and have the flexibility you might not have if you were employed at a hospital or facility.
As well as keeping your professional requirements up to date there are a few things that you need to make sure you do to legally practice to protect not only your clients, but your practice as well.
This week, we will share with our audience content completely dedicated to helping those wanting to pursuit an independent practice, understand and learn in advance what conisderations need to take place in order to make sure reaching such goal is done in a proper way. The scope here is just a guide and we recommend you contact your professional regulator to learn more.
This guide includes advice regarding your own welfare, the welfare of your clients and considerations that will help you to stand out against the competition such as practice standards and quality assurance as part of the processes you need to incorporate within your business.
Your clients may be individuals, organizations, groups, families, educational institutions or health care agencies.
Self-employed healthcare practitioners may decide to provide their services independently, in partnership with other independent practitioners, or employ others to undertake work.
It is essential that as well as the professional standards that self-employed health care professionals must be absolutely certain to adhere to relevant legislative, they consider other regulatory and business standards as well.
Find a Support System
One key point when pursuing any goal, is establishing a support system that you can count on for guidance and troubleshooting along the way.
Self-employed healthcare professionals frequently do not have the support systems in place around them that employed healthcare professionals do. It is therefore prudent to ensure that there is a support system in place either by collaboration or by purchasing a professional support system.
When working as an individual on a self-employed basis, it is a sensible precaution to have a buddy to call on in cases of emergency or own safety compromise. This system is one that is particularly important if you are working in the community.
Addtional to finding a support system, it is paramount to consider the following:
Professional Standards and Practice Standards
An essential part of being self-regulated professionals is that healthcare providers apply and adhere to their professional and practice standards at all times. As a solo practitioner, it is important that your processes show how you put patients first. Make it clear to prospective clients that that is an integral part of your practice.
Your mission statement should identify that you will always ensure patient care to the standards that patients and their families expect and deserve.
Obviously, it is essential to ensure that you work within the requirements of the law and within the scope of your qualifications and validation.
Standard Operating Procedures
You should have relevant demonstrable knowledge and skills if you choose to specialize in any particular area of practice, which should also be backed up with written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your business. You should ensure that you possess the competencies for the healthcare service that you provide, including any additional training or competencies that a specializaton requires.
Written policies and SOP’s related to your practise should be available on request.
Ensure best practises to the latest standards are always upheld, and this should be demonstrable by ensuring that SOP’s are always up to date.
You should show verifiable evidence that you have awareness and work within the scope of any, relevant federal and provincial legislation, policy and regulation as well as any other requirements necessary to fulfil the role legally and competently.
Your SOPs should include the ethical assumption that your practice is patient focussed.
A policy regarding conflict of interest should be included and clearly identify that patient care is always the main focus.
You should have a policy regarding the notification of communicable diseases. This policy should include clarity regarding patient confidentiality and requirements of communicable disease notification.
It is prudent to clarify the importance of patient consent and what this means.
A clear statement regarding patient records and any documentation in connection with individual patients. This statement should demonstrate safety of storage and destruction. There should also be clarification regarding the sharing of patient records with other health care professionals in the interests of patient care, continuity and best interests.
Continual Personal Development
Maintain or even improve competencies to practice by continual personal development (CBD).
Complete and pass any regulatory requirements to practice at your qualification level and maintain records of hours of practice to support revalidation.
When employing other qualified and registered health care professionals take responsibility to ensure that they are also working within regulatory requirements and are maintaining records of hours of practice to support their revalidation.
You should ensure robust insurance not only for your practice but also business is held and bear in mind that you are directly accountable to the client and any third party who may organize care and where there is contracted payment for services you provide.
A system to assess risk management should be in place and included in your SOPs.
Quality Standards and Improvement
It is prudent, although not essential, to have quality standards that you aspire to and a plan for improvement if any shortfalls are ever identified. Where shortcomings are not identified, it is a sensible option to continually strive to improve quality and document your aspirations.
Financial and Business Records
Good financial and business record-keeping is essential to a successful business. As a regulated healthcare professional, this may be an area that you do not have much interest in. For that reason, CompanyOn has creaste a platform that offer features features such as invoicing and reports that can help you tackle these activities within your business.
You can do this! You know you are a great nurse and have the drive to go self-employed. It is, however, sensible to seek early advice from a lawyer, business consultant or accountant regarding your plans.
At CompanyOn, we’re committed to supporting our audiance, no matter if they are just thinking in pursuing professional independence, or they are already well established solo practitioners. If there are topics you would like to learn more about, please let us know by connecting with us via our social media channels.
Best Practices On Risk Management and Quality Assurance For Solo Practitioners
It is important for regulated solo practitioners to be committed to ongoing quality improvement and risk management of their practice. Ensuring safe and efective provision of care services is paramount for the establishment, maintenance and growth of any business.
One key step to accomplish this, is committing to developing policies and procedures that address risks and quality assurance of your private practice
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