Practice Management

Preparing your Business Continuity Plan: key steps on how to look at the long-term health of your private practice during this time

by Zipporah French, Director, Prescribe Practice Management

The suspension of non-urgent elective surgeries in Australia to free up resources to manage the COVID-19 outbreak has sent tidal waves through the private practice industry.
It’s truly unprecedented times as we navigate our way forward to ensure we band together to combat this virus, while looking after our patients on a long term basis.
Putting my 28 years in practice management hat on, (five of those running a virtual practice management platform), I want to pose some questions for you to think about.

Questions that traditional practices, who are feeling the impact of this federal decision, can ponder to help navigate through these times, and ensure they come out the other end and be better placed to support their patients.

  • How do you employ risk free measures for your overhead costs such as leasing? Have you spoken with a lawyer to review your lease? Is a traditional bricks and mortar set up the right move for you going forward?
  • What technology can you adopt to continue to see patients? Have you looked at telehealth solutions as an option?
  • Do you have systems in place to continue to be in discussions with your patients during this time? How have you communicated with them about the changes?
  • Do you have an after-hours 24/7 number?
  • How secure is your data and systems to work remotely and employ tactics to continue to treat patients, for now, and long term?
  • Can you deploy your staff on secondment to assist other health care professionals right now who are in the midst of Coronavirus responses?
  • How are you fostering your network long term?
  • How can you remove further risks to your business?
  • Have you had someone review your employment contracts and your rights as an employer to look at the long-term viability of your team?
  • Now is the time to review your internal processes and look at how you can implement more mobile and robust systems to deviate.

While this won’t be forever and is a necessary measure placed by the national cabinet, it does push us as a sector, to review our systems today to work out how we will proceed going forward.

This whole scenario has shown us all that regardless of what kind of business model you run, whether traditional or virtual, that we all need to be looking at future-proofing our businesses.

Is this done by weaving new technologies into our working practices? Is it looking at reducing our risk by adopting a mix of both traditional and virtual work practices? Whatever it is, we have to ensure we learn from this process and place ourselves in the best position going forward to ensure we aren’t disrupted, to this level, again.

Business Continuity Plans aren’t something mentioned often in private practice as the health of our patients always comes first, as it should, but now is the time to also look at the long-term health of your practice.

To further support our larger community, we, (myself and a band of experts in technology, finance and law), are offering free consultations to provide tips on business continuity planning to help you navigate this period.

We’re truly all in this together.

Zipporah French