It is a challenging decision for a physical therapist whether or not he or she should quit working at a facility or hospital to start his or her own private practice. To some, this is not even a choice; setting up their own clinic is something they have to do.
Aside from clinical skills which the physical therapist learns in school and practices at work, one of the things he or she must learn when he or she decides to venture to private practice is physical therapy management. This is a skill that will allow him or her not only to start his or her own business but also make it grow and succeed in a very competitive setting. The ultimate goal of a business owner is to have a profitable business so it is important for him or her to learn and master this skill of physical therapy management.
Now, physical therapy management is rarely simple. It covers budgeting for the overhead expenses especially at the onset of the business operations, scheduling for clients’ appointment and sometimes putting in more than 8 hours a day, and billing to make sure that you get paid for all clients’ visit especially when it goes through insurance companies. Physical therapy management also means making plans and strategies to make sure that you stay ahead of trends that will affect your business now and in the future.
But what is physical therapy management really? It is much more complex than what has already been mentioned. When it comes to running your clinic on a day-to-day basis, your physical therapy management skills will dictate that you find ways to make sure it is running smoothly with all procedures and guidelines in place. Having guidelines is important to make sure that there is a structure everyone follows for a systematic physical therapy management. These guidelines would include patient handling from the time a patient comes in the door, goes up to reception, gets served, until he or she exits that door. Good physical therapy management means making guidelines for equipment maintenance, for employees’ compensation, for legal issues, for marketing and getting your presence known in your area, for recruiting and making sure you are hiring and developing the right people.
Physical therapy management is a complex decision but with time and experience, it will get simpler.
Before you do decide to venture out on your own, make sure that you are ready with your clinical and physical therapy management skills, seek the advice of those you have gone and ahead of you and made their physical therapy business a success and most of all, be determined to face head-on all the challenges that will surely come your way once you become a private practice owner.