Preparation and planning aren’t just for the boy scouts. Anyone who is reaching for success in a business will do well to plan and prepare. This can be especially important for the opening of a family practice.
Who’s Doing the Choosing?
If the family practice is a new one featuring only one physician, it’s pretty obvious who will be making the decision on where to locate the practice. If, however, the family practice is a large, complex one, the answer might not be so clear cut.
If multiple physicians will be part of the family practice, it’s important to determine if each and every physician will be part of the process in finding and choosing a location. If multiple office managers will be part of the practice, members must decide if any or all of the managers will be involved in the hunt.
Some professionals suggest that the final decision be left up to a small representative segment of the family practice. Many suggest that staff members from all areas of the family practice be included in the decision making. The first decision in choosing a family practice location is deciding who will do the choosing.
What to Seek in a Family Practice Facility
Once the decision has been made regarding who will be doing the choosing, it’s time to clearly define as much as possible what is expected of the facility. Consider patient base. If the family practice is geared toward treating retirees and older adults, a facility located near housing for younger families with children shouldn’t be given much consideration unless there’s no other facilities available.
It’s also important to consider distance and location regarding hospitals and other medical services. If physicians in the family practice will be using the hospital facilities often or will be referring patients to the hospital on a frequent basis, locating the facility near the hospital and other medical services could save time.
Competition is a consideration in any business, even family practice. Are competitors located near the potential facility? Can the family practice offer something the competition does not? What reasons can the family practice give patients to choose the practice over the competition?
A little reputation goes a long way. When looking at potential family practice facilities, it’s important to consider the reputation of neighboring businesses, especially if those businesses are medical facilities. Choose a facility near respected physicians with good reputations so that if the family practice is judged on the merits of the surrounding businesses, those merits are good.
Type of Family Practice Facility
Is the family practice location committee determined to find a professional building or can the practice be set up in whatever facilities are available, even if that means setting up business in a strip mall or remodeling a home?
Is the goal building or renting facilities for the family practice? If looking to build, the criteria are different than those for renting or leasing. Parking is an issue no matter where or how the family practice is located. Make sure there’s plenty of parking in an area that’s easy to enter and easy to exit. Handicap access is another issue that cannot be overlooked.
Searching for a Family Practice Facility
Once it’s been determined what type and what size facility is needed, it’s time to begin the hunt. Narrow down search areas as much as possible. Ruling out areas that are not adequate will help narrow the list. Choosing a family practice facility can be exhausting. It can also be rewarding. It doesn’t have to be more difficult than necessary. Preparation and planning will go a long way in making the search a successful one.