There are many times in our lives where we sit and ponder if our life is shaping up the way we wanted it to. Often times we have dreams of where we will be after we finish college or university and enter the professional work world, but financial pressures, family life, or down-right fear gets in the way. Have you always wanted to be your own boss and have your own private practice? With spring just around the corner, maybe now is the time for you to find some support from friends and family and start your private practice; or find a course in your area that can help give the information you need to set out on your dream.
The Canadian Electronic Health Information System (E-HIS) has a course that can help you learn the in's and out's of what it takes to open up a private practice. Interestingly enough it is called, "How to Start a Private Practice." The great part is there are so many safe ways to do this, that you don't have to quit your job and jump in with both feet.
As the founder and CEO of E-HIS, Heidi Watson states, " Starting a private practice can be overwhelming. Especially when you are not sure where to start or how to meet all of your professional and provincial legislation. This course guides you through the process of starting your own private practice. By the end of the course, you will have built a foundation for the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of running and managing your own business."
The course has a workbook to guide you through the different areas you need to think about to start a private practice of your own. Heidi is sharing first hand knowledge as she is establishing her own private practice, while encouraging others to do the same.
Evaluating Your Readiness to Start Your Own Private Practice:
Begin by evaluating your clinical skills. Some things you should have:
- A licence or certification in your profession in order to practice in your jurisdiction.
- Work experience preferably after your degree program, but if you are a new graduate with a support base know that you can be successful as well.
- Knowledge of theory and practice in your field
- To gain competitive advantage in the field , you should have specialized areas of knowledge and practice.
- Knowledge of yourself - knowing what type of clients you can treat and what types you cannot - this is recognizing your own biases as well as knowing that you cannot be all things to all people.
- The ability to work independently without the backup of a clinic or supervisors
On top of needing to have certain clinical skills, you will need to analyze your business skills as well. You need to run a profitable business (in the long-term), and to evaluate whether you have the necessary business skills, there are some questions you need to ask yourself. Here again, the course "How to Start Your Own Private Practice Workbook," will help you evaluate where you are at and help you work through some of the issues a lot of people struggle with when starting their own private practice.
Things you will need to be able to do:
- Be comfortable with yourself and your need to make money and charge appropriately for your services
- Be able to take financial risks, as it usually takes at least 2 years to even begin to build a successful practice. It takes time to build a client base
- Be able to do office work etc. - tasks that after your practice is profitable you will hire an administrator to take over and do
- Be able to make a business budget, learn about cash flows, and business plans and be able to evaluate the potential for success in the area you want to set up in
- Be able to market yourself and your skills to gain clientele and referral sources.
As well as offering courses through E-HIS, Heidi is endeavoring to help Allied Health Professionals meet privacy standards and security standards for client health records by launching the Guardian EMR application, that allows you to store medical records on secure, encrypted servers; as well as enabling you to add chart notes from any browser on any device. It helps cut down the amount of time you spend on charting allowing you to see more clients. E-HIS has set up a demo site for you to be able to see exactly how Guardian EMR operates and is building a step by step user guide on how to use the application.
With the workbooks help and the charting software application, you will be able to have the knowledge and the tools for starting your private practice - whether on the side as you work full or part time, or after you have retired from public practice, or even as a new graduate just starting out.
A GUIDEBOOK for Starting and Operating an Independent Professional Practice in Psychology accessed March 13, 2020
Watson, Heidi. Your Dream-Your Life Private Practice Workbook, Electronic Health Information System. accessed at https://www.electronic-health-information-system.ca/product/how-to-start-a-private-practice-workbook/
Joy Watson - E-HIS editor