Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey within the realm of healthcare brings forth a unique set of challenges – obstacles of entrepreneurship that demand a closer look for business success.
Navigating the landscape of entrepreneurship in healthcare comes with its own set of challenges, much like accessing quality healthcare services.
In this post, we’ll explore how the obstacles of entrepreneurship intersect with the barriers to accessing good healthcare.
Exploring the 9 Key Obstacles of Entrepreneurship in Healthcare
Being able to reach and accommodate new customers is a pillar of success for effectively any business that’s running.
However, that’s not always easy especially when it comes to industries such as the healthcare sector. There are real barriers, of many different kinds, that can make it difficult for patients to get the care and attention that they need.
Here, we’re going to look at some of those barriers, address how they prevent patients from reaching your services, and look at solutions you can implement to lower them.
Depending on where you set up, you might be the closest provider of your type to patients who are in need of your services, but they might still have difficulty reaching your office as regularly as they may need to. You can’t up and move every time you have a patient a little out of your reach. However, you can start looking at ways to implement telehealth technologies and practices in your business. This can include partnering with pharmacies that are able and willing to deliver what they need to them, as well as using webcam technology to be able to hold an appointment with them when they can’t make it to the office. There are times that you’re going to need to be face-to-face with them, but for a lot of appointments, being able to do it remotely can be a great help.
Just as some people might not be able to easily make it to your office due to its location, there are others who might have trouble because their availability doesn’t afford them a lot of time to make it. You can, of course, consider opening up during non-business hours to accommodate those who are busy during those times, but perhaps the best thing you can do is allow your patients to be able to find the time that works best for them. Implementing an online schedule and booking system on your website and allowing existing patients to be able to log in and select the appointment time that works best for them can eliminate the need for them to do it through another person, which will also save your reception team a lot of time.
One of the greatest barriers to effective treatment is disability, whether it’s chronic, acquired, related to old age, or otherwise. First of all, a lot of patients with disabilities may need help in knowing how to afford their treatment, and becoming an NDIS provider with the right NDIS software to facilitate the assistance they need could make you an invaluable asset. You should also, again, consider telehealth, as many of the people who might not be able to reach your location may be elderly or living with mobility disabilities. Lastly, make sure that your offices accommodate patients with disability with all of the necessary accessibility installations.
As much as you might want to be able to provide free care for as many as possible, if no one is paying for treatment, then your business isn’t going to be able to stay open for very long, at all. While you might not be able to erase costs, however, you can look at ways to help your patients meet their more easily. For instance, you can consider opening up financing options alongside your treatments, to be able to help make your care more accessible to those who might not have the best insurance and may not be able to cover the costs entirely themselves. Even if you can’t offer financing, yourself, you can provide patients with information on medical loans and other providers to help them on the way to the treatment they need.
Often related to costs is the fact that the insurance landscape, as it exists, can also be a significant barrier to people seeking treatment. If you offer treatments that aren’t covered in their insurance package, then you should consider if there is any other way that you can help them cover those costs. For instance, having payment plans in place can make your services immediately more affordable. Of course, you want to also seriously consider what insurance networks your business is partnered with, and to make sure that they’re not going to exclude too many customers. Unfortunately, there’s not a ton that individual businesses can do to upend the issues with the modern insurance system, but you can do your best to accommodate patients outside of it.
One of the unfortunate realities of the healthcare industry is that there is a perpetual shortage of the staff that you need, with the skills that you require. If you aren’t able to staff your facilities as much as you should be able to, then it can make it harder for you to be able to accommodate as many patients as you might want to treat. While you can always be improving your efforts to find and recruit new members to the team, you should also be willing to get in touch with staffing agencies who can help you find the skilled individuals you need, even if it’s on a temporary basis.
If you are in a community that is home to multiple populations that speak different languages, then you have to be cognizant of that fact, and consider whether or not you are able to help those who might not speak the same language as you. Adhering to the official language alone may end up excluding a lot of potential patients. As such, you might want to focus on hiring those who are able to help you cross the language barrier, whether they’re receptionists, nurses, or other direct health providers who can take on the patients and clients that you might have a little trouble communicating with, personally. Of course, going the extra mile may well include learning to speak some of the language, yourself.
Tangentially related to the issue of language, there is a lot of discrimination and bias in every industry, and the healthcare industry is no different. You might not consider yourself in any way bigoted or biased against people of different ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, or the like, but you’re not the only one your patients deal with. Aside from investing in inclusivity training for your team to make sure that they’re sensitive to the needs and experiences of patients of all kinds, you might want to focus on positive and welcoming messaging for your community, addressing those of marginalized populations so that they can feel a little safer in reaching out to your business.
You cannot individually educate every person in your community to be more aware of health issues that might affect them, which may require the kinds of treatment and attention that you can provide. You can, however, do your part to spread awareness more generally. This can include, for instance, learning about the different days dedicated to specific illness or condition awareness, and taking the opportunity to arrange for events and talks in community spaces. You can also consider the possibility of putting out a newsletter or getting in touch with local newspapers to publish regular information on conditions and concerns that your community should be more aware of.
Conclusion: Obstacles of Entrepreneurship in the Healthcare Industry
In closing, although this post was about obstacles of entrepreneurship in healthcare businesses, they relate to many businesses.
For instance, poor location is a big obstacle of entrepreneurship in the restaurant industry.
Which of the solutions above is going to be “worth it” in the sense of making money back on your investment is a difficult question to ask. However, in terms of becoming a true asset to the community, and the benefits that can come with that, there is serious potential for every one of them.
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