If you have ever considered entering into the healthcare industry by running a clinic, it will likely seem like you have a lot to learn. There’s no doubt that opening a healthcare clinic can be challenging, but there’s also no doubt it’s a potentially profitable business venture that can allow you to make a difference in your community.

If you’re concerned about everything you need to know about running a healthcare clinic, then referring back to the word “health” can provide a reminder on the areas you will need to master.

H is for HIPAA

For the uninitiated, HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; a bill that was passed in 1996. The act is designed to ensure that the storage of sensitive medical data is managed and focuses on data security and privacy of patients. This is an area you will have to tackle, be it through managed HIPAA compliance or your own research. If you’re going down the self-researched route, then you have to be very careful— HIPAA is important legislation and non-compliance could be enough to sink your business in the future.

E is for Engagement

As the owner of a healthcare clinic, how are you going to engage with your patients? Most patients expect more than a rudimentary service these days; they want to feel that they can discuss their needs and that their opinions are heard. Not only does this help deliver customer satisfaction, but it’s also an important aspect of patient retention. You will need to look into methods of increasing engagement with your patients— for example, by offering specialist clinics or advice on particular conditions.

A is for Advertising

Advertising is a necessity for a healthcare clinic; you can’t just rely on referrals and word of mouth to maintain a steady flow of patients through your doors. You’ll need to ensure you get to grips with the basics of advertising, as well as strategize how you’re going to reach patients who may already be registered elsewhere. Your advertising strategy needs to be distinct, relatable, and accessible. The sooner you begin to plan it, the better.

L is for Listening

Almost more than in any other business, a healthcare clinic needs to listen to its patients. Planning for regular “listening sessions” and patient feedback is an essential part of your overall management in this area.

T is for Training

How will you train your employees? What levels of qualification are you willing to accept from your clinical staff? Do you require a specific employee who is responsible for training, or will you perform this role yourself? These are all questions you need to answer.

H is for Help

If you run into problems when conceptualizing and starting your clinic, do you know where you’re going to turn to for help? New business mentorship programs can be a great way of connecting you with an experienced entrepreneur, who may be able to help you negotiate some of the most challenging points of opening a healthcare clinic.

If you focus your reading and research on HEALTH, then you can be confident that you are well prepared for the rigors of running a healthcare clinic.