The healthcare sector is one of the most booming. Many are building startups around the various strands of healthcare, from technology to helping patients with various ailments. But for those wanting to create a flexible business in the healthcare sector, they have a few challenges to overcome. What are the challenges and what are the best ways to overcome them?
Waiting times are one of the biggest problems across the board. While there are numerous outpatient challenges associated with every healthcare startup, it’s getting customers seen that proves to be the most troublesome component. As businesses struggle to cope with the demands this means that customers aren’t being seen as quickly as possible. The waiting times then increase. But finding ways around this can be as simple as hiring more workers. But in order to get to that point, you have got to increase your budget. This means that in order to increase the budget you’ve got to get more people through. It’s a very tricky Catch-22 type situation. But one of the answers could very well be to do with technology.
The Technology Hurdles
The technology hurdles are numerous. But one of the most important things that any healthcare startup can implement from the perspective of the patient is to increase communication. The diversity of technology available now, especially with smartphones and apps, means that customers or patients can be seen without having to queue up. It’s important to diversify the potential for communication. While every healthcare startup has its own website and telephone number, this isn’t enough. There are numerous advances in medical technology that means with certain algorithms a doctor can be alerted to the urgency of the patient. But even on the simplest level, something like text messaging services can keep patients up-to-date. If a patient is not able to make an appointment, if they can text a phone rather than trying to speak to a human being, this drastically reduces waiting times and improved service.
Bringing Together A Semblance Of Culture
It’s not just the patients that need to be a priority. In a stressful working environment, there can be a distinct lack of togetherness. For every business, there has to be a semblance of a working culture that makes employees feel supported. Partly, this can be to do with ensuring everybody feels like a unit but it’s also about putting components in place to make everybody feel like they are part of a team. Partly this can be to do with having an open-door policy as well as regular keep in touch sessions with each individual member, but it’s also about opening up the floor and allowing employees to speak their mind. Sometimes people can feel like they are in a culture of fear. This doesn’t just have an impact on the overall togetherness of the workers, but it can have a major impact on morale which hinders productivity. Making sure that you focus on employee togetherness through tried and tested methods like workshops and team getaways can help to foster a more productive working relationship.
Focusing On Employee Happiness
Employees need to feel happy in their job and this means that if we focus on targets and deadlines our employees will feel pushed to one side. Instead of focusing on the business exclusively we have to look at the personal components as well. Employee happiness is crucial because this will result in productive workers. Making your employees happy, especially in such a stressful working environment can be hard, but it is partly to do with speaking to the employees as well as ensuring that their personal needs are met. People can feel overworked and underpaid. And if we can implement a system that gives them that emotional support, not only will they be happier but there will be less human error.
A Proper System
A lot is to be said about having the right tools. Electronic Health Records (EHR) are part and parcel of many startups but they aren’t exclusive across the board. Ensuring that you have a proper organized structure in place means that your employees will have quick access to documents but will also make sure the business stays above board. One of the major problems that has been evidenced across the board in terms of medical healthcare systems is that they are of poor quality. You only have to look at the NHS data breach that occurred in 2018 to see how much chaos can occur. Having a proper system in place is common sense but it’s surprising how many businesses do not have the opportunity to restructure or organize themselves.
Marketing is not something we would directly associate with the healthcare industry but it’s a crucial component as this will get us clients and customers. Making sure that marketing is a part of your promotional tactics isn’t just about setting up a website or putting a column in the local paper; you’ve got to be far more savvy. Using social media tools as well as implementing market research to acquire the appropriate demographics in terms of the platforms that you use means that you will reach a wider customer base. Improper marketing means you won’t be able to reach the right people. And this is especially true if you are running a startup that’s in direct competition with another nearby business. You can differentiate yourself by providing more specialized services but if you don’t market yourself effectively who will know that you exist?
The healthcare industry faces numerous challenges, not just in terms of medicine or staff shortages, but it’s the morale and the marketing components that need addressing too. In order to ensure a successful startup in the medical industry we have to remember that we run the company like a business but also look at everything with a holistic approach. Ensuring that customers’ needs are met is one thing but we’ve also got to remember to treat these people as human beings. It’s so easy to operate a conveyor belt type of approach- that once they come in and get the problem sorted we throw them back out. A good business is about establishing worthwhile relationships.