As of 2020, it was found that one in five American adults was living with a mental illness. That’s almost 20% of the U.S. population. In concrete numbers, almost 53 million U.S. adults were suffering from a mental health condition in 2020.
It was also observed that only 24.3 million people out of the 53 million sought help from mental health services. That’s less than half of the people suffering from such illness. While there are many reasons why this happens every year, one of the major reasons is the lack of adequate and efficient mental health facilities.
Thus, when you’re planning to establish your own private behavioral or mental health practice, you must ensure that it’s efficient and caters to your clients. That being said, here are a few tips on how you can go about it.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is one of the most important documents you’ll write. It’s a roadmap to understanding who you are, where you want to go, and how you’ll get there. A well-developed business plan will provide clarity and direction for your practice. It will help keep clients from feeling lost or confused when they come seeking behavioral health services.
A good place to start developing your own business plan is by reading other examples of behavioral health practice plans. There are many available online for free. You may also want to talk with someone who has experience writing these plans, like a consultant or another practice owner.
Develop an Office Space That Fosters Success
When you’re starting your private practice, one of the most important things to think about is how to set up your office space. Once you’ve decided on a location and have all of the necessary licensing, it’s time to consider decorating.
If you are a psychiatrist, the decor of your office should reflect who you are as an individual. If you are a counselor or therapist, it should be clean and organized without coming off as cold or clinical in any way.
Select the Right Electronic Health Records System
The backbone of your private practice is the electronic health records (EHR) system. Without it, you cannot provide efficient services to your clients. Selecting an EHR system is one of the most important decisions when starting a behavioral healthcare practice.
The purpose of electronic health records is to allow you to document patient information electronically so that it can be accessed anytime and anywhere by authorized personnel.
You want an EHR system that makes documentation efficient so as not to waste time or cause mistakes. It should also be easy for staff unfamiliar with technology to use it quickly without requiring extensive training or manual assistance from IT personnel.
Opt for behavioral health EHR vendors that are reliable, affordable, and can meet your needs. You want something fast and efficient, and at the same time secure. After all, data privacy is of utmost importance when digitally storing sensitive client information.
Around 75% of U.S. citizens are concerned about online and digital privacy. However, not all of them take the necessary actions to protect it. Thus, the responsibility somewhat falls on you to do your part and protect their data from your end. That’s why you must use an EHR with proper security measures to protect client data.
Select the Right Administrative Staff
You need an administrative staff that can handle the day-to-day business of your practice. If you plan on staying busy seeing patients, you need someone who can handle insurance billing, scheduling, and other administrative tasks while you focus on patient care.
In addition to managing all of these responsibilities, your administrative staff will also have to be able to market and advertise your private behavioral health practice for it to grow and thrive.
Hire the Best Mental Health Professionals for Your Practice
Hiring the right staff is essential to the success of your private practice. Hiring people who are passionate about their work is crucial, but you also want to ensure that they are hard-working and reliable.
You want people who are good at what they do and have a proven track record for working with others. Behavioral health professionals need all these qualities to succeed in an independent practice environment. By hiring these types of professionals, you can rest assured that your business will run smoothly from day one.
Market Your Private Practice
Good marketing is an important part of any successful business. It allows you to attract new clients and create a positive image for your business. You can market your private practice in many ways, including writing articles, creating blogs or newsletters, networking with other professionals in the field, and advertising on social media platforms.
Many people who work at traditional behavioral health practices don’t realize how much time goes into marketing until they try it themselves. Thus, you must put effort and resources into marketing your practice. Otherwise, it’ll become difficult for you to attract clients.
Opening a private behavioral health practice can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, making it successful depends on how well you can run it. By following the tips discussed above, you can rest assured that you can run your practice smoothly and efficiently.