Letters and Editorials 483 Views Peggy Chan

How Entrepreneurship Can Help Improve Healthcare Systems

What do you do when you find yourself educated and experienced in the medical field, but by working for someone else you feel your true talents are suppressed and wasted? Becoming an entrepreneur by using your skills to create a better world for healthcare takes that inward drive and puts it into practice. When you have experienced the medical world, noting its limitations and seeing its potential, it’s time to stop wishing things were different and actually take steps to make the difference. See what needs to be changed, find out how you can make the difference, and take action.

What Is Wrong With Healthcare?

This is a controversial question that fills the news industry and is often an uninvited guest at the dinner table. Politics and promises aside, the reality is that everything in life could be better if the right person stepped up. With waiting rooms full of unseen patients, medical software systems inadequately developed, and office managers unskilled in even the basic medical tasks, a walk into a doctor’s office for a routine visit could take hours; most of it just wait time. The general staff found in a basic doctor’s office includes:

  • Receptionists who schedule appointments, greet patients and create charts
  • Medical Assistants who walk people back, taking vitals and medical history
  • Physicians
  • Office Managers

Sometimes there are nurses on staff as well as medical coders who work with insurance and often there are interpreters who help with language barriers.

Now, if everyone knows and does his job thoroughly, it sounds like a wonderfully working machine designed to cover all the needs of the medical office. However, this is seldom the case. Staff calls in sick, medical assistants have to schedule patients and do charts, and doctors run behind because they are too booked up with patients. On top of that, office managers fail at managing their staff so they have to try to fill in without the necessary skills or bedside manner.

In the meantime, the computer might crash, immunizations have to be checked in and refrigerated, people don’t know what their insurance pays and don’t want the appointment until you tell them exactly what they will be charged. Emergency situations cause other patients to bump those who made their appointments weeks ago.

Thus, the merry-go-round of the medical office continues as things get further behind day by day until Friday when the last patient finally leaves. The staff is exhausted and the patients didn’t receive the best care they deserved.

What Could Fix All Of This?

Of course, there is no one perfect answer to all that could go wrong because the human factor will always play a part in any system. However, if you have ever worked in an office where doctors and patients connect, you are well aware of all of the known pitfalls. What if you could fix them? Have you ever looked around and thought, “We need a ‘Fixer.’” Well, there are actually courses for that very thing. However, after you have been in the field long enough and received the hands-on knowledge about the ins and outs of this world, you are skilled enough to know what needs to be fixed and how to do it.

What Could You Do?

You could think about being an adviser or consultant to medical offices. Start with your own. Speak with your office manager and physicians and ask to be pulled from the label of what you have been doing and show them how developing another position that strictly focuses on daily fixing everything from computer issues, to patient care, to properly coding would benefit both them and their patients. Once you have successfully turned around one office, you can easily put yourself out there as an advisor or consultant with other offices. Soon, you would be very valuable and sought out and that’s when you will be able to become a successful entrepreneur who then sends out “fixers” to several medical offices.

Becoming an entrepreneur in the medical field takes experience and then a drive to make things better, as well as the passion that takes you from where you are to as far as you’re willing to go. Consider Harry Stylli, he started out as a scientist and research manager and has continued to serve in different capacities which increased his breadth of responsibility in the medical field. He has carried titles such as President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer in multiple companies creating new and exciting discoveries in the field of molecular studies and cancer. He sees potential and continues to use his skills to achieve the best possible outcome.

The point is, making anything better has to start somewhere and with someone. If your passion is medicine but you feel you could create a better experience for your patients and fellow staff, consider being a ‘fixer.’ You may not discover a cure for cancer, but you may make the wait time shorter for someone who should be diagnosed


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