Adding a new partner…and a new computer…and a new stapler…

August 2, 2010

I look forward to having a colleague in the office. And with the barrage of requests we get for new patient appointments, I’m sure my staff and those patients look forward to it too.

Soon (but not soon enough), I will have a new associate. I look forward to having a colleague in the office. And with the barrage of requests we get for new patient appointments, I’m sure my staff and those patients look forward to it too.

Now, I had, of course, looked at this not just from a lifestyle standpoint (a weekend off would be grand), but also from a business standpoint. I had figured in her salary, her benefits, and an increase in staff.

I am slowly taking stock of what I will need to prepare in anticipation of her arrival. I will swear this is worse than preparing for our first child. When you first bring the baby home, as long as you have diapers and breastmilk, the kid will survive (yes, I know, I greatly simplify. I was absolutely neurotic about everything from the right crib to the right rectal thermometer). To prepare for my new associate, I feel like I’m starting the practice all over again.

We need to get her credentialed with the various payers. She needs admitting privileges at the local hospital. We will need to change our letterhead. She will need business cards. I will need to change the message on our voice mail.

I will need new computer tablets, and a new computer cart. She’ll need the basic office supplies – stapler, folders, paper clips.

She will need to be trained on the EMR. She will need to be introduced to the local docs. We will need to do a little marketing – announcements, maybe a meet and greet.

I will need to hire one more staff member. I haven’t decided on a front desk person or a medical assistant. Until she is busy, I am thinking the new person will work part-time. One more staff member means other person to train on the EMR, another computer, and a rearrangement of workstations.

My current staff will have to adjust, too. They get a decent amount of downtime now, but that will decrease once they have two docs to work for. And we have a flow now, which I am sure will change.

I think I have to pull out all my “how to start a practice” books and journals to refresh my memory of all the things she’ll need. Are there any “how to add a partner” books?