Starting a new business in the competitive world of health care (health-dom) is a daunting and exciting experience. Breaking into the healthcare market is neither simple nor is it easy. There are complex issues to consider such as:
- Public awareness and acceptance
Just to name a few……..
Each is as important as the other and each requires a significant amount of attention so that things develop and run smoothly.
When we came up with the concept of The Ocean Road Health group our core focus was Nurse Practitioners (NP) and how to promote the role among the community both locally and nationally. The role of the NP is already established in many areas of health care such as: Emergency, the area in which we practice. However, it is our goal to develop and promote the role in primary health/community health and offer the role to the community via a walk in GP type service.
This has been done before both in Victoria and in other states with various different business models and varying levels of success. Ultimately our predecessors have found that with the current state of Medicare rebates for NPs that a clinic staffed souly by NPs was not a viable business. Other successful business models were run as GP clinics and staffed by doctors and NPs or located in pharmacy’s that covered all the outgoing costs.
This was discouraging at first and made us question ourselves on several occasions but we were not completely deterred. We want to make a difference, to make our mark on the healthcare industry by revolutionising the way we deliver health care. We wanted to make NPs a valuable and respected member of the healthcare team that were recognised by both the community and their peers.
We have a vision that includes:
- Accessible and affordable healthcare for all
- Healthcare that is delivered by NPs using a holistic nursing framework that utilizes a medical model
- Healthcare that is collaborative and communicative among doctors, NPs, nurses, paramedics and allied health staff to improve patient care
- To broaden the communities healthcare ‘choices’ by offering a community NP service
- To ease the load on the already overstretched emergency departments around the country by taking patients that are easily managed by an NP away from the emergency environment
- To provide education to other healthcare professionals that encourages evidence based practice, collaborative health care and harbors positive relationships between different disciplines
- To work collaboratively with national bodies that are dedicated to our cause
Some of these visions are coming to fruition such as our conference ‘Making Waves 2016: The Health Practitioner Movement’, and some are still a long way off. Despite this our commitment remains the same.
We have been surprised so far on our journey into health-dom. We have been scared, disappointed, nervous, excited, tired, full of ideas and moved to continue to pursue our vision despite occasional lack of support and set backs.
We are the new kids on the block; we are paving a new way. We don’t consider ourselves renegades or healthcare rebels as some in the industry might consider us, nor are we pioneers. We are simply trying to cement ourselves in an industry that is complex and demands professionalism, quality care and community acceptance.
We long for acceptance from the community, our peers and our governing bodies. We don’t want to step on toes but sometimes on a journey such as this, toe stepping is an unavoidable reality. We want to stay cool. Be professional and always be the bigger ‘person’ so to speak. We want to form relationships that will improve our service, our reputation and promote the role of the NP. We want to stay true to our vision.
The first major milestone of our journey will happen in May 2016 with our first health practitioner conference:
We are excited to offer this new conference format that offers a 2-day educational and leisure event open to a variety of different healthcare disciplines. This encompasses our vision of collaborative and communicative healthcare by improving relationships between healthcare professionals and streamlining their education.
We must be bold. Be strong. Maintain the vision. The journey into health-dom will be worth it in the end.