NURS6003: Establishing a Nurse-led Clinic or Stand-alone Nurse Practitioner Service: Clinical Management Assignment, CU, Singapore

Establishing a Business Plan for a Nurse-Led Clinic or Stand-Alone Business

Introduction

Establishing a nurse-led clinic or stand-alone nurse practitioner service provides many opportunities and challenges. In order to address the challenges and reap potential opportunities, the first step would be to write a comprehensive business plan. The rationale for creating such clinics vary. However, the evidence to date clearly demonstrates potential benefits including improved health outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, improved access to care, decreased waiting times, and a decrease in avoidable hospital admissions.

Your choice in developing a business plan for a nurse-led clinic or stand-alone business heavily influences how your plan will look, and who the intended audience will be. In the case of nurse-led clinics, which are frequently co-located within an existing healthcare service (e.g. hospital, community center, or general practice), your plan may be developed to align with the governance and management structures of a larger organization. Popular examples of nurse-led clinics are wound care and diabetes management clinics that operate in outpatient departments within hospitals. In that instance, a successful business case will appeal to both health service managers and the hospital executive.

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In the case of stand-alone businesses, such as those seen commonly with nurse practitioners working in the private sector, your business case may look quite different as there may not be the same governance structures in place. In Australia, nurse practitioners have the legal authority to provide healthcare autonomously and independently. This is commonly seen with nurse practitioners running stand-alone convenience care clinics based within pharmacies or contracting their services out to other organizations, such as aged care facilities. Starting such businesses from the ground-up takes capital from funding sources that are quite different from those seen in hospitals. Therefore, a successful business case may instead appeal to financial institutions or seek funding from alternative funding pools.

 

Significant Steps in a Business Plan

Once you choose the type of plan you will be developing, you will need to then begin writing. There are different frameworks, depending on whether you aim to establish a nurse-led clinic or stand-alone business. The following frameworks have been adapted from the Australian Primary Healthcare Nurses’ Association1 and the Western Australian Small Business

  • The business plan template can be found at https://www.apna.asn.au/nursing-tools/nurse-clinics/Buildingblocks/a-clear-plan

Development Corporation. It is highly recommended you review their guidelines and resources fulsomely before you begin plan development.

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Nurse-Led Clinic Business Plan Framework

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Rationale
  5. Standards and Evidence
  6. Aim, Objectives, and Scope
  7. Required Resources
  8. Finances
  9. Risk Management
  10. Implementation Plan
  11. Monitoring and Evaluation
  12. Conclusion
  13. References

Stand-Alone Clinic Business Plan Framework

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Business Profile
  5. Vision, Mission, and Goals
  6. Market Research
  7. Operating Strategy
  8. Products and Services
  9. Marketing Plan
  10. Financial Strategy
  11. Supporting Documentation
  12. Monitoring and Evaluation
  13. References

Note that in both frameworks, you should write your executive summary last, as this will become clearer the more you develop your plan. Also note that if you are developing a plan for your local health service, who has a standard template they use for business plans, you are welcome to use that in lieu of the above frameworks.

Finally, in developing your business plan it is mandatory that you include a plan of how you will evaluate the success of your service. Financial sustainability is in itself an important indicator, but you must also provide evidence of validated tools that demonstrate the “value-add” of your service. The following resources may be of assistance when you develop this section:

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  • AUSPRAC: The Nurse Practitioner Research Toolkit
  • Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
  • Nurse Practitioner-Sensitive Outcomes

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