Things to keep in mind when obtaining a business license in DC

All businesses that are based in the District of Columbia must obtain a valid business license. The type of business license required depends on the business activity conducted in the District of Columbia. This will determine if a Basic Business License is required, and which other licenses are required to legally practice as a business. The process of starting a business can be easier than one might think, and it is strongly recommended to consult with an attorney to file for the right business entity that fits your needs.

 

Business licenses can be filed three ways

A Basic Business License can be filed in three ways: online, via mail, or in person. The processing time is currently around 30 days for Washington DC applications. If you are in a rush, consider filing for your Basic Business License online or in person. After you obtain the license, it has to be renewed every two or four years depending on the entity type.

 

Several business licenses

Several business licenses must be obtained for businesses with different locations or separate business entities. However several activities may be combined on one application as long as appropriate documentation required for each activity is provided. The requirements for that will depend on the nature of the business. The important thing to remember is that an entity name you obtain for one state’s business license may not be available in another municipality’s, so it’s important to check all the databases before you settle on the name of your business! The last thing any business owner needs to worry about is managing several different entity names across all their territories.

 

Different kinds of licenses

Different licenses are needed for different types of activities businesses engage in. For example, many retail and office operations require a General Business License. Businesses with an active business license are often exempt from needing to obtain a General Business License. Specialized licensing is needed for food establishments, industry, specific services, or medical practices.

 

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs provides several resources about business licenses under: https://dcra.dc.gov/node/545242

Rule of thumb for your new practice: maximize comfort and minimize steps

Having a well thought-out strategy when deciding on the space layout of your practice will have a significant impact on how your staff use their workspace. Nurses and most healthcare staff spend most of the day on their feet, moving around the practice from the waiting room to examination rooms all throughout the day. A well-designed office space can drastically reduce the steps both staff and patients take throughout the office. This makes for less stressed employees, but also allows patients to intuitively know how to progress through your clinic after arriving.

 

Front Desk

Your front desk should be the first element your patients see when walking through the door. This increases their feeling of comfort and safety, as they don’t feel lost walking into the practice. In return, your front desk staff should be able to have a view of all patients from the front desk to gain a sense of control of the workplace.

 

Waiting Rooms

Having an inviting waiting room enables your office to avoid the coldness many doctors’ offices can project. Chairs can be arranged in patterns, instead of against the wall, to create a feeling of warmth and give a homey feel. When considering this, make sure you still leave enough space for foot traffic, so patients and staff can move with ease throughout the office.

 

Examination Rooms

Even a small doctor’s office should have a minimum of three examination rooms, even if there is only one doctor. This improves the waiting time for patients and the workflow for doctors and staff. Medical assistants can work on patients in those rooms before doctors arrive, improving the quantity of patients that doctors can tend to each day. Having those rooms in close proximity to each other allows your staff to quickly go back and forth, therefore improving their workload.

The medical office your patients really want to visit

Are you looking to make the patient’s time in your practice as pleasant and memorable as possible? When done, it not only benefits patients immensely, but also reflects positively on your practice, staff, and doctors. The design of the space is key to how the patient interacts with the space.

 

Welcoming waiting room

First impressions certainly count, so having a clean and bright waiting room is essential to making a positive impression on your patients. The cleanliness of your waiting room and the accommodations you provide, be it coffee, tea and/or WiFi, will reflect on how the patient perceives the overall care he or she receives in your office. An added bonus, to ensure patients will love coming to your practice, are computer work stations, kid-areas with TVs and games, and “Family Corners” for quite privacy.

 

Modern examination room

It is more important than ever for clinics to have modern and updated exam rooms. This ensures that the patients feel safe and that they will receive the best care through the newest technologies available. Up-to-date clinics who apply new advancements in the field are constantly surpassing the competition in terms of customer satisfaction.

 

Caring staff

The appearance of your staff and how they treat patients reflects on your practice, and the likelihood of them recommending your clinic. Ensure your staff wears matching, clean scrubs and that they treat patients with politeness and patience, especially on the more stressful days of the week where patients are enduring longer wait times.

Our recommendation: spend a lunch break in the waiting room and look around you. Examine how the staff interacts with patients and contemplate what could be improved in the waiting and examination rooms. See your practice from the point of view your patients see it.

Checklist you need before starting a practice

Are you considering opening your own practice? You are not alone: a growing number of doctors want to make the leap into independant business ownership every year. Shaping your own work environment, hours invested, and applied techniques are some of the many reasons healthcare professional across the field strive to open a private practice. There are many things to consider when opening a business in the healthcare industry, be it seemingly minor details such as where to get business cards printed, or more significant aspects like the floor plan layout and size of your new practice.

 

Here is a list to get you started when thinking about launching your own practice:

    • Create a business plan, including a marketing and strategic financial plan to alleviate concerns about cashflow and initial capital invested.
    • Spend time meeting with various architects, interior designers, and contractors to ensure you create a team of professionals who have your business’s best interest in mind while being best suited for your long term vision.
    • Conduct market research while speaking with business consultants to decide the ideal office location and whether its best to rent or buy the space.
    • Determine a legal structure and obtain all appropriate licensing, such as business and medical licenses. Don’t forget about insurance!
    • Ensure that the candidates you hire to join the staff will be worth the investment you make in training them for the long term.
    • Setup your office and make sure you are up to speed on local business codes, Tax ID , NPI, DEA, etc.
    • Work on a fee schedule and setup an accounting system.
    • Work with designers on the layout of the space to ensure efficient traffic flow for both patients and the staff.
    • Establish furnishing, equipment placement, and clinical supplies needs prior to placing orders.
    • Establish information technology needs like appointment booking systems.
    • Plan for IT installation and training, such as internet, phone system, and electronic health record-keeping.
    • Choose vendors for maintenance, supplies, payment processing, and other office needs.

Having an experienced partner when opening your practice is vital to its success. Liberty Group Construction has been working with medical practices for the past years and would love to help you get started. Contact us today at (888) 308-6869 and we will ensure your vision of opening your own practice becomes a reality.

How 3D models can assist in perfecting ergonomic design

Rhinoceros, Blender3D, SketchUp or ZBrush are the four big program names when considering 3D modeling.  3D modeling consists of design, geometry, and, in particular, math. Designers, architects, and even construction firms are able to, using special software, give a mathematical description of the object and its surface.

 

Today, architects, engineers, and construction model coordinators face more and more daunting challenges. Structures continue becoming more complex and the field simply demands that as much detail of a building system be shown as possible. 3D modeling, as opposed to 2D design, brings several benefits to overcome those challenges.

 

Efficiency – 3D modeling leaves more time to focus on the design of constructions, as it is easier to ensure that the plan, section and elevation express the original conceptual intent. Using 3D modeling saves the designers time, and the clients money.

 

Precision – 3D modeling allows more precision and control of single design elements than ever before. Every small detail of a building can be separately analyzed and measured.

 

Pricing – 3D modeling allows architects and construction firms to put their building to test before they are built, to avoid costly mistakes for clients. Clients can see the end result before the construction process has even begun, and it allows architects and designers to see the building’s reaction to stress factors and tolerances.

 

In the long run, not only does the construction firm and architect benefit from 3D modeling, but mainly it is the client who comes out on top with receiving a complex yet tested final product. 3D modeling helps the client envision the how their new space will look like, but also save them time and money during the construction and design project.

 

Liberty Group, LLC has been using 3D modeling for their clients for years to stay up to date with current trends. If you want to learn more about how 3D modeling can benefit your, contact us today toll free at (888) 308-6869.

Making your waiting room a pleasant experience for your patients

The average waiting time at a medical office is 21 minutes. This is often more time than the patient actually spends with the doctor, therefore making a large impact on how the patient perceives the quality of care.

Below are tips for designing your waiting room to make a positive impact on your patients:

    • Patients love to use their waiting time actively. A flat screen displaying the news and a stack of magazines can only take you so far. Free WiFi is often the minimum a client expects in a waiting room. If you are looking to go a step further than that, think about setting up small desks or workstations so your patients can use the waiting time actively. If a patient can feel productive and amused while waiting for their appointment they may feel as if there was no wait at all!
    • Patients want to take control. Most patients dislike being seated in a hard chair next to strangers waiting for their appointment. Giving patients some control back will help improve their overall experience. Consider giving your patients space to sit in the children’s corner, have coffee on a communal table, or setup a muted tv. Additionally, alert patients on a screen, or via text alerts when their appointment is coming up. This has been one of the most requested features by patients in the last several of years.
    • Patients love being pampered. Setting up a coffee bar and tea bar is a great bonus to shorten and ease the waiting time for clients. Think about going further and leaving a real impression, like some dentists who offered massage chair for waiting parents. A dentist that posted their waiting room massage chairs garnished over 1000 likes on Instagram which doubled as free advertising for the practice.

No matter if you want to improve your waiting room, or entire practice, Liberty Group, LLC is here to assist you.

Planning on opening a clinic? Here are some valuable tips to pick the ideal location!

Picking the location for your new medical space might be one of the most important business decisions you will make. After all, the real estate adage “Location, location, location” is vital to the overall success of your new practice.

Here is what to keep in mind when looking for the perfect practice location:

Demographic

Population size is one of the most important aspects when considering the location of your practice. The denser in population in a particular region, the higher the chance your practice will succeed, as there are more potential patients in that area. If you work in a specified medical field, for example pediatric, consider opening your practice in a family-friendly and child-rich area.

Competition

Look around the area you are considering as your new practice location and ask yourself the following questions:

    • How many medical practices are in the immediate area?
    • How do they position themselves?
    • Do you have any advantage, for example additional certifications, over your competitors?
    • What are their reviews, and are patients looking for a change?

Accessibility

When choosing your clinic location, consider parking, traffic patterns, and the accessibility of your office. The more convenient it is for patients to get to your office, the more likely it is for your patients to choose your practice over the practice of your competitor. Ask  yourself the following:

    • Is there a private lot, or easy street parking available?
    • Are patients able to use public transport to visit your practice?
    • Is your practice easy to find and visible from the streets outside?
    • Are you able to mount signage to make it more clear where your office is located?

There are an indefinite amount of factors involved when it comes to finding the ideal business location and therefore it is recommended you work with an experienced real estate agent or business consultant to help you get your business started on the right track. Please contact Liberty Group Construction if interested in our business consultation services.

Design changes in your office that can significantly improve a patient’s experience

First impressions always count. When your patient steps into your waiting room, there are many subtle yet significant interactions that can define that experience. Patients take in everything from the friendliness of your front desk staff and the cleanliness of your waiting room, to the accessibility of your practice. But, most importantly, and often overlooked, the patient will notice the layout of the space itself.

The first area your patient will see and spend time in will always be your waiting room.

 

Ask yourself the following questions when considering the design of the waiting room:

  • Layout: Is it easy and accessible for patients to walk to the treatment room? Is there a clearly designated, comfortable area to fill out paperwork?

Key Note: First and foremost, think of the traffic flow of the office as the most important element to consider, as this will be the most challenging design to change later.

  • Seating: Are the seats comfortable for clients, keeping in mind longer waiting periods? Is there enough seating for families, and can seats be easily moved so parents can sit with their children?

Key Note: To maintain flexibility and comfort, opt for separate chairs with soft fabric covers instead of connected hard-shell seating..

  • Artwork and lighting: Is there something relaxing for patients to look at to ease the waiting time? Is the lighting bright enough for clients to read available literature, but soft enough to make the waiting room not feel too clinical or add glare to TVs?

Key Note: Use soft lighting, and natural, neutral paint colors with pops of artwork to make your practice as relaxing and inviting as possible for patients, while still maintaining a unique interior design.

All of these elements shape your patient’s experience in the waiting room. The way visitors experience your space can easily shape the patient’s experience in a positive or negative way. Take advantage of this and take the time needed with your designer and contractor to create a relaxing and well-functioning space for all occupants.

Is your practice up to date? – Current trends in dental practice design

Interior design trends change every year, and medical practice design is no exception. With social media advertising and online business reviews increasing in popularity, it is more important than ever for practices to stay up-to-date with the latest design trends and leave a lasting impression. The modern design and functionality of medical spaces are just as important for patients as the cleanliness, and healthcare professionals in all sectors are taking advantage of this.

Here is what to consider when wanting to stay up to date with current trends:

Color

  • Color themes are not only important in your branding materials and website. More and more practitioners apply the colors used in their branding to their physical practice space. If your branding features include bright tones, choose a bright accent or that specific shade as a “pop of color” in minor design elements throughout your space. Muted and neutral colors are still key here to maintain a calming practice environment.

Advertising Features

  • If you own a dental clinic, then your patients strive for the perfect smile. Attractive artwork, images, and advertisements of bright white smiles and successful treatments have become a trend. The same applies with compelling images of facial features if you are a dermatologist. Conveying the desirable results of your trade is a great way for your practice to advertise its services, while easing the patient’s waiting time with positive images.

Infection Control

  • As healthcare sanitary codes become more stringent, requiring practices to enforce high hygiene control, an increase in the use of ceramic materials for flooring has been trending. Ceramic floors and quartz countertops not only ease cleaning efforts, but also allow for larger sterilized spaces.

If you want to take advantage of current design trends too, contact Liberty Group Construction for a consultation at (888) 308-6869.

Healthcare Flooring

Flooring for Healthcare Environments.

An increasing volume of research shows that the physical environment in which patients are cared for and in which caregivers work has a measurable impact on them. It is estimated that more than 1,000 research studies illustrate how healthcare design can improve patient care, enhance medical outcomes, and reduce medical errors and waste. As a result, the use of this research in the design of healthcare environments is sweeping the field. The process, referred to as evidence-based design (EBD), calls for design decisions about the built environment to be based on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes, according to the Center for Health Design.

Today’s hospital executives are embracing EBD principles as a guide to help them do more with less. They have a financial responsibility to ensure that the decisions being made about their capital investments achieve a number of important objectives:

  • Improve patient and staff safety

  • Reduce medical errors

  • Reduce patient and staff stress

  • Speed patient healing and improve patient outcomes

  • Improve the patient and family experience

  • Improve staff effectiveness and satisfaction

  • Positively impact the bottom line

Flooring is an especially important design element within the healthcare environment. Not only is it necessarily found in all spaces, but the type of flooring specified greatly influences the outcome of each space. We advice our clients to evaluate this decision very carefully when designing their new office space. The investment on properly designed flooring materials can save the business much more in the long run.  

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Source: interiors+sources