Hospitals, government agencies and schools use blood testing clinics to handle a variety of tasks, from drug testing to complete blood counts (CBCs) for health clinics. A blood testing clinic relies on steady business from individuals and corporations to stay alive. Entrepreneurs and nonprofit professionals interested in blood testing clinics have to think about health and safety issues before starting these facilities. Every blood testing clinic has to have protocols for handling spilled blood, storing tested samples and maintaining patient confidentiality to meet legal and ethical standards.
Define your organizational structure and services offered by your blood testing clinic in your business plan. Inform readers of your status as a nonprofit or a for-profit clinic by attaching your mission statement, executive board roster and revenue sources. Highlight services like remote testing, corporate drug testing and free tests for low-income families to draw interest from potential investors.
Increase your startup funding by seeking donations, grants and loans for your blood testing clinic. If your clinic is a nonprofit under IRS guidelines, you can accept donations from individuals and businesses as long as these funds are used for operational expenses. Look for grant opportunities through state universities, hospitals and government agencies aimed at health and testing clinics.
Apply for accreditation from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) before opening your blood testing clinic. The AABB sends out evaluators to determine if prospective members meet standards for handling, testing and storing blood before accreditation is provided. Start your application at least one year before opening a clinic to anticipate the lengthy AABB assessment process.
Pursue a license to operate a blood bank or testing clinic through your state's health department. Every state requires blood banks and other testing facilities to register before operation to ensure health and safety standards are met. Your executive board should think about safety and health protocols covering everything from common spills to natural disasters when filling out licensing applications.
Refine your blood testing clinic's protocols for the disposal of needles, storage of blood and protection of patient information before opening your clinic. Understand state and federal health guidelines that dictate safe operation of blood banks and clinics during this process. Print copies of your protocols for every nurse's station, desk and room in your clinic to forestall improper behavior from your staff.
Hire registered nurses, laboratory techs and office staff for your blood testing clinic. Reach out to professors at local colleges and medical schools to find prospective nurses looking for experience in the medical profession. Your office staff should consist of a full-time scheduler, a records clerk and administrative assistant with accounting experience.
Acquire sufficient equipment to have multiple blood tests in progress at your blood testing clinic. Each testing room should have basic medical supplies like Latex gloves, beds, needles and test bags to keep customers moving quickly. Your testing area should have a refrigerator, microscopes and a centrifuge from medical suppliers like Thermo Scientific.
Develop a standard questionnaire that will be used on every patient at your blood testing clinic. The typical clinic questionnaire asks patients about risk factors like sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis and recent trips overseas that may complicate blood testing.
Reinforce the importance of confidentiality in blood test results with your staff before opening the clinic. Highlight common confidentiality issues like leaving messages about test results, handling patient files and speaking about patients with fellow staff to avoid lawsuits.
Search the CDC website for training sessions that can bolster your clinic's knowledge of blood test administration and assessment. The CDC runs a variety of public health and health technology courses through universities and medical colleges to help medical professionals stay tuned to updated practices. Require staff members to attend at least one seminar pertinent to clinic activities per year.
Calculate the costs of running remote testing sessions to expand your clinic's clientele. A simple remote testing session would require a converted bus or RV, tables, chairs and portable testing equipment that can be costly. Send out questionnaires to corporate clients to determine if there is enough demand to bear the costs of mobile testing clinics.
Keep up with paperwork for patients who have blood tests and other services covered by their health insurance. Submit notes about tests to each patient's insurance company to expedite the billing process for all parties. Ask nurses and other staff members to complete this paperwork every week to avoid extensive backlogs of patient documents.
- Photo by mrfink (Flickr)