The Practice Manager is a pivotal role in any health practice, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Practice owners need to know they have an experienced professional running the business side of things during the COVID-19 pandemic so that clinicians can focus on delivering exceptional healthcare during this difficult time. A good Practice Manager will keep on top of important issues such as cashflow and understanding the available government subsidies that are available.
What skills should a good practice manager have?
The staff in a medical practice are one of its most important assets. Finding good doctors in particular in Australia can be challenging. A Practice Manager that understands how to attract and retain talented people will be an enormous asset. It is also vital they understand employment law to ensure compliance with local legislation and awards. They will also have strong workforce planning skills to ensure the medical practice has the required skills to care for patients.
Business & Financial Management
A vital part of the Practice Managers role is to manage the financial side of the practice, a good Practice Manager will boast a sound knowledge of accounting principles and an ability to prepare budgets and cashflow projections, drive patient billing policy and debtor management as well as facilitate any investment planning. The Practice Manager should also ensure the practice is able to receive all government incentives and stimulus that is offered during the pandemic.
Key to the success of any health practice is good planning and the Practice Manager needs to be proficient in developing strategic and operational business plans. They need to introduce monitoring systems for licenses, accreditation and recertifications.
During these uncertain times for many practices, a good practice manager will ensure the ongoing profitability of the practice while making sure that all staff are productive and that practice processes are efficient.
One of the most important skills for a Practice Manager is organisation, they must be able to multi-task and manage conflicting priorities without getting stressed. Doctors, staff and patients will all engage with the practice manager regularly throughout the day and being able to organise solutions to the multiple issues that will arise is crucial.
With infection control being such an important issue during the pandemic, an understanding of the requirements for good clinic hygiene is essential.
Marketing and Public Relations
Attracting new patients and retaining existing ones is important for growing practices, so a Practice Manager that understands the various marketing tactics will be a huge asset. The ability to facilitate regular communication with patients is important during the pandemic.
A solid understanding of technology is a key skill for modern Practice Managers as the majority of practices today have computerized systems in place for practice management and financial management.
A Health Practice is a high-risk business, it is, therefore, crucial that a Practice Manager boasts an intimate understanding of risk management and the application of risk minimisation resources. This will include things like keeping patient records secure, having the right insurances in place, implementing infection control policies and of course ensuring legal compliance.
A great Practice Manager is an asset to a medical practice, they boast a broad-ranging skillset that can be difficult to find, but it is well worth the effort to find a good one as they will ensure business success and patient satisfaction. Don’t forget to show your appreciation regularly for your hard-working practice manager.