• Are You New to Practice Management?

    Every day, medical practice managers are being asked to do more with less – it’s like that within many industries, and ours isn’t any different. But earning the opportunity to be a practice manager is acareer milestone, and if you’re unsure of where your footing is, it can become remarkably overwhelming when it comes to the tasks you need to sort through on a daily basis.

    There’s never really any band aid solution to the issues we face in our clinics, whether you’re responsible for one person or a whole team; it’s all about being prepared, being organised, and boosting your confidence. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you get started so that you’re working smarter, and not harder in your role as a practice manager!

    Be Ready For Anything

    It takes time to adjust to a new position, especially as a first time practice manager. From ordering and replacing toner cartridges to dealing with staff KPIs and disgruntled patients, your role as a practice manager is the foundation of which your clinic rests on. This means you need to be prepared for everything and anything!

    I won’t lie – sometimes being a practice manager is hard. You may find yourself in situations where you’ll need to make difficult decisions, but what’s important to realise is that it’s your responsibility to decide what is best and be ready to explain the reasoning behind any choices. You have the power to build the most amazing workplace culture, so don’t be afraid to just take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and know that what you do in your medical practice is incredibly rewarding.

    The Leader’s Perspective

    Have you had a chance yet to identify what type of leader you are? If you haven’t, this is a great opportunity to get-to-know-yourself again in terms of your career as a practice manager and help you understand the impact your leadership style will have within your clinic. There’s a myriad of information out there in the world wide web, but the most common leadership styles include Democratic, Autocratic, Laissez-Faire, Strategic, Transformational, Transactional, Coach-Style and Bureaucratic. Spending some time reading up on these will help you realise there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to being a successful, efficient leader but once you do identify which style fits you best, the rest will just fall beautifully into place.

    Knowledge Is Power

    Am I sounding cliché here? I actually hope I am! I want this to be engrained in your head – knowledge enhances the capability and quality of your work and drives productivity. Do I hear an amen in here?!

    But let me make something clear – I’m talking about the type of knowledge where you want to know all your clinic’s systems like the back of your hand, not the sort where you regard yourself in a higher standard than everybody else. Things like ensuring you have complete understanding of the RACGP standards, MBS item numbers and guidelines, the software your clinic is using and, of course, the general guidelines and policies of your medical practice. It will definitely take time and energy,but worth it in the end.

    Organisational Skills Like A Boss

    This is a blog topic all on its own here, so I’ll just touch the surface a bit. Finding the balance between your own output and the needs of your practice team has a lot to do with prioritisation. Have a system for emails, find a hard copy planner that ticks all your boxes, learn that it’s okay to re-prioritise throughout the day, and if you have to – block off time to get ‘stuff’ done.

    Using digital productivity tools are another way to stay organised – they let you drag, drop, colour-code and manipulate all your ‘To Do’ items, and you can find one that embodies your personal style.

    Trust Is Not Just A 5-Letter Word

    Trust within your medical practice is just as important as within any other organisation, and without it, teamwork and performance inevitably suffers. Get to know everyone who works at your clinic, and vice versa, without getting too personal; be transparent and truthful; let them know they can come to you with any grievances and/or praises; and encourage as well as motivate rather than command.

    You will find yourself managing what is meaningful in your medical practice, and sure, being a practice manager is a big responsibility, but stepping into this world is incredibly rewarding. You’ll find yourself taking pride in what you and your whole team has accomplished to build a bigger and better clinic, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

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