First and foremost, running a clinic needs you to be the kind of private practice manager who can juggle several rather disparate responsibilities at the same time. You are typically in charge of people management, keeping an eye on day-to-day finances, and ensuring that the patient experience is the best it can be. While, of course, your reception staff and clinical colleagues each have their role to play, it’s your job to bring everyone together to form a well-oiled machine. It’s a real mix of short- and long-term strategies, some of the most important of which we’ll discuss in this article today.
Communication Is Key
What you say to your colleagues and how you say it has a significant impact on how well your practice operates. You must promote a workplace culture that fosters professional development, open communication and a clear sense of working toward a common goal. There are all kinds of ways in which you can achieve this and it’ll depend on your preferences as well as those of your colleagues. The challenge lies in finding out what those preferences are.
To encourage better communication in your practice, look to focus on the following approaches:
- Make a conscious attempt at listening to your colleagues and engage with them proactively
- Put protected time aside specifically to address concerns, air grievances and discuss solutions to problems
- Try to sense feelings and underlying motivations rather than just taking a conversation at face value
- Think about the people in front of you and adapt your approach to optimise the outcome
- Consider non-verbal signals that may give you a deeper understanding of how you can help your colleagues and the clinic
- Be concise in communicating ideas and always recap at the end of a conversation
Practice Management Software and a Systematic Approach
It’s commonly said that a craftsman or indeed craftswoman is only ever as good as their tools. When it comes to managing a medical practice, the job of a practice manager is no different. You need the very best tools at hand to make the most out of your formidable skillset. Medesk is a whole platform for private practice management that aims to bring together everything you need to succeed.
When evaluating your current situation, take a systematic approach and make sure you can:
- Handle the patient acquisition process and promote your services to the right patient groups
- Manage bookings effortlessly and schedule automated reminders to slash cancellations
- Gather pre-payments to cover your overheads in the event of a no-show
- Provide clinicians with standardised tools to craft the best patient experience and give high-quality clinical care
- Track and optimise your performance to keep your patients coming back time and time again
Bear in Mind Your Clinic’s Niche
No two practices are truly identical even if they are focusing on the same speciality. There are going to be slight differences depending on your location, average patient demographic, your colleagues’ personalities and style of bedside manner amongst many other factors. That said, there are certainly some general points that you should bear in mind in certain specialities.
To ensure that you are the right kind of private practice manager for your clinic’s speciality, consider the following:
- Look at your average patient and their main ideas, concerns and expectations
- Take regular feedback from patients to show that you want to make a difference
- Demonstrate how you’ve responded to constructive criticism to build patient trust
- Keep an eye on your colleagues to ensure that the patient experience is great throughout the practice
Put Yourself in Your Colleagues’ Shoes
A good manager always takes into consideration how their colleagues are going to perceive and react to changes. While you surely have the best intentions for your clinic, it’s crucial that you enact any improvements in a way that is conducive to collaboration and the development of a pleasant workplace culture.
To get the most out of your colleagues and provide a great patient experience:
- Consider your colleagues’ individual responsibilities and be realistic about what changes can be made
- Invite your colleagues to give their own feedback in a protected environment
- Think about having an open-door policy to show you are available and willing to take ideas on board
- Always remember that a contented employee makes for happy patients and vice versa