How To Be A Great Medical Practice Manager
As a practice manager in a private medical practice, there’s never a dull moment. Days are packed with many responsibilities across a broad spectrum. From medical billing and revenue cycle management to patient care and ordering supplies, a practice manager is a key part of a private medical practice’s success.
So how do you become the best practice manager you can be? Here are 6 ways to take your leadership to the next level at your practice.
1. Don't Manage From Your Desk!
- Step outside of your office frequently. It’s important to ensure your staff and clinic are functioning properly. Move through the clinic and observe/interact several times a day.
- Finding time to interact with staff, physicians, and patients is a key factor to a healthy and thriving practice environment. It’s also the only way to observe what’s going on and where things can be improved
- If possible, consider having your desk in a main area with other staff and reserving your office solely for one-on-one meetings.
2. Meet With Industry Representatives Weekly
This one may shock you, but there’s a vital lesson here.
Many companies offer solutions to help solve major problems holding your practice growth back. There are gaps in the practice growth strategy you might not even be aware of! This is an area where many medical practice managers lose great opportunities that are beneficial to patient care and practice growth. Sometimes these opportunities are never even looked at simply because they are too busy.
Successful practice managers are always evaluating the latest technologies and trends that will help cut costs, bring in more revenue, or improve efficiency.
If you aren’t staying updated with new technologies and offerings, you’re losing a lot of opportunity for the practice! Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Make it a weekly goal to evaluate better technologies to invest in and adopt while removing others that are costing you money with little improvement.
- Try making a single 30-minute slot on your calendar three to four times a week to meet with different industry representatives
- If you find a great product or service but the sales representative is driving you crazy, just reach out to their corporate office and ask for a different person to handle your account
3. Respect For All
Developing a culture of mutual respect and support is important to have a practice patients love and refer others to.
Enforce a no gossip policy and avoid adding to conversations that promote this behavior.
While it’s tempting, nothing lowers staff morale and ruins culture more than a negative environment. As the practice manager, this starts and stops with you!
Find ways to celebrate small wins, recognize staff, and have fun while doing it. This will not only improve staff morale but also provide a welcoming and positive environment for patients
4. Don't Be Afraid To Get Your Hands Dirty
The practice manager is someone who has a wide breadth of knowledge with various parts of a practice.
This is important because physicians look to a great practice manager to help manage staff, whether it’s with clinical staff, front office, or billing.
If you are short staffed or overloaded with patients that day, you should be able to jump in to help. If there are some things you don’t have experience with, like billing or taking blood pressure, ask your staff to train you so when needed you can jump in.
They’ll respect you for doing so and feel empowered to help you.
5. Marketing is an Ongoing Activity - Don’t Underestimate It!
In today’s digital world, marketing is more important than ever. From patients looking for a new doctor to local physicians looking for new referral practices, everyone starts online.
As tempting as it is, try to have a professional help you get started with your website and making sure it is connected to your social media accounts. Run a few basic ads with videos showing your practice and team with a link to your website. Have an outside agency manage these ads at a low cost and review them on a weekly basis to see how to improve them.
Content is vital so encourage staff to provide ideas and even content for Facebook and Instagram. The more visible your clinic culture, offerings, and day-to-day operations, the easier it is for patients to choose your clinic over others.
6. Lead by Example
The practice manager is the glue that bonds a team together and helps elevate office culture. Demonstrate core values such as respect for others, gratitude, hard work, kindness, patience, professional dress, and timeliness, and your staff will follow
It’s important to be visible when doing this and find ways to highlight it. Whether sharing at team meetings something good a staff member did or doing “lunch and learns”, practice managers have to get out from behind their desks and lead.
- Fostering these important practice manager skills will allow you to effectively lead a strong team and achieve practice goals.
- The best practice managers continously strive to become better and model important values to the rest of the team, such as working hard, being innovative, and respecting your coworkers.
- Following the tips listed here will help you go above and beyond what a regular medical practice manager does. However, it’s important to also continously work on the foundational skills that are expected of every great practice manager. These include traits such as organization, adaptability, communication, enthusiasm, goal setting and planning, taking action, and assessing progress.