These days, there is a holiday for just about everything. July, for example, boasts not just Independence Day but also International Friendship Day, National Different Colored Eyes Day, and Shark Awareness Day, among others.
I’d like to suggest one more holiday worth celebrating: Practice Manager Appreciation Day.
Practice Managers are the unsung heroes of healthcare offices. Good practice managers focus on the financial health of the practice, take care of staff, and constantly improve the patient experience. They deal with the details so clinicians can focus on excellent care.
Here are a few reasons practice managers deserve all our appreciation – and perhaps even a holiday of their own.
Your instinct might be to appeal right away, but that should be far from the first step. Here are a few strategies to consider.
Practice Managers Take Charge
Practice managers oversee staff, take care of day-to-day operations, fix the internet when it goes down, manage contractors, and figure out who will cover if someone calls in sick. In larger offices, the need for a good practice manager is obvious.
Even in the smallest office, however, a great practice manager is key. The trick is finding the right person. A smaller team may benefit from someone with enough medical training to step in themselves, like a medical assistant with the skills to jump in when a nurse is out sick.
In a small practice or a big one, a practice manager takes charge of the details to free up clinicians to spend time with patients. That’s a win for the patient experience and the practice’s bottom line.
Practice Managers Prioritize Financial Health
Doctors and clinicians have one top priority: the health of their patients. Everything else is—and should be—secondary. Sometimes, though, physicians have to take off their “healthcare hat” and put on their “financial health hat” to make decisions about the direction of the practice.
In those moments, it can be helpful to have a practice manager who wears that “financial health” hat all the time. A practice manager should have a good understanding of the health of the practice as a business. From coordinating with revenue cycle managers and accountants, they should have a good bird’s-eye-view of the practice’s finances.
A good practice manager can make the financial sustainability of the practice their number one priority. Financial health impacts patient health. When big decisions come up, a savvy practice manager can make sure decision maker’s have all the information they need.
Great Practice Managers Retain Great Staff
Dealing with health challenges is no one’s favorite activity. But seeing familiar faces can make visiting the doctor’s office more comforting. High staff turnover means a less pleasant experience and a possible red flag for patients.
Because staff consistency is so central to the patient experience, staff retention is even more essential in healthcare than in many other industries. Great practice managers understand that. They work to keep staff happy so they stay for the long run.
Practice Managers Make Patients Feel Supported
When something goes wrong, practice managers are there to put out the fires. If patients are upset, practice managers take the heat and make sure they feel heard. They shield clinical staff from conflicts about scheduling, co-pays, or paperwork so that when patients think about clinicians, what they remember is excellent care.
Staying close to patient feedback helps practice managers work towards the best possible patient experience. They design workflows for check in, labs, seeing clinicians, and even answering last-minute questions, planning every step in the process.
Practice Managers Help Doctors Do What They Trained To Do
Four years of medical school, four years of residency, countless years of clinical experience: doctors put in years of learning in order to serve their patients.
By taking care of the business of health, excellent practice managers free up doctors and nurses to put patients first. In turn, we are proud to support practice managers by making revenue cycle management as simple as possible.
We’d like to send our appreciation to all the practice managers who help their practices put patients first each and every day. Thank you! We hope you feel truly appreciated for everything you do.