It’s important to do your research before deciding to do a course – any course.
You’ve probably had multiple tabs open from different training providers, you’ve trawled through the qualification names and become familiar now with all the numbers and acronyms you hadn’t heard of before today.
So now you’re wondering if it’s even worth it.
What will a Diploma give you that you can’t get from being on the job anyway?
1. How to interpret and use medical terminology correctly
Sometimes you’ll hear terms flying around when a visitor describes, in vivid detail, why they need to book an appointment.
Maybe you’ll stare at the anatomy posters hanging in the waiting room long enough to absorb all the abbreviations and italicised scientific names on the labels.
Perhaps you’ll remember how proud you were when you first told your friends at school that you had Rhinovirus, and impressed them all with the medical knowledge you’d learned after becoming so ill – with the common cold.
But do you know how to communicate with the specialists and patients consistently using correct medical terminology?
When it comes down to it, you need to talk the talk.
The Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) qualification aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to interpret medical terminology. The key here is understanding the jargon, and being able to apply it in how you communicate, verbally and in writing. By studying the Diploma, you’ll get the confidence to interpret medical terms and get the techniques to hone your communications skills.
You’ll be able to use your discretion to effectively communicate with staff, patients, visitors and medical professionals at their own level. It’s important that you can communicate effectively with your specialists as well as patients and visitors so you can provide the best possible service in your practice.Being able to communicate professionally is essential to your practice's growth Click To Tweet
It doesn’t matter if you get everything else right, the respect and trust you’ll gain from being able to communicate professionally is essential to your practice’s growth.
2. Get to know the nitty-gritty of policy-making and compliance
- Privacy in medical practices is a big deal.
- Don’t mislead patients.
- Do use a “wet floor” sign when Dr. Grumpy spills their coffee.
Tick, tick, tick.
Safety, legal and ethical standards: complied.
Well, not quite. There’s a whole wide world of compliance. Even if you think you’re pretty well-versed on what NOT to do, are you confident in writing procedures to guide the practice on what TO DO?
A qualified Practice Manager will have the skills to be able to create procedures and policies that enforce and ensure compliance with legislation, ethical standards and workplace health and safety requirements. Each of these is a specialised area on its own, and you can’t afford to rely on guesswork.
While studying the practice management course, you will come to understand the process of researching and qualifying requirements for standards within your practice. The course then aims to give you the skills to craft, implement and monitor policies to meet your set standards. Finally, you’ll also come to understand how compliance fits in with your practice’s operational activities and be able to communicate compliance procedures and policies to your team effectively.
3. Manage billing systems understanding practice financials
Knowing your way around an HPOS is a vital part of practice administration and management.
Understanding the role of medical item codes, health insurance, Medicare and relevant subsidies will mean that you can successfully work with health billing systems interfaces and communication with patients about requirements.
Money makes the world go around and you need to help keep it spinning straight. Using the billing system’s interface is a task you will likely learn on the job, but understanding how it works in the wider business model and evaluating and choosing appropriate systems probably won’t be included in your on-the-job learning.
The nationally recognised Practice Management Diploma will cover how to implement a billing system that’s tailored to your practice’s goals. You also come to learn how to manage patient payments and relations including debt recovery procedures.
Going hand-in-hand with this is being able to evaluate financials from the practice’s perspective. You might not get the opportunity to learn how your practice leverages debt and creates liquidity while on the job, but the Diploma course in practice management will give you the tools to understand debt tolerance and how to budget for adequate cash flow and encourage future growth in your practice.
4. Strategic mindset for business development
Working in healthcare administration means that you can come to work, complete your tasks efficiently, go home then come back the next day and do it all again. You’ll probably be working within a team of other competent professionals and striving towards a greater goal of growth, but if you’re not in a senior position, you might not have much bearing on strategy or direction in the practice.
A vital role of a modern Practice Manager is the ability to plan strategically and drive growth. Most practice management job descriptions require this and pay handsomely to get someone with the right combination of innovation, future planning and performance management skills.A vital role of a modern Practice Manager is the ability to plan strategically and drive growth Click To Tweet
The online Diploma of Practice Management is designed to give you a strategic focus – get the skills to manage a practice on an operational level, but drive growth at a strategic level. You’ll understand how to recognise and remedy inefficiencies and focus on continual improvement to lead your practice toward a bigger, brighter future.
5. Formal qualification
Finally, the most important reason a nationally recognised Diploma of Practice Management can help you succeed in your career is that you have a formally accredited qualification. Not only can this help you enhance your current skills and build new ones, you’ll have an important, trusted point of difference in the job market.
At the end of the day, you have nationally recognised competencies, the theory and the job-ready skills that you can apply directly to the workplace. What’s more – you’ve got a Government-issued qualification that shows it.
The world of adult education and online learning means that you can study to fit your lifestyle – whether that’s an intense workload to finish your course as soon as possible, or pacing out your study to fit around your lifestyle and achieve the ultimate work/life/study balance. Use your experience as a medical receptionist/appointment-taker or practice administration officer to upskill and climb your way up the ladder to a better career with your qualification.
Set yourself apart and get the confidence you need to progress to a more senior level in your practice.
Prove that you have what it takes to manage a modern practice in the growing Australian healthcare industry with a Diploma of Practice Management.