Healthcare Practice Management is an aspiring career that promises immense rewards and satisfaction. Like any career, success as a practice manager involves mastering a few key areas as expanded below.
How to be a great Practice Manager
A Practice Manager may be known as the CEO, Business Manager, Executive Director, Director or another title. The Australian Association of Practice Management states that overall, a Practice Manager must contribute to ‘Excellence in Healthcare.’ An attitude of constant improvement and lifelong learning is essential.
A great Practice Manager will successfully focus on both staff and clients. They will contribute to increasing the quality of a workplace for staff and be inspired to create a practice where clients have the best chance for increased quality of life. A healthcare practice is a dynamic environment where each day brings new challenges and opportunities to serve. A great Practice Manager is a leader who will master a range of generalised skills and be able to apply them in a health-focused business.
We’ve found the 9 key areas that a great Practice Manager needs to master to really bring excellence to their healthcare practice.
Plan for future business direction and allocate resources to achieving the plan, including regular review and adjustment.
Knowledge of structures and systems that support right decision making, accreditations and certifications, change-management, and leadership – including relationships with stakeholders.
A thorough understanding and awareness of risk applied to financial, legal, human resource, security (people, data, property, and equipment), infection control, physical and clinical incidents. Risk overlays all areas of a practice, and a great practice manager will be able to identify and prioritise risk, maintain compliance and insurance, settle grievances (internal and external), conduct audits, negotiate and maintain contracts.
Proficient financial literacy in budgeting, cash flow, accounting systems, reporting, inventory, compliance, contracts, superannuation, tax, and filing.
Human Resource Management
Covers a wide range of skills normally utilised by experienced HR professionals, from big picture organisational leadership and culture, to employment and labour law compliance, to recruitment, training, assessment, and rewarding employees.
How to manage a marketing plan that includes areas for public relations, customer relating and satisfaction, advertising and brand awareness.
Ability to assess, use, and maintain information technology to efficiently contribute to the excellence of the practice in areas such as database management, security systems, accounting, team collaboration, and operations.
An understanding that the clinic is a business that needs to maximise productivity and profit while servicing the needs of clients. A Practice Manager will often need to educate practitioners in good business management, develop quality assurance programs, establish clinical support services, manage licenses as well as managing general inventory, suppliers, staffing and communication systems.
A legal and moral commitment to hold ethical standards in behaviour and decision-making, including continuing professional development, enhanced interpersonal and leadership skills, and professional networking.
Why healthcare practitioners rely on a great Practice Manager
Practitioners are most often focused on increasing their skill set and knowledge in their chosen healthcare profession. They rely on a great practice manager to be an effective decision maker and the key driver in making improvements to the healthcare practice. The practice owner will value a manager who has worked to achieve the necessary Practice Management diploma qualifications and is passionate about making a difference to staff and clients.
In some circumstances, the practitioner may want to enhance their skills in practice management, take on the role, or job-share the role across the health practice. In that case, an online diploma in practice management will allow practitioners the flexibility and confidence to achieve study around their work and family commitments.