Health and Medical Practice Management Courses

Frequently Asked Questions about Health and Medical Practice Management

What can you do with a Health Administration certificate?

A Healthcare Administration certificate opens you up to a range of roles within a healthcare office. A qualification such as the Certificate IV in Healthcare Administration (HLT47321) will teach you the vital skills you need for a rewarding career in health. These skills will allow you to transfer through various sectors within the healthcare industry, whether working in a private practice, dental, or many other allied health and medical offices.

Can I study Health Administration online?

Practice Management and Health Administration courses are perfect for online and self-paced study. By learning at your own pace, you’re not held back by the speed of the classroom and you have the freedom to pause and pick up your studies around your own schedule.

Whether you’re looking to upskill, change careers or kick start a new pathway, studying Healthcare Admin and Practice Management online is a smart choice to earn the practical skills you need to excel paired with the flexibility to study when and where it suits you.

What skills will a Health Admin or Practice Management course get me?

Our Healthcare Admin and Practice Management courses are designed to equip you with the technical and interpersonal skills you need to be successful in your healthcare career. A qualification in Practice Management or Healthcare Admin will demonstrate that you have the key skills to get ahead, including:

  • An understanding of the administerial duties involved in a healthcare practice,
  • Manage health administrative systems, and
  • Customer service skills relative to the health industry.
How long does it take to study a Practice Management course?

A Diploma course can take approximately 12 months to complete if studying full-time, Certificate IV courses can be as short as 10 months full-time, while you should expect around 18 months to complete an Advanced Diploma. The duration of your qualification also depends on how many hours you put in each week to study. However at CAL all students are offered a generous 24-month enrolment period to complete their Practice Management qualifications at their own pace.

Do you need to study a Health Administration course to become a Medical Receptionist?

Getting a Medical Receptionist role in the healthcare industry is a key first step in your career. Studying a Health Administration course will give you the foundation skills you need to kickstart your career and apply practical skills like the ability to manage health administrative systems and work health safety and legal knowledge straight into your job. With a few years of experience, the right set of hands-on skills, and a recognised healthcare qualification, you can look to make the move into becoming a Practice Manager or other managerial roles in the industry.

Do you need to study a Practice Management course to become a Practice Manager?

Becoming a Practice Manager usually needs at least a Diploma-level qualification coupled with a few years’ experience to be taken seriously in the industry. A Practice Management course will teach the relevant technical skills and know-how like strategic planning skills and financial and account management knowledge, as well as the transferable people and business management skills essential for getting ahead in the healthcare industry. Industry experience is strongly recommended, with most professionals having two years of experience before undertaking a Practice Management Diploma.

What are the best Healthcare Administration courses to study in Australia?

The best Healthcare Administration courses to study are vocational qualifications, including the Certificate IV in Health Administration (HLT47321). Getting qualified with a Nationally Recognised course demonstrates a level of skill that employers can rely on, with the right combination of practical skills and interpersonal capabilities to move up the career ladder and apply your knowledge in a variety of roles and sectors relating to Health Administration.

Your future in Health and Medical Practice Management

A challenging but gratifying career in the healthcare industry awaits you with a health administration or practice management qualification. This career path is best suited for those with the ability to welcome and embrace change while also implementing new and innovative ideas to improve their workplace and in turn, improve patient care. A great deal of empathy, communication skills, and leadership skills are crucial to succeeding in this career.

Healthcare professionals can be in entry-level positions such as health administrators, right up to senior positions, such as owners or managers of private health practices. Responsibilities in these roles can include financial tasks, administrational duties, and people management. Upskill and become proficient in managing these responsibilities and more with a qualification in practice management or health administration at CAL.

Find out more about healthcare administration and practice management career pathways and prepare to step into your new, fulfilling role in the health industry.

Discover your future here

About Health and Medical Practice Management

Why Career Change From Nursing to Practice Management

If you’re a nurse experiencing burnout, you may face the decision to leave the healthcare industry or find another career within healthcare that still sparks that same passion and motivation you found when you first started. You may also feel the need to make significant career choices to better suit your overall career and wellbeing.  Practice management can be the next logical step in your nursing career that happily satisfies that need for change and growth. What does a practice manager do? Practice managers use their skills to lead and manage important aspects of a medical or healthcare practice. These responsibilities include: Recruitment Performance management Privacy, security and accuracy of patient records, operational standards and procedures Managing revenue cycles Overseeing budgets Managing operations resources Participating in strategic planning Many aspects of practice management overlap with nursing, so you can easily use your skills and experience as a platform for career advancement in a practice manager’s role. The additional skills that will set you apart from the crowd are gained through a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715). Job opportunities in practice management Job opportunities in practice management are varied. Roles range from working in a general practitioner’s office to a medical or health clinic or a department in a hospital. Practice managers are essential in all these places and both the medical team and patients depend upon your skills. This role allows you to expand your skills and implement knowledge in areas such as: Setting strategy and managing operational plans Health billing and accounting Managing budgets and financial plans  Patient care to create a safe place for every client’s needs Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE   Heightened independence and autonomy  Practice management can give you a workplace where there are minimal night or weekend shifts, which can help return your work-life-family balance. It can provide you with greater independence and autonomy. It also provides a rewarding and productive alternative in comparison to hospital-based workloads, while still doing much of what you love about nursing. Having more independence and autonomy at work allows you to have more flexibility to dictate your own schedule, create better work relationships and increase your focus. Independent, self-motivated workers set out to achieve their professional goals their own way.  What to expect in a salary Another attractive part of the change from nurse to practice manager is the opportunity to increase salary. A median salary for a registered nurse is approximately $81,900. The median salary for a qualified and competent practice manager is $106,000.  Nursing qualities that make a great practice manager Changing careers may feel significant or daunting. You may feel you lack some of the skills needed for a role at this level. However, as a nurse, you already have many attributes needed for this role from experience alone. The process of changing your career can be stressful, but is very rewarding in the long run.  Here are some qualities that you already have that will help you in practice management. What's your Management Trajectory? Are you wondering how far away you are from your next promotion? Take our quiz to assess your management career pathway. GO TO QUIZ   Making a difference As a nurse, the most important part of your work is knowing you make a difference. This may be the biggest reason you love working as a nurse. You are likely to recognise these common motivations: A desire to help Career diversity Ongoing professional and personal growth The potential for career and salary growth Job security These motivations may be one of the main reasons you continue to work in a hospital or related setting. A change in career direction as a practice manager can give these same levels of satisfaction and motivation. The years you’ve dedicated to your professional growth as a nurse is a reliable indicator to a future employer of your dependability and worth. Excellent communication skills As a nurse, you already have experience in quickly putting people at ease while inspiring confidence and feelings of safety. In a practice environment, your ability to build relationships with clients brings the long-term satisfaction of following people through their total health journey. Your ability to speak and listen is essential for problem-solving and managing your team. Excellent written and verbal skills are essential for effective management in both roles. Your value as a practice manager is enhanced when you can communicate with pediatrics just as easily as senior medical personnel. Knowledge of technical and medical language is an advantage too. You’re used to explaining a hard-to-comprehend language in a way that is both easy to understand and comforting. Flexibility and adaptability Employers in all industries seek workers who exhibit flexibility and adaptability. The diverse nature of the hospital or clinic setting has ensured you have developed these qualities and gives you a natural familiarity with the role of practice manager. Decisive leadership A great nurse can think quickly and address problems before they arise. Your emotional maturity, decision-making ability and good moral compass are your strengths when it comes to making honest and ethical business decisions. Your management skills have been formed in the diversity of the nursing environment, whether you are aware of it or not. A Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) will show your future employer that you have taken steps to fill in any gaps in your background. Team player Clinical nursing is a team sport. Those skills are wholly transferable to the medical practice setting and are highlighted as you interact with receptionists, assistants, practitioners, suppliers and compliance officials. Where other candidates for the role might lack the ability to relate immediately to both the medical team and clients, you can quickly own the role and be comfortable with navigating intrinsic and essential day-to-day relationships. Changing careers from nursing to practice management You have already shown that you are capable through your current career as a nurse. To capitalise on your skills and provide you with the confidence to move smoothly into your new role, further study can help you fill any gaps in your knowledge and ensure you are suitably qualified. You can easily gain the Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) by studying online at your own pace while fitting study around your current work and lifestyle. Chat with our team to discover how you can benefit from this diploma and start preparing for the career transition from nursing to practice management.   Discover your career in practice management Explore courses designed to help you take your career to the next level! If you’re ready to expand your career, health administration and practice management courses can help make that happen. View courses

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Healthcare Management Career Paths

Are you deciding which career path in healthcare management is right for you? Jobs in medical administration, practice management, or health information management are excellent choices for those with high-level organisation skills and the ability to work with a range of people, both inside and outside the business. The benefits of working in these areas of healthcare are the wide variety of sub-industries to choose from, whether that’s in the public or private system. The hours are often friendlier than a career such as nursing, for example, where shifts can be on a 24-hour roster. Let’s compare roles, salaries and the courses to get you there. Depending on your specific goals, several diploma and double diploma options can help you start your dream career. Health management courses Diploma of Business (Records and Information Management) (Specialising in Health Administration) This course combines a broad foundation of business skills with a specific focus on the health industry. The particular health units prepare you for a career in health administration while giving you a well-rounded business skillset and the ability to understand important information and record-keeping management practices. You’ll complete units such as: Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately Manage health billing and accounting systems. Monitor business records systems Some people begin a career in health administration based on work experience alone, yet, completing a qualification such as the Diploma of Business (Records and Information Management) (Specialising in Health Administration) (BSB50120) can increase your eligibility for more senior roles and lead to faster career progression. Completing a qualification is an excellent way to stand out from other applicants and ensure you’re well-versed with current industry trends. The diploma can also help command a higher salary when beginning your career and into the future. Double Diploma of Practice Management + Diploma of Business (Records and Information Management) Completing a double diploma is an excellent way to broaden your skillset and allow for future evolutions in your career path. Thanks to a large amount of crossover between the Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) and the Diploma of Business (Records and Information Management) (BSB50120), you can graduate with two qualifications in a much shorter time frame than if you were to complete them separately. Alongside the business and health units completed in the business and information management diploma, the practice management diploma features unique units essential for anyone wanting to move into management positions in the future. Even if leadership roles aren’t part of your considerations, attaining practice management skills will set you up for more senior roles in the future and give you a further edge over other applicants in the short-term too. You’ll complete units such as: Implement and monitor infection prevention control policies and procedures Develop organisational policy Manage legal and ethical compliance Download our FREE 'Your Career in Records and Information Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in records and information management, including current job opportunities, skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE Your career path in health administration If you want to work in health administration, there are several ways to get your foot in the door. However, completing a relevant qualification such as the Diploma of Business (Records and Information Management) (Specialising in Health Administration) (BSB50120) is an excellent way to land your first role. You may begin as an administration assistant in a hospital, general practice medical centre or an allied health practice, such as physiotherapy. Other options include an alternative medicine practice such as naturopathy, or a private specialist’s office. From there, you can work into more senior roles such as office manager, administration manager or head of administration. The specific health record skills gained during your course offer potential specialisations in this area, which is becoming increasingly important due to privacy issues and the increased need for compliant digital record keeping. Your career in health information management A career in health information management is an excellent choice for those interested in healthcare management with an aptitude for data. Health information managers usually begin their career in health administration, making it the perfect career path for those already working in this field. Health information managers may work in a specialised role focused solely around record-keeping, or they may complete these duties as part of being a practice manager. Interested students should consider the double diploma option to gain skills in both practice management and health record keeping. As mentioned, the demand for accurate, accessible and secure record-keeping has never been so important as many practices move to digital information management. Should I study a diploma or bachelor’s degree in health management? Completing a diploma rather than a bachelor’s degree allows you to complete your course faster and get to work in your dream career sooner. Diplomas are more affordable and flexible than university study, making it a smart option for those wanting to study while they work. Employers value the hands-on nature of diplomas and appreciate the focus on practical skills students gain during their courses. Whether you want to work in health information management, health administration, practice management or a combination of all three, you’ll find that there is a diploma course well suited to you and your career goals.   Discover your career in healthcare management Explore courses designed to help you take your career to the next level in healthcare and practice management! If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, courses in practice management or health administration can make that happen. View health management courses

How Do I Become a Practice Manager?

Ultimate Guide to Your Career In Practice Management/Healthcare Careers in Practice Management are fulfilling and rewarding, plus you will be entering a well-respected field. Our Ultimate Guide to your Career in Practice Management or Healthcare will cover the variables in practice management, like salary, benefits of a healthcare career, and if you should consider a further qualification. In the field of healthcare practice management, your daily life as a practice manager will have the responsibility of maintaining the operations of a private or public clinic. Your role will include a multitude of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. You will be responsible for the scheduling and supervision of staff, including receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants. You will also act as the human resources department to ensure all process and procedures are followed precisely. Outside of staff concerns, you will be responsible for the complaints that patients make, keeping all client records, and ordering any supplies and materials that are needed to run your practice effectively. How do I become a practice manager? Why a diploma is the best choice for you There are plenty of ways to enter into the practice management field, no matter where you are coming from previously in your career. You may be able to rely on any existing experience and knowledge you bring with you into your role. In addition, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not you will need a qualification to increase your chances of securing the job you want the most. When it comes to making this decision, the pros outweigh the cons every time. Choosing to study a Diploma of Practice Management will give you knowledge and skills that you need to succeed in a managerial position. You’ll gain communication skills, organisation skills, problem-solving skills and more. Not only that, but you’ll learn practical skills you will rely on every day such as: Legal and ethical compliance Work health and safety Operational planning People performance Employee relations Combine a diploma with existing skills By utilising your existing soft skills and the practical skills listed above, you will be able to guarantee success in your healthcare career, regardless of where you work or how many staff you are managing. Your combined skillset will have vital importance and will make you a very desirable employee. These are all essential elements to consider, especially when factoring in that 65% of managers in Australia hold a diploma certification. Studying a Diploma of Practice Management with the College for Adult Learning offers the bonus of the best flexibility you’ll find. You will be able to complete your studies in your own time and at a pace that is comfortable for you. Not only that, but you can study from the comfort of your home or wherever suits you because the College offers courses exclusively online. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE Your healthcare career as a practice manager A career in healthcare offers many benefits. The first of which is that there are diverse career options, from working in hospitals to GP clinics, and more, so you are not locked into any one job or situation. Types of practice managers There is a wide variety of healthcare workplaces where a practice manager is required and valued. These include; 1. General Practitioner (GP) 2. Dental 3. Allied healthcare areas such as speech, psychology, physiotherapy, osteopathy, myotherapy and chiropractic 4. Specialist clinics 5. Private hospitals 6. Veterinary and Animal Hospitals 7. Complementary and Alternative Health (acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese or Oriental medicine) Previous interest in any of these areas can act as a motivating force for the specific area that you choose to expand your career. Making a difference Not only is the variety appealing, but so is the satisfaction you will receive from helping people who need care. You are a source of comfort and a valued member of the community you are working in and making a difference to each day. Working conditions are exemplary because of the high standards set in this field, and you will get to work with a team of dedicated, like-minded people. With many clinics being owner run and established businesses, you can rest assured that you have a stable job with plenty of security. If you have an interest in marketing, you may choose to join a new clinic that is fostering clients and put your skills in that area to use. The satisfaction of helping a business grow from the ground up brings immense personal reward. Career salary expectations Like with all jobs and career pathways, the longer you work at something, the more you will be rewarded for that experience. The same is true for practice management. The longer you are in the industry and gain experience with the responsibilities of the job, the more likely you are to receive a higher salary. Salaries for practice managers are quite appealing. Once certain variables have been considered, such as qualification, training, and experience, most practice managers earn between $51,000 per year and $94,000 per year. On average, a practice manager can expect to earn around $68,000 each year. Other pathways You can make the change to practice management from a wide variety of careers, not just those based in healthcare. Experience in business management, general administration, a background in alternative health, or even managing gyms, community or leisure centres, combined with a practice management diploma qualification, will ably demonstrate your leadership skills and abilities. You can also gain experience as an assistant practice manager in a 2IC role to start, or while you are studying, then progress to full management once you obtain your qualification. Benefits of a healthcare career Practice Management is a rewarding career choice that is suitable for a range of people. Whether you have been working in healthcare for years as a nurse, medical receptionist, or in hospital admin, or if you are returning to the field after time off, there is a gratifying job waiting for you. A respected career network Organisations such as the Australian Association of Practice Management and Practice Managers Australia exist to protect the interest of practice managers by setting best-practice standards and providing networking opportunities. When you join these groups, you are supported by a strong network of experienced managers who can provide practical and comforting advice for all situations you might face in your day-to-day work. Worklife balance So many people are seeking a better work/life balance that includes less commuting and more time with family and community. There are thousands of opportunities for practice management available now in every suburb in Australia, with demand continuing to increase. 5 Reasons To Gain A Practice Management Diploma How to get started In summary, excellent working conditions, competitive salaries, exciting diversity within the field, network support and so much more, are the benefits that you should consider when deciding if practice management is the right career for you. When weighing up all the career and study options available, a diploma qualification should always be considered as an essential addition to your toolkit. In the job market, you will look more desirable and skilled than candidates who did not complete further study. The Diploma of Practice Management from the College of Adult Learning offers all you would need and more to succeed in in a healthcare career as a practice manager.

Why A Dental Practice Management Career Is Right For You

If you work in a dental practice, it might be time to diversify your career and make a change for the better. As an experienced dental nurse or receptionist, your next job could be right under your nose. Rather than looking outside your current place of work, you could consider taking on the role of practice manager. This role will offer you an entirely new range of tasks and responsibilities, you will likely receive a pay increase, and you won’t have to leave a workplace where you have built strong bonds and relationships with your colleagues. Additionally, dental practice management is an excellent option for anyone who has worked in medical administration or nursing and might be looking to switch up their career. So, what steps do you need to take to fit the dental practice manager role? Do you need a specific set of skills? Let’s explore which courses are most beneficial to help you achieve your career goals as a dental practice manager. Is a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) worth it? Deciding to undertake further education is an important decision and weighing the pros and cons is worthwhile. However, the pros usually win out. Studying a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) can provide dental nurses or admin staff the additional skills they need to enter a more managerial position within their practice. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for hospital staff or general practice workers to transition into an environment that is more amenable to an all-important work-life balance. Beyond course-specific benefits, we offer flexibility with online courses. Students can complete their diplomas at their own pace, in their own time, and from the comfort of home. Features like this are incredibly important, particularly for students who need to work or may have families they need to fit a study schedule around. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE   What does a practice manager do? Practice managers have a wide and varied role within their respective workplaces. They maintain the daily operations and running of private and public medical offices or clinics. Every day is varied for a practice manager. They must oversee everything within the practice, from staffing and schedules to rostering and patient complaints. All staff are under the supervision of the practice manager, including receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants. Practice managers must be across all areas of the business. Day-to-day tasks include: Keeping all client medical records maintained and updated Following HR processes Ensuring legal and safety obligations are being met Handling billing correctly Ensuring necessary supplies and medical equipment have been ordered and delivered promptly Core soft skills required for this role include: Communication. There is frequent interaction each day with patients and staff. Practice managers must be able to communicate with everyone effectively.  Problem-solving. Complaints are a normal part of every workplace. You’ll never please all people all the time. Therefore, having the problem-solving abilities to manage complaints and resolve them is a valuable skill. Organisation. Medical practices are often busy. Staying organised and maintaining a steady and consistent workflow is essential to success. Dental practice manager salary Salaries for dental practice managers are quite competitive. Depending on variables like training and experience, most practice managers who specialise in dentistry can expect to receive around $80,000 each year. This is similar to a general practice manager salary in Australia who can anticipate earning $70,000 to $120,000 a year. What are the benefits of a practice management diploma? A career in dental practice management can be rewarding and varied. Anyone serious about succeeding in this career pathway should obtain a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715). A diploma could be the factor that sets you apart from other applicants who are vying for the same position. Showing initiative and upskilling is always looked favourably upon by potential employers. If you have experience working in a dental practice, a promotion to dental practice manager could serve as a smart stepping stone to the long-term aim of general practice manager. You may also find that the current practice owner will give you time off to study or offer to subsidise your tuition, knowing they will benefit from your loyalty in the long term.   Discover your career in practice management Explore courses designed to help you take your career to the next level! If you’re ready to expand your career, health administration and practice management courses can help make that happen. View courses

Why Your Healthcare Practice Needs a Quality Auditor

A quality auditor (QA) has a vital role in the success of a healthcare practice, whether traditional or complementary medicine. They are the quality specialists the healthcare practice turns to for procedural oversight and approval, compliance, and improving existing systems. A quality auditor acts as an advisor on all processes and procedures that the practice is obligated to put in place to ensure long-term success as a business. Why are quality auditors beneficial to a healthcare practice? Hiring a quality auditor is never a bad decision, but you want to ensure it’s the best decision. Training an employee who is familiar with the healthcare sector to be a QA will add a unique and tailored role that fits the needs of the practice. They will easily spot the flaws and weaknesses in your systems or processes and communicate and collaborate more effectively to find the right solutions. Auditors who are specific to the healthcare industry will be able to identify the gaps in performance and processes and measure them against quality standards. From there, they will be able to provide recommendations accordingly and provide thorough follow-through. Tip: Hiring a quality auditor is a great move. Hiring a quality auditor familiar with the healthcare sector is even better. Is quality auditing in healthcare important? It’s advisable to have a member of your team who is a certified quality auditor, or at the very least, someone who possesses the same skills. In the wake of COVID-19, you must ensure your practice abides with changing standards and regulations. The arrival of coronavirus in Australia came with a myriad of new rules that needed to be implemented quickly, but effectively. Healthcare practices which had an existing member of staff with the capabilities to ensure these procedures were done correctly were automatically better off than practices that needed to bring in an outside consultant. Many practices with an existing quality competency were able to sign-off new safety strategies without having to wait for third party approval. Obviously we are now back to ‘normal’. However, the point stands that one of the best ways to give your business the upper hand is upskilling an internal member of staff with the right qualification in quality auditing. Nominate an existing member of staff or ask for a volunteer and offer to fund their qualification. You will be providing them with the skills required to do the job for your business, without having to go through the rigmarole of finding a new, trustworthy employee to hire. Tip: It may be more useful to invest in training an existing staff member to run your quality audits. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Quality Auditing and Compliance' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in quality auditing and compliance, including current job opportunities, skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE   How to safeguard your healthcare practice with quality auditing Anyone running a busy healthcare practice knows the pressure the job entails. You are responsible for many people on a daily basis, often during stressful and unpleasant times in their lives. The temptations to let compliance slip or delay decisions relating to quality can have dire consequences for your practice. The last thing you want is for your practice to face issues with non-compliance. One way to safeguard your practice from compliance and quality issues is to invest in training your staff each year with a Diploma of Quality Auditing (BSB50920). They will learn valuable information and gain crucial skills through units like: Lead and Manage Team Effectiveness Manage Project Quality Participate in a Quality Audit Facilitate continuous improvement By investing in your staff, you will add a vital skillset to your business. You’ll ensure that your compliance checks are correct and completed as a priority, rather than a task that can drop down the list of things to do. Tip: Further education, like a Diploma of Quality Auditing (BSB50920), is a smart investment for any practice. Invest in people to keep your doors open Running a healthcare practice is a time-consuming and stressful job to undertake on a normal day, without the added stress of ensuring all your practices and processes are compliant and meet the required standards. There are several things that you can do to ensure your practice stays on the right track. Choose to hire an in-house quality auditor or invest in your existing staff and offer them further education opportunities – both options are essential steps you can do to support your practice with better compliance and procedures. Quality auditing for healthcare practices has never been more critical. Healthcare practices, more than other businesses, have an obligation to their staff and clients to stay safe and vigilant. Regular quality audits by a qualified quality auditor is a logical way to ensure your doors remain open to the community your serve. Your Career in Quality Auditing & Compliance Do you want to learn more about quality auditing and compliance skills employers demand, emerging job roles and salaries, and recent industry insights?  Discover your career in quality auditing and compliance.  QUALITY AND COMPLIANCE CAREER PAGE

Communication Tips for Practice Managers

Practice Management communication is the key to a healthy relationship between employees, clients, owners and practice managers. As a practice manager, you have the important role of managing a business as well as its people. Use these communication tips for a happier, healthier workplace: How to build your team Staff are a key foundation of any business. Building a great team is vital to your practice’s success. When hiring new staff, it’s important to consider the following: Ensure you are hiring a diverse range of people from all backgrounds, ages and skill sets The strengths and weaknesses of the existing team and the potential new hire What holes in the team need filling? Personality and cultural fit. Will this person bring value to the company culture as well as valuable skills? Keeping clients happy Communication is important to keep your clients happy. Being transparent with pricing structures and treatment options helps to build trust with clients. Seek feedback from clients on how you can improve as well as what areas they like about the practice, so you can keep doing what works. Ensure your staff are well trained on the importance of customer service, and that they go above and beyond with each interaction. Consider rewarding regular and valued customers with a loyalty discount or something more personal, like a card or text on their birthday. Managing your staff Managing a business as well as a team takes dedication, but with the right skills, you can juggle both successfully. When managing staff, it’s important to: Ask your employees how they like to be managed. Do they prefer to work more autonomously or have regular check-ins? Is written or verbal communication better for them? Hold regular performance reviews, so your staff know where they are excelling and where to make improvements. Use this as an opportunity to put professional development goals in place. Understand differences. Your employees are human, which means they’re all unique. Get to know them personally and understand that what works with one staff member, might not be the same for everyone. Be flexible. Where possible, try and meet your staff members half-way when it comes to annual leave requests or working arrangements. Remember that happy staff will result in better productivity and an efficient practice. Expectations and Boundaries Setting clear expectations is vital for staff performance, client happiness and owner satisfaction. Your employees need to know the value of the business, the policies, and guidelines of the practice, so they know what you expect. Provide quality induction and training to all employees, even if they join the team with extensive skills. This way, everyone is doing procedures the same way. Make sure your employees know who they report to and who they can go to for advice or problems. Ensure that issues are addressed immediately and not bottled up. In meetings and reviews, remember that honesty is the best policy and will lead to your employees and clients respecting you more. Don’t micromanage – give your staff the skills they need to perform the job well and have trust in their abilities. When it comes to clients and owners, be realistic with what you can achieve before promising anything. It’s better to under promise and over-deliver than vice versa. Set guidelines and have a healthy work-life balance. Make sure clients and owners know they can’t contact you out of business hours except in an emergency. Using communication to improve staff morale A happy team is a productive team. Building team morale is incredibly important as it cultivates respect and rapport between employees. You can keep it as simple as having a group chat or intranet forum for employees to communicate or providing complimentary fruit. Wider ideas could include social nights, group lunches or celebrations like going to the movies or bowling. Meeting performance targets As a practice manager, you will have targets and benchmarks to meet, as set by the practice owner. It’s important that these targets are realistic and your progress is regularly reviewed so you can keep on track and make changes if necessary. Seek monthly, quarterly or annual feedback from employees and the business owner and take their comments on board, where applicable. Consider using visuals such as charts, project plans or wall calendars in the staff area to keep everyone informed and accountable. Being a successful practice manager requires wearing many hats at once and is an incredibly rewarding career. Gaining extra knowledge and strategies through a Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715) will help you to use better communication skills and build healthier relationships at work.

How to be a Successful Practice Manager

Whether your healthcare practice is small or large, there are many smart ways to develop your practice management skills for long-term success. How is practice size evaluated? The size of a practice is typically measured by the number of professional practitioners operating in the firm. A small firm is recognised as having up to four or five practitioners. The focus is on General Practice and is owned and operated by a single individual or a partnership. They tend to have two or three nurses, a small number of administrative staff and a part-time Practice Manager. Large practices are often owned by a corporation which operates several firms. These practices are staffed by anywhere from 10 to 15 doctors, where the majority are employees. A range of allied services might also be offered. There will be a full-time Practice Manager, several receptionists, administrative assistants, and up to six nurses. What are the likely challenges for small or large practices? Small Practices: The number of doctors choosing them has more than halved over the last 20 years Risk of extra work-load especially when a team member is unavailable A smaller administrative team can require doctors to handle the red tape and paperwork – often after hours They are often run on very lean budgets which limits extra equipment purchases or equipment upgrades Inadequate staffing levels can halt growth and can make the management of client data haphazard Overall, the industry is facing plummeting job satisfaction and burnout Larger Practices: Lack of continuity of client care as they tend to see the GP who is available Loose client relationships and client retention can become an issue Combined with a lack of perceived autonomy of practitioners can lead to a lack of satisfaction The overall numbers on the team can make it difficult to develop team cohesion A sense of isolation can grow when team members are not part of the decision-making used to develop the practice and plan future improvements   Practice Managers are vital to both small and large practices Teamwork: A skilled Practice Manager will become invaluable by increasing team cohesion, where GP’s and support staff work together to improve staff and patient experiences. They ensure everyone in the practice is involved in the decision making for ongoing improvements. Continuously streamlining processes to reduce red tape and paperwork load is imperative. These steps allow GP’s to focus on the personalised continuity of care. Resources: Allocating resources can lead to cost saving and free up funds to employ more administrative staff and upgrade equipment. Clinics with an associated allied health team provide more immediate access to a fuller spectrum of health care. Access to better equipment provides clients a one-stop-shop access to more complex procedures and levels of care. Consider if a Nurse Practitioner could handle the monitoring of patients with chronic illnesses – again freeing up more time for GPs. Client retention can also benefit as a client who cannot see their GP because they are too busy is potentially a lost client. Promotion: A great Practice Manager will be looking for opportunities to grow client numbers now GP’s have more time for clinical practice. When promoting the clinic, emphasise the small, friendly environment with personal continuity of care. Culture: The challenge for Practice Managers is developing a satisfied, cohesive, collaborative team where clients feel supported and cared for in a complete health care experience. Offer ways to include team members in decision making. Ensure they see their contribution is valued and implemented where possible. If client retention is an issue, regularly seek feedback from patients to check the temperature of their satisfaction and loyalty levels. Growth tips for small and large practice management success Train all team members to make client relationships their priority. Most practices spend an average 90% of marketing resources to attract new patients. However, retaining existing patients is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to grow your practice. Nurturing relationships with existing patients will increase referrals. Make one person happy, they will tell four people, make one person unhappy they’ll tell ten. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE Increase the frequency of your communications – in marketing terms it’s called ‘touches’. You can do this through emails, newsletters, social media, and a dynamic and informative website. Having a blog will increase your SEO presence ensuring web searches list your services first. Develop an active community presence by sponsorships, open days and information and training events. Practice Managers have the power to influence the experience of the client, the community and the team in positive and beneficial ways, whether practices are small or large.

How to Use Social Media to Grow your Practice

In our evolving digital world, social media for business has never been so important, and can be a key tool to use for growing your healthcare practice. Your social profiles are one of the first things that potential customers look at, so it pays to make a good first impression. How can you harness the power of social media to grow your business? Use these handy tips.   Sharing is caring Social media is designed for sharing, and the most successful accounts keep this in mind with every post. Potential (and existing) customers love to see relatable content. Ideas include: Share staff member profiles and happy snaps from team lunches or meetings. Give users a sneak peek behind the scenes – are you launching a new product soon? Perhaps some renovations are underway? Build excitement by providing a snippet to your followers. Provide your followers with tips and advice. You could film a short how-to video about a new product or show what treatments are best for what issues. A balance of self-promotion, interesting content and genuinely helpful advice is key when growing successful social media accounts for your practice.   Location, Location, Location If your business is at a physical location, it’s important to include this information in your main profile and attach it to each post. If potential customers see your post and discover that you’re located nearby, they are much more likely to follow you than if this information is missing.   Gotta be in it, to win it A great way to grow your social following is by running competitions which require users to follow you to enter. You can offer your products and services as prizes or partner up with a complementary organisation. Partnering with another brand (like a gym, pharmacy, health food store etc.) is helpful as they can promote the competition on your behalf. In return, you can provide a product or service for them to give away. You get to network within your niche and take advantage of each other’s audiences. Depending on your business, you may be able to partner with a social media influencer who can promote the competition on your behalf (often in exchange for services or monetary compensation). Make sure to check the laws in your specific state to ensure your competition is above board. Increase your social reach The Facebook and Instagram algorithm is created so that unfortunately not everyone who follows you will see every post. Here’s what works best: Using hashtags is important if you want your content to be found by people outside of your existing audience. Research hashtags relevant to your niche and use a mixture of popular and not so popular ones for the best results. You can use up to 30, so make the most of it! Update your Instagram story regularly to reach your audience via a different medium. Stories are becoming more popular than the Instagram feed and are a great way to capture your audience’s attention. Social advertising is another way to reach relevant audiences. For a low weekly spend, you can target people by demographics such as age, interests, online behaviour and more, to reach the most relevant potential customers.   Harness your customers (for good!) Your customer base is one of your most important assets, and one you can easily engage to grow your online following and your practice. Offer incentives to customers who ‘check-in’ on Facebook or tag you on Instagram. (10% off a service, complimentary add on, a small gift, for example.)

What Practice Managers Need to Know About My Health Record

As a practice manager, you need to keep across My Health Record management so you can provide information to patients and understand the benefits for your practice. How does My Health Record impact my practice? My Health Record has been introduced to the Australian (Federal) Government as part of their commitment to expand the My Health Record system. By the end of this year, all Australians will have a My Health Record unless they decide to opt-out. Practice managers must pass relevant information onto staff so patients can be advised how to go online and manage their My Health Record. My Health Record is an online summary of your patient’s health information and is designed for healthcare professionals to have access to timely information about their patients. Information can include shared health summaries, discharge summaries, prescription and dispense records, pathology reports and diagnostic imaging reports. As a practice manager, this offers advantages for your general practice management. We’ve compiled a short list of frequently asked questions from patients and answers you can give to them. What is My Health Record? My Health Record is an online initiative introduced by the government to consolidate your medical records in one place. It’s online and accessible from any device that is connected to the internet. What are the benefits of using My Health Record? If you move or travel interstate, your records are all online and accessible anywhere that has the internet. If you visit several medical professionals, it consolidates your records into one easily viewed online file. This can be particularly helpful in emergencies. Will My Health Record protect my privacy? You can manage privacy and control over your records by adjusting your privacy settings online. You can give access to trusted family members, friends or carers if you want to. You can also set restrictions for what healthcare providers can see. Specific documents can also have restrictions. You can set up security and privacy codes for all records or specific documents if you choose to. How do I manage access to My Health Record? You may set up a record access code under the privacy and access settings. You can decide who has access to your files by giving the codes to people of your choice. Can I opt-out of My Health Record? Yes, you can go online and opt-out of My Health Record. However, you must do so by November 15, 2018, or your Record will be set up automatically. Can I remove information from My Health Record? Yes, you can remove clinical and Medicare documents from My Health Record. However, this will mean healthcare providers cannot access this information, even in an emergency. If you change your mind or remove a document by mistake, the document can be restored to My Health Record. Will the government use My Health Record for any other purpose? Although My Health Record is intended to support patient care, it may also be used by the government to provide insight into our health system and the services being provided to improve health outcomes for all Australians. Your data may be used for research purposes. If you don’t want your health information shared, you must go online and update your preferences to reflect your choice. How safe is the data contained on My Health Record? The government has placed many safeguards on the My Health Record system, including strong encryption, firewalls, secure login processes and audit logging. Your data is also protected by privacy legislation. My Health Record cannot be released to police or government agencies without a court order. Is the online My Health Record easy to use? If you’re tech-savvy, managing your online records will be relatively easy. But if you find it overwhelming or don’t use the internet much, you can get help from trusted family members or friends to help you navigate My Health Record. Using My Health Record in practice The best way for a practice manager to understand My Health Record and the issues it may bring up for your practice is to go online and look at your own My Health Record. Encourage your staff to do so as well. Adjust your privacy settings. Decide whether you would like to opt-out, either completely or from the research section only. This firsthand experience will be invaluable for you and your staff as it will provide the knowledge and empathy to address your patients’ concerns and queries. Click here for further information on My Health Record. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE

9 Key Areas Every Great Practice Manager Needs to Master

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. What's your Management Trajectory? Are you wondering how far away you are from your next promotion? Take our quiz to assess your management career pathway. GO TO QUIZ How to be a good 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 good 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 good 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 nine key areas that a good practice manager needs to master to bring excellence to their healthcare practice. 1. Strategic planning as a practice manager Plan for future business direction and allocate resources to achieving the plan, including regular review and adjustment. 2. Governance in practice management Knowledge of structures and systems that support the right decision-making, accreditations and certifications, change management, and leadership, including relationships with stakeholders. 3. Risk management for practice managers A thorough understanding and awareness of risk applied to financial, legal, human resource, security (people, data, property, and equipment), infection control, and 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, and negotiate and maintain contracts. 4. Financial management for practice managers Proficient financial literacy in budgeting, cash flow, accounting systems, reporting, inventory, compliance, contracts, superannuation, tax, and filing. Your Career in Practice Management Do you want to learn more about health administration and practice management skills employers demand, emerging job roles and salaries, and recent industry insights?  Discover your career in practice management.  PRACTICE MANAGEMENT CAREERS PAGE 5. Human resources in practice 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. This also covers recruitment, training, assessment, and rewarding employees. 6. Marketing as a practice manager Manage a marketing plan that includes areas for public relations, customer relating and satisfaction, advertising and brand awareness. 7. Information management for practice managers 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. 8. Clinical operations within practice management 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 manage general inventory, suppliers, staffing and communication systems. 9. Professional responsibility as a practice manager 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 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. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE

5 Reasons To Gain A Practice Management Diploma

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. Download our FREE 'Your Career in Practice Management' Guide Find the latest information in our eBook about a career in practice management, including current job opportunities, soft skills you need, salary information and more. DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE 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. Enquire now for a copy of your Course Guide

Meet your Learning Coaches


Meagan Rawlings
Head Coach: Practice Management

Meagan has more than 25 years of senior management experience working in both the healthcare sector and for large Multi-National Companies. Having managed and headed divisions from distribution chains to successful sales teams, Meagan is passionate about passing on her real-world experience to her CAL students.

With an in-depth understanding and knowledge of customer relationship management, rapport building, time management skills, leading and managing successful teams and customer service, Meagan can cultivate her students into job-ready leaders.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would happily recommend to anyone who is in a leadership role.

Lee Hartwell

It covered all topics. Talent management, operations, leadership and metrics. Great overview issues in work place discussion. Great output.

Lenny Ewers

It was really great to be able to complete my Diploma at my own pace and I received excellent support from my CAL coach.

Kylie Jarvis

Very practical and useful information that is directly related to the workplace.

Angela Henderson

There are no other RTO's where you can do this and undertake work at your own pace in your own time. 

Shannon Watkins

Thank-you to the CAL team for providing me with a flexible learning environment that would fit around my working commitments.

Joshua Polkinghorne