What is Practice Management and what does it involve?

Practice management is the overall management of a healthcare organisation, particularly the administration and operations side of the business. This includes finance, budgeting, inventory and supplies management, and people management. Professionals working in practice management can develop skills in operations, finance, HR, customer service, change management and business development – depending on the size and structure of the business.

Practice management roles exist in a variety of sectors including; medical, dental, chiropractic, osteopathic, rehabilitation, aged care and more. Unlike the normal structure of organisations with different departments responsible for different functions, practice managers usually have a hand in all aspects of the business from staff management to inventory management to improving patient care and customer service.

What are you looking for?

WHAT SKILLS ARE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR IN PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ROLES?

Employers are looking for professionals who are resourceful, proactive and adaptive to change. Professionals who can identify gaps in talent, processes, knowledge, skills, the day-to-day operations and improve how a practice operates are heavily sought after and in demand. Having the right qualifications within practice management is essential. Up-to-date knowledge of compliance and the ability to handle the practice’s finance and budgets is necessary for any medical sector. Leadership, listening and empathy are all important soft skills to have as practice managers are often responsible for coordinating and managing the different departments within their practice including the health professionals, support staff and customer service staff.

HARD SKILLS

  • Detailed procedural knowledge
  • Administrative abilities and clerical knowledge/skills
  • Human resources and people management skills
  • Finance skills and knowledge

SOFT SKILLS

  • Communication and delegation skills
  • Dispute resolution skills
  • Organisation skills
  • Leadership and emotional intelligence
  • Able to work under pressure

TRAITS

  • Customer service mindset
  • Calm
  • Able to embrace and welcome change
  • Adaptive to continual learning opportunities
  • Excellent attention to detail

JOB ROLES

Medical Receptionist

Average Salary
$57,000

Medical receptionists are essential to a healthcare team as they are responsible for initial patient interaction and customer experience in a practice. Scheduling appointments, following up on patients, ensuring documentation, payments, invoices, and all other important resources are organised and filed appropriately. Receptionists are also responsible for informing healthcare professionals and all other staff of patient or practice needs.

Healthcare administrator

Average Salary
$57,000

Administrators are responsible for overseeing all administrative duties within a healthcare organisation, including filing, processing documents, creating spreadsheets, documentation, processes and presentations, overseeing and manage office projects and tasks, ensuring confidentiality is upheld in processing patient information and more. In the healthcare sector, administrators are absolutely essential for the successful running of the practice given the increased need for efficiency in compliance and following medical best practice.

Senior medical receptionist

Average Salary
$60,000

A Senior Medical Receptionist has responsibility over and daily management of other receptionists within a medical or allied health practice. Senior receptionists still have all clerical, administrative and customer service duties, but will also potentially manage the hours and duties of subordinate receptionists. Senior Medical Receptionists report directly to the Practice Manager of the organisation.

practice manager

Average Salary
$70,000

Practice Managers are responsible for the overall management of staff within a practice, with responsibilities in hiring, resolving employee conflicts, maintaining equipment, upholding staff training requirements, ensuring compliance in all areas, maintaining stock inventory and more. Practice Managers have more control over the operational side of the business, and will work with higher management to ensure execution and implementation of business decisions are successful.

business manager

Average Salary
$111,000

Business Managers within a health practice work alongside or above the Practice Manager and oversee all business decisions made from a strategic level than a day-to-day operational level. Business Managers within a health practice will have more responsibilities with overall budgeting and overseeing departmental decisions.

Medical Receptionist

Average Salary
$57,000

Medical receptionists are essential to a healthcare team as they are responsible for initial patient interaction and customer experience in a practice. Scheduling appointments, following up on patients, ensuring documentation, payments, invoices, and all other important resources are organised and filed appropriately. Receptionists are also responsible for informing healthcare professionals and all other staff of patient or practice needs.

Healthcare administrator

Average Salary
$57,000

Administrators are responsible for overseeing all administrative duties within a healthcare organisation, including filing, processing documents, creating spreadsheets, documentation, processes and presentations, overseeing and manage office projects and tasks, ensuring confidentiality is upheld in processing patient information and more. In the healthcare sector, administrators are absolutely essential for the successful running of the practice given the increased need for efficiency in compliance and following medical best practise.

Medical Receptionist

Average Salary
$57,000

Medical receptionists are essential to a healthcare team as they are responsible for initial patient interaction and customer experience in a practice. Scheduling appointments, following up on patients, ensuring documentation, payments, invoices, and all other important resources are organised and filed appropriately. Receptionists are also responsible for informing healthcare professionals and all other staff of patient or practice needs.

Healthcare administrator

Average Salary
$57,000

Administrators are responsible for overseeing all administrative duties within a healthcare organisation, including filing, processing documents, creating spreadsheets, documentation, processes and presentations, overseeing and manage office projects and tasks, ensuring confidentiality is upheld in processing patient information and more. In the healthcare sector, administrators are absolutely essential for the successful running of the practice given the increased need for efficiency in compliance and following medical best practise.

Senior medical receptionist

Average Salary
$60,000

A Senior Medical Receptionist has responsibility over and day-to-day management of other receptionists within a medical or allied health practice. Senior receptionists still have all clerical, administrative and customer service duties, but will also potentially manage the hours and duties of subordinate receptionists. Senior Medical Receptionists report directly to the Practice Manager of the organisation.

practice manager

Average Salary
$70,000

Practice Managers are responsible for the overall management of staff within a practice, with responsibilities in hiring, resolving employee conflicts, maintaining equipment, upholding staff training requirements, ensuring compliance in all areas, maintaining stock inventory and more. Practice Managers have more control over the operational side of the business, and will work with higher management to ensure execution and implementation of business decisions are successful.

business manager

Average Salary
$111,000

Business Managers within a health practice work alongside or above the Practice Manager and oversee all business decisions made from a strategic level than a day-to-day operational level. Business Managers within a health practice will have more responsibilities with overall budgeting and overseeing departmental decisions.

What kind of industries will I be working in as a practice manager?

Practice Managers can find rewarding careers and roles in a variety of sectors, most often in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector. Within this sector, almost all practices and healthcare organisations require a practice manager role, including general practice, rehabilitation, dental, aged care, allied health (osteopathic, Chinese medicine, chiropractic) psychology practices, hospital and rehabilitative services and more.

Practice Management Trends in Australia

Total spending on health in 2019 – 2020 is estimated to have been around $81.8 billion, representing 16.3% of the Australian Government’s total expenditure. (APH, 2020)

The 2020 Deloitte report highlighted the following major areas shown to be propelling change in the Australian healthcare sector.

Consumers and the ‘human experience’

Digitally enabled and seamless processes are even more important with the current climate. Ease of use and access between clinician-patient is providing healthcare leaders the opportunity to transform their practice into a more patient-centric and holistic health experience. This is why it is important to be developing new digital tools and keeping up to date with the latest software

Care model innovation

Ensuring your care model is able to be adapted and evolved for future shifts to solve the ever-present issues of affordability, access, quality and efficiency. Virtual care, at-home prescription delivery, remote monitoring, digital diagnostics and decision support are all reactions to the consumer shift in expecting care to be available when and how it is most convenient and safe for them.

Digital transformation and integrated data

Making the move to cloud software to store data is imperative in this current day and age for practice managers, to ensure that not only is patient data kept confidential and private, but the ease of access in real-time for healthcare providers is achieved. Many practices are now beginning to incorporate virtual visits particularly in the wake of COVID-19 changes to human interaction.

Socio-economic shifts

Taking action to make the healthcare system more accessible to those of lower income or socio-economic areas of the community is crucial to ensuring that where able, access to healthcare is fair and just.

Industry Insights

Courses in Practice Management

Practice management is an excellent career choice that is rewarding, challenging and enjoyable. In 2019, there were a record number of practice management roles (over 20,000) with over 70% of those roles advertised as full-time positions in Australia. While most practice managers work in the general medical industry, there are plenty of opportunities in other sectors.

The value of the Practice Management Diploma is that the skills covered are broad enough to allow you to tailor your final career choice to your interests. It is also enough to make sure you’re highly qualified and ready to take on a Practice Management role immediately from graduation. Thanks to the online and self-paced study options available, there may even be opportunities to begin your career while still studying.

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Practice Management Blogs