Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

5 Steps to Working as Your Own Private Practice Manager

Michael May
March 25, 2021

5 Steps to Working as Your Own Private Practice Manager - article

Coming from a clinical background, it can be challenging to take on a management role. It may seem like the difficulty is ramped up even further if it’s your own practice we are talking about. In fact, that’s not necessarily the case at all if you take the steps to prepare yourself. One of the best ways to get up to speed quickly as the private practice manager of your own clinical practice is to acquire gold-standard patient management software.

What Are the Most Common Mistakes Made by a Private Practice Manager?

Even the best private practice manager started out as a novice at one point. There’s a lot to learn but it’s been proven to be do-able time and time again. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of learning any skill is to get to grips with the kinds of mistakes you can expect to make and hope to avoid. You can use practice manager software to anticipate these errors and protect you and your colleagues from any untoward consequences.

Practice manager software will help you to dodge such common mistakes like:

  • Relying on post-it notes and other paper-based reminders
  • Failing to put together a well-documented workflow
  • Jumping in at the deep end instead of taking the time to adapt your workflow
  • Forgetting to preserve a good work-life balance
  • Trying to manage without digital tools just to save money

Read more: How Private Practice Software Helps to Improve Your Approach to Patient Acquisition

Automated Patient Communications as the Way Forward

Many patients go private because they believe that they will receive a quicker and more personalized response to their medical needs. There’s a lot that the healthcare sector can learn from other industries’ attempts at medical CRM. After all, your clinical quality of care does need to be excellent to make it in private healthcare, but it’s your communication with patients that is absolutely crucial to getting your clinic to stand out from the crowd. What you need is a way to automate as much patient communication as possible without losing that bespoke touch.

Employ patient CRM tools in your private practice and you will benefit from being able to:

  • Leverage online booking to pre-screen your patients
  • Send out automated yet bespoke confirmations and reminders by email and SMS
  • Remind patients of the value of attending their appointments with specific information
  • Generate waiting lists and send out text messages with booking links for everyone
  • Track patients who are due to be recalled for follow-ups

Read more: Top Tips to Manage Expectations with a Patient CRM

Use Practice Manager Software to Minimize Typical Issues

We have already discussed some of the most common mistakes that a new private practice manager can expect to learn from. Now let’s look at some issues that will arise in your clinic no matter how good you are. There are certain aspects of practice management that are troublesome but are just part and parcel of the job for everyone. That’s not to say you can’t minimize the negative effects of such issues with the help of practice manager software.

Implement a private practice management system as part of your toolkit and your clinic will stand to limit problems:

  • Quantify reasons for cancellation and dig into the exact reasons
  • Learn which scenarios related to cancellations and find you what you can do about them
  • Discover your most popular services and practitioners so you can promote the right things
  • Manage your payroll with tightly controlled payment and bonus schemes

Financial and Clinical Success Go Hand in Hand

It’s vital that you learn how to run a practice from a financial perspective. The health of your business and that of your patients are uniquely intertwined. Think about it this way: if your clinic is having money troubles, you won’t have the resources to provide the best possible care. On the flip side, if your quality of care isn’t up to par, you’ll fail to retain any new patients. This will inevitably put you in an even worse position financially, and so the cycle would continue.

Take advantage of practice manager software with built-in analytics to keep your financial and clinical performance on track:

  • Discover your most profitable services and clinicians
  • Find out how your cancellations are affecting your bottom line
  • Look at how many patients return for follow-ups with the first doctor they saw
  • Build your CQC and QOF reports automatically as you go along

screen analytics 3 Analytics in Medesk

Read more: Key Healthcare Metrics Your Private Practice Manager Should Target

Always Take an Evidence-based Approach

Making decisions on behalf of any business can be surprisingly easy. The trick lies in having the right information to hand in order to see what’s really going on. Much as with the practice of medicine itself, the successful management of medical practices all comes down to the evidence you have available to you to help support your decision-making.

When you have the information you need to make decisions, you can confidently and accurately take action on all sorts, including:

  • Nipping problems with cancellations in the bud for individual practitioners, services and more
  • Examining your most popular appointment times to optimise your opening hours
  • Optimising your marketing plan by checking which advertising channels bring in most patients
  • Track the whole patient pathway from booking through to service provision and ultimately retention

Watch more: How to Build Effective Clinic and Patient Management while Working Remotely

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