It’s very important to be not only a doctor but also an entrepreneur if you decide to start a private medical practice. This kind of medical career requires management knowledge and skills in general, but especially related to the country you work in.
Here are some actionable tips that will help you manage your private practice in the best way.
Keys to Successful Private Practice
Legality and Safety
Before starting a private practice you have to learn the law as it relates to your business. The best way to do so is to have a consultation with a lawyer.
To make sure you follow the letter of the law when running a private practice, you will need to:
- Note the amount of tax owed by your practice for your work;
- Calculate your income to understand your solvency;
- Provide insurance for employees and the workplace.
Market Research and Analysis
To understand the risks and opportunities surrounding your practice in future it’s necessary to:
- Determine a guaranteed regular salary for yourself and your employees;
- Set a price for patients according to the average market value of your services.
Analysis carried out by the UK Private Healthcare Market shows that independent sector providers begin reopening for private patients after the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The fact that providers felt able to do so demonstrates the renewed demand for private medical services, so gives an opportunity for new practitioners. That said, the economic events of 2020 have had an impact on the insurance market, which is having a knock-on effect on the cost of private medical services as well.
If you have trouble finding more information on these issues or just don’t have time or expertise to do it, you can ask for help from healthcare marketers.
Your Medical Practice as a Workplace
Your premises and its location is another important factor affecting successful practice management. If you work in a small town with a few thousand residents, your medical practice will be easier to manage. However the demand for your services will also be lower. In comparison, a private practice manager working in a large town or city would need to take into account how patients would be affected by traffic or journey times. It’s vital to consider local transport links when choosing a location for your practice.
For the cost-effective management of your private practice you ought to pick a location taking into account the following factors:
- Sanitary and hazard-free building;
- Capacity according to your needs;
- Accessibility for patients;
- Rent prices;
- Proximity to your own home.
A well-designed practice has multiple benefits for both patients and staff. Think over how to organize space in waiting rooms, consultation rooms, and you may want to incorporate separate check-in and check-out areas - all of which can improve patient flow and staff efficiency, not to mention help you comply with coronavirus-related rules and recommendations
Choosing Private Practice Software
Even when the clinical care you provide is second to none, it can be overshadowed by a vast array of different inadequacies that crop up throughout the patient journey. One of the issues most commonly raised by patients has to do with the filling out of paperwork during consultations and how this detracts from the building of rapport, trust, and loyalty.
Private practice software can give excellent support with the following interesting features:
- Customisable consultation notes templates
- Pre-defined sets of templates and associated services
- Automatic document generation for prescriptions, referral letters and more
Good medical management software will help you to keep an eye on exactly how many patients are coming to your clinic for the first time as a result of a given acquisition channel. The best systems will then calculate how the performance of these channels is changing over time and even work out precisely how cost-effective a channel is.
To maximise your patient acquisition rates, you will want to use the following tools:
- Acquisition channel tracking
- Live online booking
- Pre-payment and deposit options
- Automated booking confirmations via SMS and email
To ensure that your clinic is capable of retaining patients, medical software will help you to:
- Manage and delegate tasks and workflows
- Record phone calls for quality control and improvement
- Develop custom reports to answer any business question
The most important factor in team building is accepting people with a high level of empathy, relevant experience in working in a team and a genuine desire to make every workday better.
Since you understand that private practice needs to be well managed, along with nurses, lab technicians, and other medical staff, try to find a qualified office manager, who will be able to help with finances, documentation, and HR interactions.
How to Work with Your Team and Motivate Them
Phew! You have finished the organisation process and now it’s time to create a plan to grow your team. There are so many ways to do it but let’s examine the most effective ones.
You have to plan how recruitment, management, and retention of staff members will be done, and make sure that your administrative personnel will promote the growth of your business. For new, growing, and even mature medical practices, these responsibilities can become overwhelming, which is why we strongly recommend you hire a HR specialist or use the services of recruiting companies.
What is the role of a HR manager in a private medical practice office?
- Payroll Processing and Tax Filing;
- Labor Laws and Compliance;
- Employee Benefits Management;
- Unemployment Administration;
- Workers’ Compensation;
- Risk Management.
Handling the payroll at your clinic is an integral part of medical practice management. Medesk aims to make payroll calculations easier to handle by tracking your colleagues' work and giving you all the numbers you need to pay out the correct amounts.Open detailed description >>
There are 4 types of HR services used in private medical practice offices as follows:
- Medical staffing management – responsibility for all medical staff working in your office, with the exception of medical students;
- Workforce development – creation and implementation of a comprehensive training;
- Divisional human resources management – facilitating communication between colleagues.
As the business of employment becomes more complex, many medical practices are discovering that outsourcing the HR function is a strategic business decision that makes sense.
Promote Lifelong Education
Healthcare workers understand the significance of lifelong education much better than those in many other professions. Private practice managers and other team members should be made aware of this as well.
Why is it so important?
It’s a great feeling when your staff join conferences, courses, and webinars related to their direct role and your clinic’s speciality in general. Also, you can motivate them to learn skills from disciplines they had never previously had any experience of. As mentioned above, there are courses like marketing for doctors, HR for nurses, IT for laboratory technicians, psychology for practice managers and so on.
A multidisciplinary approach to work helps in a crisis and in the event of unforeseen circumstances (employee illness, self-isolation due to coronavirus, IT problems, difficult patients). A good awareness of the principles of human psychology alongside HR experience can solve many problems.
It may be cliché, but let’s not forget that the success of your medical practice depends on how you respond to new information you have analysed combined with a thorough understanding of the fundamental basics of business management. In the case of clinicians, for example failing to stay on top of the latest evidence-based medicine, you can’t provide the high-quality service that patients deserve. Moreover, relying on outdated approaches may prove to be harmful. Encourage your colleagues with easy access to physical and digital copies of all relevant medical journals and other such resources.
Teambuilding Instead of Competition
Don’t allow your staff to compete with each other in an unhealthy way. Treat workplace education as a team exercise and remind your colleagues that you are all pulling in the same direction in the end.
To foster an amazing team where every member works hard for each other, you should make sure to stick to the following guidance:
- Make clear what every person’s role is;
- Say “no” to bias in employee evaluations;
- Try to find merits and failures in all situations and help both individuals and the whole team learn from the experience;
- Take responsibility to prevent and discourage workplace bullying and harassment;
- Be respectful to colleagues who come from different cultures or practise different religions.
Don't forget about remote workers! If some members of your staff work remotely, maintain their engagement with video conferences, group sessions, and regular phone calls
What Else Can You Do as a Private Practice Manager?
- Improve your social capital;
- Join educational programs;
- Develop leadership qualities;
- Interact with marketers and managers;
- Improve medical skills;
- Explore trends and novelties;
- Be friendly and show empathy to patients;
- Try to improve your practice every day.
Running and managing a private medical practice takes great responsibility, a multidisciplinary approach, strong communication skills and patience. Delegation of non-medical aspects of your work can be helpful for preventing burnout. Once you feel things getting to you, stop multitasking. Combining so many roles into one job is by no means easy and the consequences of not recognising your limit can be severe.
Hiring the right employees is a key determinant of success. Working with people you respect, can easily communicate with and where all this is mutually felt, is really great luck. Don’t forget that human and social capital represent the most important investments in your business and work life.
Lastly, whether to combine the role of doctor and practice manager is in your hands. If you’re sure it’s worth a shot, give it a go!
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