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4 signs you may benefit from having a remote practice manager

If you’re struggling to manage your practice efficiently and profitably, or maybe your practice manager is overworked and under-skilled, you may benefit from the additional support of a remote practice manager.

Monday, 8 July 2024

A remote practice manager is an outsourced provider of expertise who supports and maintains management functions for medical practices. A remote practice manager operates much like an in-house practice manager, but instead of being in your room or practice, they oversee your business functions, financial performance, strategic growth, HR, compliance and other tasks remotely. 

A remote practice manager can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your practice without getting stressed or bogged down in the weeds. They can also help your onsite management staff work collaboratively, better focus on their roles and deliver first-class patient care. 

Whether you’re just starting out in private practice or have a well-established practice, enlisting the expertise of a remote practice manager who understands the practical aspects of your business can help to manage it smoothly and successfully. 

Below are four signs you need support from a remote practice manager. 


1. You’re struggling to manage your practice efficiently and profitably 

As the doctor owner of a start-up or growing practice, you’re juggling a lot of plates. Perhaps you can’t afford or don’t need a full-time onsite practice manager at this stage, and you’re concerned that hiring one will leave you stuck with a single capability set that may not be appropriate going forward.  

You might be facing some or all the following challenges: 

  • Your revenue is not growing as you would expect. 
  • Your staff are stressed out. 
  • You’re too busy seeing patients and building your practice to manage staff as you’d like. 
  • Your patient base is dropping. 
  • Your patient base is growing unmanageably. 
  • Your team is busy but there’s no governance management structure in place. 
  • There’s no end-to-end visibility (or understanding) of finances and your financial position. 


2.  Your current practice manager is under-skilled, under-prepared or overwhelmed  

Inefficient management hits the bottom line quickly. This is evident when your stressed, overworked or overcommitted practice manager is not doing well. Ask yourself these questions to find your capability gaps. If you answer ‘no’ it may indicate that your current practice manager is a ‘task-oriented’ secretary in disguise. 

  • Does your practice manager have a position description that outlines management deliverables, like reporting requirements or strategic changes? 
  • Does your practice manager have set KPIs? 
  • Has your practice manager taken any formal study, peer training or skills courses in practice management? 
  • Does your practice manager prepare monthly reports that summarise your business activity? 
  • Can your practice manager outline the processes in place to meet obligations for OH&S, WorkCover, APP and Fair Work Australia? 
  • Is your practice manager financially literate and able to clearly outline the state of the practice financials on request (e.g. expenses, debtors, unsubmitted accounts, employee entitlements)?


3.  Your practice manager has resigned and you’re looking to fill the position 

The resignation of a practice manager is a nightmare for any practice owner. Do you know exactly what your practice manager does to keep your business running? (Many practice owners don’t.) If you are aware of the scale of their activities, you’ll know they’re pretty big shoes to fill. 

In seeking a new practice manager to fill the position, you might find: 

  • A lack of competent applicants in the job market. 
  • A lack of trust due to negative experiences or high turnover of practice managers. 
  • A lack of faith that a new person will be able to do the role. 
  • Without an effective ‘Management Posture’, no one is managing the practice manager. 
  • A new practice manager won’t lead to any material improvement or reduce the risk of this happening again. 


4.  You don’t need a full-time practice manager but recognise the need for support 

Many practices don’t need a full-time practice manager and a senior task-oriented secretary can handle most day-to-day operations. But while your senior staff member may be good at their front desk role and efficient at processes, they’re not a manager, nor do they have specific competencies, knowledge, strategic vision and financial know-how. As a result, management responsibilities (and headaches) are falling into your lap. 

Bringing in a specialised practice management consultant on an ongoing part-time basis allows you to access all the benefits of proper practice management. This scenario will resonate if: 

  • You’re unable to afford a full-time practice manager. 
  • You’re unable to afford overhead costs like office space and equipment. 
  • You have a great secretary or manager, but they can’t do ‘all the things’. 
  • You know that regular financial reporting is necessary, and you need someone to interpret the numbers. 
  • You know that bookkeeping and payroll should be outsourced at the very least. 
  • You want to build an efficient, compliant and resilient practice, with maximised processes and minimised costs, losses and risks. 

If any of the above resonates with you, it may be time to enlist expert support. At Avant Practice Solutions, our Practice Management team can fill the capability gaps of your practice manager or they can act instead of a practice manager and support your practice remotely. Book a 30-minute call with one of our Practice Success Consultants today. 

You can also learn more by downloading our eBook ‘A beginner’s guide to working with a remote practice manager', which explores the many benefits of a remote practice manager and how to work with them successfully.  

Disclaimers

Persons implementing any recommendations contained on this webpage must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant and Avant Practice Solutions are not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2024.

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