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Three tips to help your medical secretarial team thrive

The success of your medical practice depends on the efficiencies and capabilities of your secretaries and receptionists. Here are three tips to help them thrive.

Monday, 8 July 2024

As a doctor and practice owner, the biggest impact you can make on your business is the ability to generate revenue from medical activities. If you’re spending time on administration and management tasks when you could be seeing patients, you’re not being profitable. This is why the quality of your medical secretarial team is so important.  

Whether you’re starting or scaling your practice, ensuring your staff has the capacity and capability to fulfil their responsibilities should be a priority. 

Signs your medical secretarial team is not set up for success

Below are indicators that your medical secretaries and receptionists may not be succeeding, and it is harming your bottom line: 

  • They are overworked and overwhelmed. 
  • There are capability gaps. 
  • Patients are unsatisfied with the customer service. 
  • Your patient base is dropping or increasing unmanageably. 
  • There is no management structure. 
  • Your revenue is not growing. 
  • Doctors are distracted from their work. 

To help improve the resilience of your practice, consider these three tips for setting up your medical secretaries and receptionists for success.

1. Outsource time-consuming tasks    

Practices of all sizes can benefit from outsourcing time-consuming administration tasks. It frees up time for your medical secretarial team to focus on other important tasks, and by outsourcing to medical experts you can enhance processes. 

Below are two examples of when outsourcing capabilities can help a secretarial team.  

Your medical practice likely gets inundated with daily calls, emails and queries, and your secretarial team may not have the manpower to complete tasks efficiently, much to the distress of your patients and the detriment of your business. 

Outsourcing key administrative tasks like answering calls and booking appointments to qualified virtual receptionists can enable your front desk team to deliver exceptional in-person customer service to patients. 

Avant Practice Solutions’ Virtual Administration and Receptionist Services can provide administrative support to medical practices, including telephone and in-bound tasks, appointment bookings, patient paperwork, theatre list management, billing, patient communication, administration paperwork, and filing. To learn more about how Virtual Administration and Reception Services can help your practice, speak with one of our consultants.  

Bookkeeping and payroll are foundational to any business, and medical bookkeeping can be complex. The healthcare industry has evolving legislation around taxation, billing, record-keeping and compliance, and discrepancies could expose your practice to financial and legal risks. 

Rather than having your practice manager or secretary juggle your financial obligations, outsource to a team of expert medical bookkeepers to ensure your practice meets compliance requirements. 

Avant Practice Solutions’ Bookkeeping and Payroll team are qualified and experienced in the nuances of medical bookkeeping. To find out the five benefits of outsourcing your medical bookkeeping and payroll, read our article

2. Invest in technology to automate processes 

Investing in the right technology can help to automate time-sucking tasks and ensure accuracy and compliance. It can make the lives of your medical secretaries easier, no matter how big your practice is. 

Below are true examples of investing in technologies that will enhance processes. 

Practice management software is a key tool for managing the administration and operation of your practice. Relying on manual processes is burdensome, error-prone and risks security and continuity. 

When researching practice management software, look for vendors that are future-proof and investment-backed. Also, consider whether the software is scalable and can integrate with other applications like booking systems, transcription software and accounting platforms. 

Avant Practice Solutions’ Practice Management Consultants can help practice owners and managers choose the best-fit software for their practice, liaise with providers and support integrations.  

In-patient billing is important for meeting financial obligations and ensuring you receive payments from patients, insurers and other external parties, but it can be a headache. Disorganised, manual processes may result in unreconciled bills and lost revenue, but leveraging medical billing technology can help to avoid this. 

Avant Practice Solutions’ Billings+ App and expert Billings+ team provide end-to-end medical billing support to help you streamline payment submissions and receipts. To find out how you can regain lost revenue and financial control, book a meeting with our Billings+ team today. 

3. Employ practice management support 

If you’re starting your practice and are the sole practitioner, you may find that you and your secretary can keep on top of all management tasks. However, if you’re scaling your practice or catering for multiple doctors, you may require more resources to manage administration. This is where you may decide to hire a practice manager to ensure that service delivery is maintained. 

A practice manager’s role is multifaceted. They are responsible for finance, HR, governance, IT and facilities, and must have expertise in strategy, staff management, financial planning and business reporting. 

Due to the breadth of the practice manager role, it is arguably the toughest in the business – and the most important non-medical hire. It is unlikely that one person has expertise in all areas, which isn’t a problem if they are supported in the right way. 

This is where a practice management consultant comes in. A practice management consultant can identify and fill capability gaps of your practice manager, or they can act instead of a practice manager. For example, if your practice manager is great at financial handling but is not strategically minded, a practice management consultant can fill that gap. 

At Avant Practice Solutions, our Practice Management Consulting team can provide management support year-round. To learn more, read our eBook ‘A beginner’s guide to working with a virtual practice manager’, which explores the multiple benefits of employing a virtual practice manager.  

By ensuring your secretarial team have the tools and infrastructure they need to complete their jobs effectively, you will improve the efficiency and resilience of your practice. 

Disclaimers

Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication 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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