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Understanding and maximising your practice manager’s potential

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Your practice manager acts as the backbone of your practice, ensuring smooth daily functioning and laying the groundwork for future success. But how do you measure their effectiveness and identify potential skill gaps? Metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), can become an effective way to measure whether your practice manager is on the right path toward their goals, and your strategic objectives.

An under-equipped or overwhelmed practice manager can significantly impact your bottom line. Inefficiency can result in lost time and revenue, missed opportunities, and frustrated patients. So, if your current practice manager shows signs of stress, overload, or lack of engagement, it’s a good time to evaluate their skillset through these key areas:

1. Defined responsibilities

Does your practice manager have a clearly defined job description outlining specific management deliverables, reporting requirements, and expected contributions to strategic initiatives? Without a roadmap, even the most talented individuals can struggle to navigate effectively.

2. Measurable performance

Are there established KPIs to gauge your practice manager’s performance? These could include patient satisfaction scores, appointment scheduling efficiency, financial metrics like revenue and cost management, or staff turnover rates. Defined targets and regular performance reviews create accountability and promote continuous improvement.

3. Ongoing development

Has your practice manager invested in their professional growth through formal studies, peer training, or practice management skills courses? A commitment to learning demonstrates initiative and ensures their knowledge and skillset remain relevant in the evolving healthcare landscape.

4. Business insights

Can your practice manager present monthly reports which summarise key business activities, trends, and potential areas of concern? Regular reporting provides valuable insights into the practice’s health and facilitates data-driven decision-making.

5. Operational compliance

Can your practice manager confidently explain and navigate the necessary processes to comply with health and safety regulations (OH&S), WorkCover requirements, APP, and Fair Work Australia regulations? Ensuring compliance can help to protect your practice and patients, and a capable practice manager should have sound knowledge of these areas.

6. Financial acumen

Is your practice manager comfortable discussing your practice’s financial health? Can they break down key metrics like expenses, outstanding debts, unsubmitted accounts, and employee entitlements? Financial literacy and transparency are essential for informed decision-making and sustainable growth.

Addressing identified skill gaps can give you a great opportunity to provide training, implement mentoring programs, or access to industry resources to empower them to excel. However, if the answers to these questions above consistently fall short, it might be time to consider additional support, someone with the necessary skills, experience, and commitment to drive your practice’s success.

Avant Practice Solutions can help guide you with ensuring your practice is set up for success with an offsite practice management consultant to complement and enhance the skills of senior staff, and take on critical responsibilities.

Learn more in our eBook ‘A beginner’s guide to working with a virtual practice manager’. Our virtual practice managers operate much like in-house practice managers, but instead of being located in your rooms or practice, they oversee your business functions, financial performance, strategic growth, HR, compliance and other tasks remotely.

Speak with one of our Practice Success Consultants today to learn how your practice can benefit from engaging a virtual practice manager.

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