Practice managers run the show in a healthcare organization.
It’s their job to implement policies, organize workflows, and make sure everything to do with the business runs in tip-top shape.
With their great deal of responsibility, practice managers should be equipped with the right traits and skills to perform at their best.
Whether you’re new or seasoned in this career, there’s always room for improvement to be the best practice manager for your medical office.
Do you want to know what it takes to succeed in this job?
Here, we share the 9 traits outstanding practice managers have in common!
Responsibilities of a Practice Manager
A great practice manager will be able to balance and handle the needs of the healthcare organization’s staff and its patients.
To give an overview, here are just a few of your key responsibilities as a practice manager:
Managing everyday operations
Such duties entail:
- Organizing staff schedules
- Scheduling team meetings
- Connecting with providers and external vendors,
- Addressing the concerns of your patients
These are just a few of the day-to-day tasks of a practice manager.
Strategic planning and implementation
As management, you need to analyze the growth of the business and consider what needs to be improved upon.
Staying on top of healthcare trends
You may have mastered becoming a manager, but it’s also important that you update your knowledge. Here are some ways how:
- Obtain practice management certifications
- Participate in professional organizations
- Learn healthcare marketing techniques
- Stay updated with continuing education classes/courses
Handle human resources and personnel
As management, it’s also your duty to manage human resources by resolving conflicts, maintaining records, and evaluating the staff’s work performance.
Managing billing, accounting, and expenses
You are also required to leverage your management skills with money by budgeting and negotiating with vendors to make the business profitable.
Follow legal compliance
In the healthcare industry, following state laws and regulations is very important.
It’s imperative for practice managers to maintain current medical licenses for all their staff and ensure all records are filed, stored, and released properly.
9 Traits To Become The Best Practice Manager
When a medical practice is managed well, the workplace becomes a lucrative environment for quality healthcare services to occur.
Not only will you have an effective working team, but you will also gain your patient’s trust as they become loyal to your clinic.
However, this isn’t an easy feat to achieve. Healthcare practices often encounter different challenges that need to be addressed as efficiently as possible.
As with any leader, the best practice manager with a dynamic range of skills can finesse their way through these challenges and turn them into opportunities to improve the medical practice’s performance.
Do you think you know the ins and outs of your healthcare business?
A good practice manager possesses a great deal of education, knowledge, and intelligence in the job.
You should know how things operate in your medical practice like the back of your hand.
Intelligence for a practice manager goes beyond being smart. To be able to carry out your duties and responsibilities well, continuous education is also important.
As the captain of the ship, your staff will rely on your agility and quick wit to overcome the obstacles they encounter when working.
Good leaders are also great helpers. However, it requires balance in order to help your medical team be successful.
You want to be able to support your staff but not let them depend on you to accomplish their tasks.
Instead, helpful practice managers should aim to encourage their staff and co-workers to be efficient in what they do.
Do you wonder how you can be helpful in your workplace?
Here are a few techniques you can try:
- Make mistakes a learning opportunity. Whether it’s you or your staff, troubleshoot the mistakes in your medical office and share it with your team.
- Review and improve. In important tasks, identify the things that went well and those that need improvement. Establish best practices.
- Create stories out of challenges. Every difficulty your practice faces is an opportunity for a good story that will influence the future behavior of your human resources.
- Give credit when it’s due. People thrive in their work when they know they are achieving. This will foster growth and competence.
3. Social Intelligence – Getting People
The work of a practice manager entails dealing with different kinds of people.
With doctors and nurses to manage and patients to serve, it’s important to have the right social intelligence with your human resources to communicate effectively.
Social intelligence is the ability to know yourself and those around you.
According to Psychology Today, social intelligence requires these 6 key elements:
- Good conversational and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of social roles, rules, and norms
- Becoming an effective listener
- Understanding different behaviors and emotions
- Ability to play different social roles and be comfortable with different types of people
- Portraying a good impression with your authentic self
To become a successful practice manager, you need to establish and nurture good relationships with your staff and clients in your medical office.
After all, strong and healthy relationships are vital to success. Learning to communicate, understand, and listen to other people will get you far in your career.
Do you see the glass half-full or half-empty?
According to research, having a positive mindset highly influences success and well-being in the workplace.
As such, the best practice managers should be able to see the bright side, especially during difficult situations.
Positivity can increase your creative thinking and helps you cope with challenges as you work with other people.
In the workplace, it can reduce absenteeism and staff turnover, and lead to more satisfied and productive teams.
As a practice manager, have you dealt with a difficult staff member?
Instead of highlighting their weaknesses, have you considered understanding first how the person feels?
Empathy is the ability of a manager to understand and put himself in the shoes of another person.
According to studies, managers who show higher levels of empathy toward their team are viewed as better performers by their bosses.
More than the challenges your staff members encounter, good practice management entails proper discernment of related factors that may impact the team’s performance.
Being empathic and having the ability to connect with each other on all levels of consciousness makes the difference between being an adequate manager or a great leader.
Fostering a culture of open communication, understanding the motivations and worries of your team, and breeding trusting relationships will help your medical office reach its goals.
What gets you up and excited whenever you start your day? Are you driven by the motivation to serve your staff and patients?
Self-motivation is another important trait of a practice manager.
As the leader of your medical practice, the drive to perform at your best should start with you so you can help motivate your team as well.
Here are a few things you can do to motivate yourself to become a good manager:
- Drive to achieve. Strive to improve and meet the standard of excellence in your practice.
- Be committed. Align your personal mission to the goals of your organization.
- Take initiative. Be ready to act on opportunities.
- Remain optimistic. Be persistent in pursuing your goals even when you’re faced with challenges and hurdles.
Effective practice management enables and influences people so they willingly and enthusiastically strive toward the achievement of the business’s goals.
A self-motivated practice manager contributes to the success of the healthcare organization’s vision by providing strategic direction and motivation to the team.
With hard work and high morale, good managers can inspire and direct their people under both normal and adverse conditions.
Stress levels can get high when managing a busy practice.
There are times when things may get out of control in which you may easily give in to quick fixes and impractical solutions.
However, the best way to overcome a taxing working environment is through patience. As the leader in your medical business, patience should start with you.
Here are some tips to help you improve patience in your healthcare organization:
- Exemplify patience. It’s unreasonable to expect your staff members to be patient if your words and actions show that you aren’t. Be a role model of patience by finessing through struggles calmly and thoughtfully.
- Make a lesson out of an impatient experience. It’s almost inevitable that one of your team members will exhibit a lack of patience in the workplace. This can be a teachable experience for the staff member to improve on in the future.
- Shift the attitude during discomfort and change. Your medical team will encounter uncomfortable situations every day. Whether it’s dealing with a difficult patient, learning new technologies, or adjusting roles when there’s a lack of staff, teach your staff to be adaptive towards change and moments of discomfort.
8. Hunger for Learning
The healthcare industry has changed so much in recent years. To keep up with the times, a good practice manager should never stop learning.
With new trends and technologies emerging, it’s your job as the practice manager to continue your education of the best software, procedures, and processes.
Truth be told, it’s easy to put education on the back burner. However, if you fail to find ways to improve your medical practice, the business will also fall behind.
The most successful managers understand that there’s always room for growth and remain open and willing to learn new ideas.
Be in the mindset of becoming a lifelong learner.
Have an open mind to new lessons and education that can come from various resources, including employees who report to you.
The best practice managers are “intrapreneurs” who think of creative ways to help the medical practice succeed, even in difficult situations.
This especially applies to the startup stage when all the policies and procedures haven’t been ironed out yet.
That’s why it’s important to proactively anticipate challenges that may arise from the change and quickly develop solutions.
In line with the ever-changing and evolving industry, healthcare practice managers also need to be adaptable so their business doesn’t get left behind.
Just as physicians must search for the most recent medical advances, successful managers have to keep abreast of change as well.
New technologies, shifting payer reimbursement, changes in market demands, and the swinging pendulum of physician employment are challenges you can learn to welcome and embrace.
Do You Have What It Takes To Be The Best Practice Manager?
As the “jack of all trades”, practice managers need to wear a lot of hats in order to perform various vital functions.
Being the leader of your workplace gives you the chance to steer your work environment and staff culture to reflect your organization’s values.
Juggling all these things at once may seem overwhelming. However, with the right traits and virtues, you’ll be on your way to become a successful practice manager!
Now, do you think you have what it takes to be successful in your practice management? Let us know in the comments below what traits have helped you best in your career!