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What makes a successful practice manager

By Shane Carter bio

Being a practice manager in today’s health care environment is a very tough job. Disruptive and transformational change is underway in health care delivery. The modernization of health care has created a complex, changing environment that requires a successful practice to employ technology, advanced systems, and an educated and dedicated staff. Because they are working in one of the most regulated industries in the US, health care managers must constantly scan the horizon to stay in compliance. A successful leader must be firmly grounded with a broad knowledge base of business acumen, and possess the necessary skills to execute strategy and actionable steps.

Be an advocate for change

Today’s managers are leading at a time when massive change is bombarding health care from every angle. Resisting this change is a recipe for failure, both for the manager and the group they lead. A successful leader must embrace the transformative changes at the door by carefully analyzing, strategizing, and delivering workable solutions that keep the medical group at pace with its environment. You must guide the journey of the group by creating new workflows, investing in new technologies, and retraining your staff to meet the new demands.

Isolation will lead to collapse

Networking may be the best recipe for success for managers today. No individual can possibly keep up with all the changing regulations being proposed, debated, and ultimately implemented. It is critical that managers connect outside the walls of the practice to engage other leaders and make time to attend community luncheons, health care forums, and membership association events. Connect with at least two other managers who lead similar sized groups and make it a point to get out to lunch with them at least once a month to share ideas and watch the horizon for upcoming changes.

Balance your life

Finding the right work/life balance will lead to success. Don’t be a workaholic and steal time from your family. Remember that your best investment of time is always at home. You will never meet anyone who at the end of their life who wished they had spent more time at work. When you are off you must be off and that means turning off the computer, pager, and cell phone. You must take the needed time to recharge your battery. Effective administrators take at least three weeks of vacation each year and are committed to evenings and weekends with the family. Missing important family activities is both shortsighted and foolish.

Leave a legacy

Build something that creates pride by dealing fairly and honestly with people. Great leaders are not always the most liked person in an organization but they are rarely the most disliked person. Creating a workplace that is family oriented, peaceful, positive, and satisfying will be one of your greatest accomplishments in life. Treating people with respect always returns great rewards and ensures your success. Remember that being a practice manager is simply what you do; it should never define who you are as a person.

Shane Carter is an executive healthcare consultant, speaker, and writer with 24 years of medical group management experience. He has extensive “boots on the ground” training and has led a multi-specialty physician group on a highly successful journey from volume-based operations to a values-based Patient Centered Medical Home and AccountableCare Organization.

The above information is shared by a guest contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Medical Office Manager.

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