If you have all-round organising skills, patience and empathy then a career as a practice manager could be the perfect position.
What is your role?
You will be working in primary care and have the responsibility of managing and ensuring the smooth running of GP (General Practitioners) surgeries or health centres.
The doctor’s surgery is generally the first point of contact for those in need of medical treatment and advice. This makes good management skills essential to ensure its smooth functioning.
A constantly changing environment:
Surgeries and health centres are busy, often hectic environments. During opening hours, they receive patients from all walks of life.
Running a practice that could have between 2 and 10 GPs along with other clinical staff is no mean feat. Patient registration at larger practices can run in to the 10’s of thousands!
Your daily activities and responsibilities will include:
- Forward business planning to keep pace with current and forecasted demands in terms of patient numbers.
- Responsibility for the financial systems of the practice. This will include payroll management.
- Overseeing and being involved in the development and supervision of appointment systems. These systems are crucial to keep an efficient practice on track. They are vital in terms of time-management for the medical staff employed at the practice and for all patients.
- Accurate and confidential record systems need to be in place and kept according to current regulations.
- Liaising with clinical commissioning groups and other health authority departments to ensure best practice is employed. This includes all regulatory changes. You need to ensure that all concerned understand these changes and that they are adhered to.
- Recruiting, training and supervising your non-clinical staff team.
- Strategy development. In order to keep abreast of the constantly developing medical care offered you will need to be a strategical thinker.
This means you need to be proficient when it comes to analysis, assessment and implementation of new systems that will improve practice efficiency. Improved efficiency will improve the care patients receive.
Being a practice manager certainly does not mean you will work in isolation. Quite the opposite!
You will be in very regular contact with a wide range of colleagues who are based either full or part time at your practice. These include:
- Practice nurses
- Medical secretaries
- Medical receptionists
Many remain in this demanding role – Others may wish to move on:
An efficiently ran practice can make the world of difference to a community. Achieving this is something that practice managers should rightly be proud of.
Being a good practice manager means you are providing an extremely valuable service to your community. This social aspect should certainly not be undervalued.
Progression is possible through various avenues and once the required experience is gained you can choose to:
- Become a part-owner (partner) in the practice concerned.
- Move into hospital, NHS trust, private healthcare or health authority senior management roles.
- Take up senior management roles in social services departments within your profession.
It takes energy!
To be a successful practice manager certainly takes energy, but the rewards of providing efficient services to the community are extremely rewarding.