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General Practice Tips - The Right Leader/Manager

We all know general practice is a busy place to be.

  • Patient demands

  • Resources

  • Clinical demands

  • Governance

  • Quality

  • Recruitment

  • Process and policy's

  • Finances

  • Working efficiencies

  • Leadership

  • visions

All these are similar to any other business with slight variations. The key is to manage each topic within it's own setting. Yes, this takes skill and dedication. We need to understand where that skill and dedication sits within the practice to make the practice succeed at every level. This way the outcomes are better and the patient benefits as well as the practice.

So where do we start. Let's leave out the clinical side at the moment and head straight for the management. The Practice Manager, Business Manager, General Manager (whatever the title is) this is the fundamental point of stabilisation and standard setting in terms of general practice operation.

The Practice Manager should be:

  1. The right person for the role.

How? There are specific skill sets a Practice Manager needs to be successful, but let's pick on two:

  1. People

  2. Business

Your Practice Manager needs to be able to lead people/manage people. This is a skill that is defined through personality and training.

I am amazed at the amount of Practice Managers that have been put into place without sufficient training or experience. Who would place a person in a manager's position without knowing and understanding what and how, they carry out the role? This is the responsibility of the partners/board, and they have a responsibility to ensure that the practice has the right person to manage the practice. Without the right person the practice will be dysfunctional at all levels, causing stress and low morale across the practice, which will result in high turnover of staff and low outcomes.

Recruitment is key! If you do not have the skills to recruit the right person, reach out to someone that can.

Do not be lazy and take the easy route. To recruit the right person can take time. To many partners promote internally because it is easy. They rationalise it it by - the person has general practice experience (reception/admin). A great skillset in itself, but not enough to lead/manage staff and run a business. However, if you do feel that the right person is internal, ensure you provide the right training (management training) as this will provide the skills needed to fulfil most of the skills required. Do not underestimate management training. it is there for a reason.

To manage a general practice requires the same skills as any other business. This seems to be missed. Fair enough, doctors are usually partners, very busy and may not fully understand the recruitment complications as they are clinical specialists not recruitment specialists.

The key for Practice Management is:

  • Recruit well (utilise a full recruitment process)

  • Train well

  • Liaise well

This will help, by providing building platform on which you can put the Practice Manager and let them start the process in creating a slick General Practice.

Recruitment does not need to get out of hand re processes and cost. It just needs to be thought through carefully.

Of course there are other difficulties involved, but we will talk about these as we go.

If you need guidance or advice just ask.

General Practice Recruitment

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