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Practical Advice for Running an Efficient and Effective Medical Office by Elizabeth Escalanta

To run a successful and efficient medical office, the manager must learn to juggle the needs of the patient, the needs of the physician, the needs of the employee and the needs of the administration. What is the key to keeping the many different aspects of managing the office in play effectively, without one aspect or another suffering? As any juggler will tell you, there are several key things that require your attention.

  • Set things in motion 

An efficient and effective office has systems in place that will run smoothly without the manager’s personal involvement in the day to day. This requires hiring the right people to the key positions and ensuring that they have been adequately trained for the roles they are filling.

  • Study the movement

Evaluate the needs of your office and determine which matters require your personal and immediate attention. What is happening in your office that is an obstacle to efficiency and effectiveness? Are there procedures in place that are only “how things are” because they are “how it has always been”? What works and what does not?

  • Make small adjustments

Rather than diving in to make huge changes to the structure of things, start with small adjustments to the function of the office. As you formulate new plans and new procedures, involve the staff that does these jobs on a day to day basis. Enlist the input of the physicians and even the patients in your office for suggestions and ideas.

  • Focus your attention

Prioritize the issues that require your personal involvement and most active participation. An issue that is big enough should have the manager’s hands on efforts to correct it. Figure out your biggest obstacle and work personally to remove it. This often means getting into the trenches yourself to work out the reason for the problem and the most effective solution. Your employees will appreciate you for taking those steps.

  • Keep things going

Once the big problems are sorted out, keep the balls in the air by repeating all of the above steps continuously. Keep looking for ways to improve the functionality of your office, not just putting out the fires and fixing the problems as they occur, but looking ahead at how to make improvements to procedures before there are issues.

  • Stay balanced

Above all, as the manager of the office, you are its primary source of balance. If you stumble, the office will falter. If you drop one of the balls, the office will wait on you to pick it up and start again. The important thing is not that a ball never falls to the ground, but how long it stays there and how well you get it moving again.

In short, keep your balance as you handle the obstacles and challenges of managing the medical office. In so doing, you and your office will be successful.

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