1) Choose a practice management system
Using a practice management package like e-clinic makes managing a clinic significantly easier. A good practice management package will allow you to store patients’ personal data, book appointments and keep a record of appointments and their outcomes, record clinical information, manage invoicing, keep track of stock levels, contact patients via email, text or letter, and target patients with appropriate marketing campaigns. An effective practice management system should lead to a reduction in your workload and a decrease in your stress levels. Having a good computer system in place should also improve the accuracy and reliability of your data. Although the quality of your data is very much dependant on the person who enters it, there should be less scope for human error.
2) Train staff well
Training offer businesses the opportunity to expand the knowledge of employees, but some employers see training as expensive and doubt how cost-effective it is. Employers can also be concerned about staff members missing out on work time while completing training. However, despite some perceived drawbacks, training and development provides both the business as a whole and the individuals with skills, knowledge and other benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.
There are many benefits to training your team. Firstly, an employee is likely to feel loyalty to your practice if they feel that you care enough to spend money on their personal and professional growth. Providing training is also likely to improve the morale of staff at your clinic; this is because a culture that encourages learning and fosters education creates a positive, motivated, and committed workforce. Also, employees who have received job-specific training are more likely to be productive and confident. However, it is important that employees receive ongoing training and support: technology is changing all the time and therefore it is vital that employees keep up to date with changes. At e-clinic, we offer regular training courses to refresh knowledge, learn advanced skills. or train up new starters.
3) Delegate to others
Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task, while you retain ultimate responsibility for its success. Delegation will improve the efficiency of your clinic as well as the development of your team.
Delegation improves the efficiency of a clinic as it allows work to be transferred to other employees whose skillset is a good match for the work in hand. The role of a clinic manager involves planning and strategizing the next steps for your practice and your team. Delegating work to other employees allows you as a manager to lessen your workload. You can then focus your time on planning the next move for the team and growing the business.
As a clinic manager and team leader, you possess important abilities and transferable skills that can and should be passed on to team members. An effective way of doing this is to give them the confidence and permission to develop their skills and then delegate tasks to them so that they can use these new skills. As an added bonus, delegating gives you as a clinic manager the opportunity to develop your own coaching and mentoring skills.
4) Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty
We’ve discussed delegation, but it’s very important for a clinic manager to remember that they should know how to complete every job role in the office with a certain degree of efficiency and expertise. Members of a team look to the clinic manager for leadership and guidance, so they need to know that their manager will be able to help them if they require assistance. If there are certain tasks that the manager isn’t trained in, there’s no harm in asking an employee to teach them – this fosters a good team spirit and a supportive environment.
5) Create processes for everything
Have you ever had to listen to yourself repeating the same instructions to colleagues? Or struggling to remember how to complete a task you last tackled a month ago? Remember feeling frustrated by the time and effort wasted? It doesn’t have to be this way, and creating processes for every task you undertake in the clinic is the way to solve it.
To summarise: a process is a set of instructions for carrying out a specific task. While you’d expect process creation to take some time, it generally takes an hour or two at first but pays off massively in the long run.
We’ll give you more tips for effective clinic management in a future blog post. If you’ve like to comment on anything you’ve read here, please get in touch!