In the world of medical management, one of the most undervalued positions is that of the practice manager. The success of a medical practice is often determined by the capability of the practice manager to effectively lead the team, manage all corners of the office, and develop the systems needed to keep the practice on track and moving forward.
As practice managers, we must make sure that we don’t fall in the common traps of leading in a practice. The question becomes, what are some of the common traps that practice managers fall into? Here are three that we see as the most common:
Assume that organization will take care of itself.
One of the greatest struggles of managing a doctor’s office is keeping everything organized. Many make the mistake of expecting organization without a system for organization which makes it difficult to find what you need when you need it. If the paper charts are overflowing, the storage rooms are in disarray, and front office is out of order, it’s time to make a change.
As a rule, it is easier to stay organized than it is to get organized. This means that organization must be more than quarterly events to get the office whipped into shape. Work to develop a system must be developed to keep different parts of the office organized daily, weekly, and monthly.
Assume that the team understands their roles and responsibilities.
A large part of the role of a practice manager is making sure that the team is operating efficiently. In the fast-paced environment that the medical field can be, roles can quickly become unclear if they aren’t regularly clarified.
Most practices are confused on both what needs to be done and who does what. A simple fix for this is to list out everything that needs to be accomplished, split between daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and then assign those tasks out to team members as is appropriate for their position on the team. This will help with many things. First, it will give your team clarity on what their role is and how they can be successful at their job. Next, it will give comfort to you and your physicians to know that the most vital tasks are being taken care of with intentionality. Finally, it will give you the capability to see who is being overworked and who needs more responsibility.
Assume that the title is enough.
In his book The Five Levels of Leadership, John Maxwell states that the lowest level of leadership one can attain is the level of position. In fact, he says that position is not leadership, but rather the opportunity for leadership. Many leaders rely on the weight of their position to drive their people and end up with both the staff and themselves becoming both frustrated and discontent.
Simon Sinek says that “A boss has the title. A leader has the people.” For a team to live up to it’s full potential, a leader has to develop the permission to lead the team by building strong relationships with them. When the team trusts the leader, they will then be willing to be led by that leader. As a manager, remember that the weight of the title will never outweigh the level of trust your team has in you as a leader.
Is your practice struggling? Legacy Consulting would love to help make your practice better. Reach out to us here on LinkedIn or on our website at www.legacyconsultingservices.com.