Managing any type of business is tough. You must be organized, efficient, able to keep things running smoothly, and good at making sure a variety of personalities feel like they are staying on track. Managing a medical practice is even harder; you must do all the above, while also serving patients who are dealing with their own issues and concerns. The managers of rheumatology practices are aware of this phenomenon because they deal with it every day. Whereas each manager has strategies and systems in place to help their practice run productively and profitably, new tips and tricks are always a welcome addition.
In this article, we have rounded up some advice you have probably given a colleague, along with a few tips you may have overlooked.
Know Everyone’s Duties
Every single person in your office contributes to your overall success. If you make understanding their duties part of your job, you can ensure they are accomplishing their duties to the best of their ability. You will also be in a better position to train, motivate, and support your staff, which is great for morale and productivity.
Keep Your Calendar Under Control
Each month brings a new set of responsibilities, deadlines, appointments, and reporting. Stay on top of this by creating a carefully curated calendar, accessible to everyone in the practice, which clearly lists these due dates and events. Make sure your calendar is not all business—include staff birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates. This will encourage people to look at it more often, which will make it more effective.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Once you know everyone’s duties and what their day-to-day looks like, you will be in a better position to communicate your practice’s expectations and feedback. Whether you choose to communicate face-to-face, in staff meetings, or via e-mail, make sure you are able to say what you need to say, clearly and with compassion. When your staff feels comfortable coming to you with issues and problems, you will know you are doing something right.
Become a Cheerleader
Good communication is not just about problems in the workplace. It is also about celebrating the accomplishments of your colleagues. Positive reinforcement is a great way to keep your staff motivated. Avoid negative feedback, and try to keep the focus on praise and recognition, but remember that words are just that—words. Eventually your employees will want to see a monetary reward for their hard work, so make sure that raises and promotions are part of your long-term plan. Finding good employees is hard, but keeping them around is even harder.
Do Not Be a Slave to Mail
Mail—electronic and otherwise—can quickly consume your day. With messages regularly pinging your inbox, you could turn sorting through spam into a full-time job. Do not allow the siren call of “You’ve Got Mail!” to distract you from more pressing matters. Designate a specific time (eg, the hour directly following lunch) to go through your messages with a fine-toothed comb. Prioritize what needs an immediate reply, what can be delegated, and what you should delete. If possible, aim for “inbox zero” by the end of each week. This will keep your e-mail under control, and ensure that everyone who needs a reply gets one in a timely manner.
We hope these tips help you run a more effective, efficient, and economical rheumatology practice.
Reprinted with permission from the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers. 5 management tips for your rheumatology practice. www.normgroup.org/5-management-tips-rheumatology-practice/. Published March 29, 2017. Accessed April 4, 2017. Content developed by Sage Island www.sageisland.com.