Why practice performance is critical in 2019
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Why practice performance is critical in 2019

Every effective practice management plan needs regular review to improve performance, and with 2019 ahead of us, we take a look at some simple tips to ensure your medical practice is ready to face the challenges and expectations of the coming year.

Getting your practice environment right

According to the Royal College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP) latest General Practice Toolkit, the key to improving work performance, efficiency, job satisfaction, patient satisfaction and financial management within a practice, rests on a foundation of simply getting the practice environment right.

This not only includes the practice setting, but also the practice planning model, which provides a systematic way to work through the complexities and time constraints of a general practice.

“Good management will not compensate for a flawed business model or a weak industry position,” the RACGP stated. “Conversely, a poorly-managed practice will still struggle even if it is positioned in a strong industry.”

What a practice assessment looks like

Generally speaking, a practice assessment is an evaluation of a practice’s ‘operational health’. This includes undertaking a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), in order to identify areas for improvement. Areas to consider examining include, but are not limited to:

  • operational efficiency
  • patient service
  • technology
  • fees
  • remuneration
  • overheads
  • patient volumes
  • staffing
  • financial systems.

According to the RACGP, the assessment can be holistic and look at the entire practice comprehensively, or it can focus on one area, depending on priorities and resources.

What success looks like

A successful practice requires both clinical and business expertise, where practitioners and staff can operate in a productive environment that allows them to success personally and professionally, while enabling personalised, patient-centric care. To achieve this ideal the RACGP stresses this requires a ‘leading vision, that inspires and resonates with the medical and support staff.

“Striving to be efficient means carefully examining processes to eliminate unnecessary waste or redundancy in your practice,” it stated.

How technology can help

The use of practice management software, paperless processing, cloud computing and e-health records are becoming more embedded in the health industry’s vernacular. And technology can offer significant benefits to improving the performance of so many touch points of a practice, creating an optimum working environment for practice success.

Some common examples:

  • operational efficiency: cloud practice management software can help practitioners practice from anywhere, at anytime, on any device, significantly boosting practice efficiency
  • patient service: automated solutions such as text reminders and recalls can help reduce patient know-shows and improve patient engagement
  • finance and processing: automated report generating and integrated EFTPOS tools can significantly improve payment processing and efficiency
  • staffing: efficient clinical and practice management software offer digital scheduling systems to help manage busy practitioner schedules and enable real-time collaboration

 One great example of boosting a practice’s performance with technology, is Bondi Junction 7 Day Medical Centre’s, which used simple text alerts to manage bookings and reduce patient no-shows.

According to practice manager and registered nurse, Christine Dawson. MedicalDirector’s Clinical and Pracsoft practice management solutions offered the Bondi Junction 7 Day Medical Practice the automated solution it needs to boost practice efficiency, while enabling optimum patient outcomes.

“It was easy for our practice to learn MedicalDirector’s software that has features like patient appointments and SMS reminders,” Bondi Junction 7 Day Medical Centre’s practice manager, Christine Dawson says. “Plus there are a lot of useful online guides and resources to assist you in working things out easily and autonomously.”