5 Traits of a Great Health Practice Manager

The role of a health practice manager is truly diverse, with overall responsibility for staff, patients, clinicians, suppliers and multiple office functions. The right manager can transform a practice into a healthy, thriving business where patients are welcomed, practitioners are happy, and operations run efficiently – pretty much all the time. So, what are the…

The role of a health practice manager is truly diverse, with overall responsibility for staff, patients, clinicians, suppliers and multiple office functions.

The right manager can transform a practice into a healthy, thriving business where patients are welcomed, practitioners are happy, and operations run efficiently – pretty much all the time.

So, what are the crucial traits to look for when employing a practice manager to take your clinic to the next level in service provision, quality and patient satisfaction?

1. Top communication skills

Your manager will be expected to communicate with a wide range of people, including practitioners, patients, officer suppliers, drug reps and assorted clinical and office staff.

Not only that, they will also be expected to communicate clearly, considerately and appropriately at all times – a big ask of anyone.

Doctors can confine themselves to patients’ needs, but a manager must be across everyone’s needs, on an ongoing basis. So, they must have that extra quality when it comes to speaking to anyone and everyone they encounter.

2. Rock-solid temperament

There’s no room in a busy clinic for histrionics or high drama. The manager must always be calm, undeterred by angry patients and oblivious to rudeness.

It’s common for nerves to fray when anxious patients might have to wait for long stretches in the waiting room, and overworked medics find their paperwork piling up.

A manager should take it all in their stride, and still keep smiling.

3. Strong leadership qualities

There’s also no space in practice management for shrinking violets, who wouldn’t be able to cope with the many demands of a normal day.

Your manager will be expected to take care of everyone in the practice, as well as overseeing all their daily encounters. They will need to direct and motivate all the other clinical and admin staff, while ensuring the practice’s business functions go on running efficiently in the background.

This takes stamina, skill and assertiveness.

4. Great negotiating skills

There’s plenty of scope for conflict in the average health practice. Angry patients, stressed practitioners and under-the-pump clerical workers can form a heady brew.

Any manager you employ must be skilled in conflict resolution and hosing down heated situations. Ask for examples demonstrating this in the interview.

5. Business acumen

A good personality won’t be enough. Your manager will need to show sound business knowledge and application too. They will be responsible for handling the financial, administrative, clerical, digital and billing aspects of your practice, so must be as comfortable in these departments as all the rest.

Is it too much to ask? A friendly, accommodating person who loves their job as well as being adept in multiple fields?

Well, the right person is out there – it’s just a question of finding them. If you need help in this daunting task, please contact one of our specialist consultants to help you zero in on exactly the right person for your practice.