If you have been working as a medical office manager, you know about the challenges that come with the job. Some are unique to the field, while others are just part of having a managerial role. But either way, It is important to identify those challenges so you can meet them head-on.
Every day, the responsibilities of a medical office manager increase to meet the needs of the practice and its patients. As a result, it’s easy for things to get out of hand quickly if you aren’t on top of your game. Here are five challenges every medical office manager faces in their day-to-day work.
Communicating Clearly And Effectively
Communicating clearly with your team should be at the top of your priority list. According to Gallup, employees who are not engaged in the workplace cost the global economy a staggering $7.8 trillion dollars. But engagement isn’t simply you communicating with your subordinates. It is them being able to communicate back to you and among each other.
As the manager, it is your duty to create such an environment where people can communicate freely. Salesforce reports that 75% of employees now prefer to communicate with a coworker as they would with a friend. Therefore, don’t just lay emphasis on the formal channels of communication. Be the kind of boss they can reach out to informally if they need to.
Paying Attention To Every Detail
Paying attention to every detail is an essential part of running any office. But as new medical office managers quickly find out, it is even more important in their line of work. When you are handling medical information, organizing a doctor’s chamber, or assisting them with some procedure, a small mistake can literally be a matter of life and death.
If someone makes a small mistake in a patient’s paperwork and they end up getting the wrong drug, that can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and claim settlements. Justpoint reports that the average claim settlement for medical malpractice is $242,000. Therefore you can imagine how costly even a small mistake can be in your business.
Keeping Up With The Logistics
Staying on top of the logistics is one of the most challenging parts of being a medical office manager. Logistics include scheduling, insurance claims, patient records, etc. While scheduling appointments or keeping medical records can be challenging, settling insurance reimbursement claims is probably the most unlikable part of the job.
Unlike the other parts of the job, which you have a lot more control over, settling insurance claims requires you to coordinate with a third party. It is more often than not less than cooperative. But instead of spending hours on the phone nagging, opt for health insurance reimbursement software. It will take care of this menial task for you, so you can spend your time more productively.
In fact, you should consider automating most of the logistical tasks in your office, like scheduling or record keeping. There is software today that can help you do that. They will save you a lot of work hours and make your office more efficient.
Dealing With Patient Experience
Patient experience is a big part of the medical office manager’s job. Patient experience is not just your waiting room or waiting time. It is also not just the interaction with staff, but it includes all aspects of the patient’s journey through your practice, from making an appointment to receiving it and leaving after treatment.
Patient experience has many components, such as:
- How easy is it for patients to book appointments?
- Can patients easily find parking? Are there convenient entrances, elevators, and restrooms on-site?
- Do you have adequate signage so that people can find their way around your office?
These are just some examples of what affects patient experience, and these things need to be considered before expanding any further with new technology or processes that you may implement in your practice.
Getting Involved Without Micromanaging
One of the most difficult parts of managing a medical office is knowing how much involvement you should have in your employees’ work. While micromanaging can be a problem, not getting involved enough also leads to problems. Therefore you need to carefully decide how to approach this issue.
An article on Forbes offers a few suggestions for managers who would like to manage without micromanaging. These include:
- Instead of delegating specific tasks, delegate your goals to your employees. Discuss what needs to be achieved and how it fits into the functioning of the company as a whole.
- Ask your employees to come up with a plan of their own. This ensures that they will think things through before starting. If you spot any drawback in their plans, you can correct them.
- Routinely follow up with them to see if they are doing okay. Don’t do it so frequently that it feels like nagging. If they run into a problem, offer your advice. Don’t scold or judge, coach.
It’s not always easy to be in charge of a medical office. You have to juggle all the details of running a business while also making sure that your patients feel cared for and heard. But if you are quick to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, it should not be much of a challenge.
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