How to become a health practice manager

When you were a child, were you always the one managing your group of friends? Perhaps, trying to resolve conflicts when they came up? If you were, then perhaps, this is a sign you are a natural leader and manager. Working as a manager in a health practice is an important job because you keep everything running smoothly. Then, all the health professionals are free to concentrate on giving excellent care to their patients. The role of a health practice manager is a skilled one. Usually working from a health practice positioned at the front-line of healthcare. You manage the practice organising the administrative and personnel aspects of the business. This is not a healthcare provider job rather you act as the grease making everything work nicely at the practice. Moreover, you make plans for growth, manage the finances, human resources, clinic operations and IT.

Do you have a desire to manage in a vital industry, helping health practices to succeed? Then, why not consider the challenging exciting role of a health practice manager? This job will stretch your skills and push you to become the best you can. Keep reading to find out what to do next.

Step one: Take a course to get yourself qualified

It is essential for someone planning to become a health practice manager to pursue qualifications first. You must take a course which trains you in finance and management. This training will give you the best preparation for the role, and help you succeed in the long run. 

Step two: Register with the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM)

Once you have finished your studies, then you are ready to look for work. Before you can start submitting applications you must register with the AAPM. This registration is important and will open doors for you. The industry must take care to use staff with relevant training and skills. This is why registration is important.   

Step three: Look for your first job

Well, you are all trained up, registered and ready to go. Now, all you need to do is find your first job. As the population grows so are the number of practices and opportunities. Steady growth is set to continue, particularly in cities and big towns. When applying for your first job don’t forget to tailor your resume and cover letter for each and every application. Use the resume to highlight your qualifications, registration, personal strengths and any work experience you may have.

Step four: Consider a specialisation

The health practice manager role is a specialisation in itself. However, once you have experience in the role you can consider trying a different more specialised role. You may need to undertake some further training at this point. Here are three interesting specialisations you can consider.

Chiropractic Practice Manager

This specialisation is like the role of a health practice manager. Except you work in a chiropractic practice rather than a general health practice. You may also work from hospitals of community health centres. You may work on reception, liaise with patients, give staff training, manage rosters, payroll, banking records, stock control and market the practice. Phew! A busy but rewarding specialisation.

Dental Practice Manager

To work as a dental practice manager, you must have completed a Certificate IV and Diploma qualification in Professional Practice Management. You work under the principal of the dental practice and take responsibility for the day to day operations of the practice. As per other practice management roles, you are responsible for staff hiring, training and development, management, and rosters.

Medical Practice Manager

In this specialisation, you take your skills into the medical practice. This means you could work in medical centres or Doctor’s surgeries. You must have completed qualifications in health practice management. Daily tasks involve allocating human resources, office equipment, monitoring workflow, writing staff rosters. Lastly, you manage the staff. Not to mention, you also need to keep an eye on staff practices to make sure everyone complies with occupational health and safety standards.

What are Health Practice Managers Duties?

Your daily tasks at the health practice will keep you on your toes. You need to use your business and management skills to succeed. Firstly, you manage the record-keeping systems and health and safety practices. Checking everything is up-to-date and carried out as intended. Secondly, you keep an eye on stock inventories, making sure staff replenish supplies and items kept in stock. Thirdly, you manage the staff, giving training and supervision when required. Importantly, you manage the business accounts. This means you keep a close eye on expenditure and profits. Always seeking ways to improve. The role is very busy which requires a driving passion to help provide outstanding patient service and care. Lastly, how you manage the team will help create excellent working conditions and a team spirit at the practice.

Tasks

  • Planning office services
  • Managing staff
  • Accounting and record management
  • Tracking occupational health and safety standards
  • Planning finances
  • Ensuring accountability

Skills for Success

As a health practice manager, you come into contact with patient, doctors and medical staff at every level. A good communicator you can manage these people without causing tensions or problems at the practice. Importantly, you must keep on top of any legislation developments. Also, as a priority, you should make sure to put in place any health and safety changes at the practice. You should have a sound understanding of the administration involved in a health practice. Besides, you must have good knowledge of the financial model so you can identify problems and suggest solutions. In short, you should have a knack for managing people. This important skill needs combining with your technical and business knowledge.

Skills and attributes

  • Excellent communicator
  • Comfortable delegating tasks
  • Financial and administrative skills
  • Knowledge  of health services
  • Conflict resolution
  • Business acumen

What do Health Practice Managers earn in Australia?

In Australia, health practice managers earn a median wage of $64,498 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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