The invaluable role of a physician practice Administrator


What I think physicians need to hear regarding the invaluable role of an Administrator is:
1. A physician cannot possibly, on his or her own, adequately handle HR issues. These range from hiring the right people, prioritizing work schedules, cross training, ensuring procedures that lead to efficiency, inspiring excellence on the job, and HR laws and regulations.
2. A physician has been trained to treat patients. Administrators are trained to treat businesses. It's the administrator's job to keep their business healthy and growing. Physicians cannot do it all! Even the smartest and most business savvy physicians cannot keep up to date with the administrative and insurance issues and changing regulations and still keep up with a full time medical practice. (Example: Could a gastro doc with an endoscopy room manage to obtain accreditation without the help of an Administrator!)
3. The cost of a good manager is re-couped 10 fold through greater efficiency, practice growth and health, freeing the doctors to spend time with patients rather than financials, and reducing stress for the docs.
4. The best thing a physician team can do for their Administrator is to give them the authority to take action on their behalf, especially in regard to those areas for which they intend to make the Administrator culpable.
5. The second best thing a physician team can do to make the most of their Administrator is to assign a Managing Partner who is willing to make time to work with their Administrator (almost daily), as part of the Administrative team (this obviously applies to group practices). This requires anywhere from 1 to 2 hours a week from the doc.
Lastly, it is extremely important that every administrator provide their physician or physician owners financial analysis reports at end of each month w/synopsis. Even more important, you and your administrator must have a monthly or quarterly management meeting to review and discuss practice financials and management statistics, operation issues, practice issues, and strategic planning. This commitment is what separates the average practices from the good ones.

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