Tips For Setting Up Your Medical Centre Correctly In 2020
Please find below the first blog of the year!
Firstly can I send my heartfelt thoughts for those Australians who are suffering in the fires. It seems that everyone you talk to has either been directly or indirectly impacted by the fires. Friends and family that have lost properties, lives have changed dramatically and it is going to take a long time to rebuild our beautiful country again.
Our prayers go to those who have suffered and a special thank you to the firefighters and volunteers around Australia.
TIP: Setup your medical centre correctly from the beginning. It is easier and cheaper to set up systems from the start than fix and setup systems months or years in! This also prevents risk from compliance issues and also emotional stress.
General medical practice management concerns doctor/ investor owners as well as those staff members that support their practice of care. Operating or setting up a professional general medical practice is not an easy task, and there are constant challenges that owners need to be prepared for and overcome to maintain a great reputation of quality and care for their patients.
Staffing the Healthcare Industry
One of the most important aspects of building a successful general medical practice concerns creating a solid staff of qualified medical professionals as well as a team of management and administrative professionals that can help operations run smoothly.
The best general medical practice management teams are made of up of a diverse group of professionals that can actively contribute to the success of the organisation. In many larger practices, these teams are made up of representatives from all aspects of the practice – from business managers to nurses and medical specialists.
For smaller, private organisations, general practice management usually falls into the hands of the head doctor or a sole medical manager. These individuals or teams are responsible for providing the caregivers with administrative staff that can handle involved procedures such as billing, scheduling and maintaining patient relations.
For growing organisations, an important aspect of practice management is to recognise when there is a need for hiring additional professionals, especially when it comes to medical staff. As with any hiring process, there is a significant amount of time and money invested in this process, so healthcare management professionals should be prepared to make accurate hiring decisions that can positively affect the organisation for a considerable amount of time in the future.
- Ensure you have good contracts in place for staff and you are aware of the various Fair Work Awards.
- Check at least two references for each applicant.
- If your GP is working for a percentage of income, they should be on a Service Office Agreement or employed. If you don’t know the “grey areas”, contact us so we can put you in touch with a lawyer or accountant.
- Make sure you understand the Medicare billing system and your staff have PRODA and HPOS access.
- Produce financial reports monthly to watch your progress.
- Keep up-to-date with your ATO and super obligations.
- Consider a remote practice management company if you do not have the skillset locally.
Internal and External Practice Communications
In any industry, communication on all fronts is key, and this is especially true in healthcare. To ensure the best practice management, communication should be a top priority not only externally between patients and their doctors, but internally between doctors and their staff as well.
External communications between an organisation and its patients are key to successfully managing a medical practice. Strong practice-to-patient relations are important for eliminating errors and missed appointments, establishing positive relations, and also for instilling confidence in patients that their caregivers are providing them with the highest quality of care. Great communication leads to trusting relationships between patients and doctors – something that is vitally important in maintaining a successful and thriving practice.
While external communication is an integral piece of the puzzle, internal communication is just as important. Doctors, nurses, and all other medical professionals need to openly communicate with the healthcare administration staff to ensure information is properly and accurately recorded as well as to ensure that all any rules established by the practice or by the state or federal government are made known to all and followed. Building a cohesive staff with the same goals and visions can help build a successful medical practice.
- Work towards the Accreditation of your general practice BEFORE the door opens. General practice is now into the 5th Edition RACGP Standards.
- Consider an online practice management policy and procedure manual. An example of this is Practice Hub. Our team can help set this up for your medical centre so 90% of the accreditation documentation is completed before you start your medical centre.
- Consider your Practice Management software and their internal messaging systems.
- Understand the Privacy Act and how it affects medical practices.
Implementing Medical Technology
Technology has made an incredible impact on every facet of our lives, not only personally, but professionally as well. When it comes to medical practice management, implementing technology that can help improve the quality of care and operations of the organisation becomes a top priority. Improvements in technology have made their way into every aspect of the industry – from research, diagnosis, treatment, administration and communications – and have made their application vitally important to the advancement of medical care.
A major concern for successful general practice management is the training, implementation, and maintenance of technologies. Today’s most pressing issues concern the new regulations on the “meaningful use” of technologies like electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (e-health), the integration of mobile technologies like smartphones and tablets, and the updating of costly telehealth equipment to encourage more collaborative treatment options.
- Consider the new patient desktop kiosks so patients can update their information each time they visit the centre.
- Online appointments are an important way of marketing your practice and an easy way for patients to make appointments.
- Obtain training on My Health Record (eHealth).
- Ask your local PHN for practice management tools which help with Chronic Disease Management and Preventative Health.
- Ensure you have a VERY good IT setup.
Practice Management and Medical Compliance
Compliance with important state and federal health regulations and laws is vital to the operations of a general medical practice. Several regulations are of concern for those in the medical industry, from the direct care of patients to avoid malpractice suits, the use of Medicare items, and the regulations covering the use of medical technologies.
Noncompliance with many of these regulations can have extreme consequences for medical professionals. From expensive fines, jail time, and even the revoking of a medical license can result from failure to comply with the standards and regulations established to provide the best care for patients.
A big part of medical practice management is ensuring that all staff members, from head doctors to nurses and medical billing staff, are aware of all medical regulations and laws, are trained to implement and adhere to them properly, and are notified when any changes need to be made to eliminate the risk for any interruptions in practice.
- Undertake Medicare Billing online training
- Look into the various incentives offered to general practice
- Use the resources of your PHN
- Audit your practice regularly to check correct items are being used. Understand the Shared Debt Recovery Scheme
Quality medical practice management and setting up your medical centre correctly is equally as important as quality patient care, and they go hand-in-hand in creating healthcare organisations that can be relied upon to deliver quality patient care.
So if you are thinking of setting up a medical centre or struggling to manage your existing centre, do not hesitate to contact us for professional, friendly advice. The “Nicky Jardine” team are Australian leaders in:
- Setting up general practices
- Practice audits
- Remote Management
Please email email@example.com or telephone 1300 798831
Reference acknowledged 4 January 2020: