Practice management is the term used in General practice for the person who manages the finance and administration of a doctor's office or an office of a medical professional in one of many types of specialties in medicine. This is distinct from other official titles such as Advanced Practice Manager, which are generally clinical. A practice manager is responsible for the administrative responsibilities of daily operations and development of a business strategy. Most practice managers are responsible for hiring staff, negotiating benefits and personnel policies, ensuring that medical supplies are ordered and equipment is maintained, ensuring regulatory compliance, and the development and marketing of service lines. Practice management encompasses multiple topics including governance, the financial aspects of medical billing, staff management, ancillary service development, information technology, transcription utilization, and marketing. Practice managers handle the business aspects of medicine to maximize provider time and enhance patient care.
The job of the practice manager has evolved over the last century. When general practice was a cottage industry, operating in the doctor's front room, the receptionist, and the manager, insofar as there was any management, was often the doctor's wife. In the 21st century the biggest practices in the UK now have more than 200,000 patients and hundreds of staff over dozens of sites. Some practices, however, are still single handed. Working conditions in rural areas are very different from those in cities. By no means all the jobs are full time. About half the practice managers surveyed in the UK reported working from five to eight additional hours per week, not all of it paid. Average salary was £39,334.17
The role of a practice manager often includes managing the patient recall process for preventative healthcare appointments. In the UK, primary care providers must meet QOF targets and Local Enhanced Services. Much of the work of practice managers over the financial year goes towards meeting these targets as they are a key generator of practice revenue. As an important of preventing ill-health, there has been much academic research into improving the uptake of these targeted appointments. For example, there has been a number of studies into improving uptake of the NHS Health Check programme.
The same role exists in veterinary practice.
The work of practice managers is varied but generally includes:
- personnel administration
- strategic planning
- Information technology.
- "Benefits of a Strong Practice Manager". American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
- Althausen, Peter L; Mead, Lisa (2014). "Practice Management". Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 28 (7 Suppl): S12–7. doi:10.1097/BOT.0000000000000138. PMID 24918826.
- Fiore, Valeria (12 December 2017). "GPs slept in practice overnight to be in time for morning surgery". Pulse. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- Fiore, Valeria (21 November 2017). "Practice managers work the equivalent of an extra day per week, survey shows". Management in practice. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2017.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), enhanced services and core contract extraction specifications (business rules)". NHS Digital. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- "NHS England » GP Contract 2019/20: NHS England Enhanced Service Specifications". www.england.nhs.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- "Use these evidence-backed methods to optimise your patient recall for NHS Health Checks". www.appt-health.co.uk. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- Kernot, Holly (20 December 2017). "Rising star moves from admin assistant to practice manager". Vet Times. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "Practice manager". Health Careers. Health Education England. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2017.