Virtual Practice Management – How Does It Work?
I get asked this question several times a week and the best way to explain it is how I developed this system for virtual practice management many years ago, and the momentum it has created since that time.
I managed a large general medical centre in Queensland. Ten consulting rooms, sixteen doctors and around ten support staff.
The role was a high- end executive position where I was responsible for the finances of the practice, compliance and overall business management. I was also responsible for the day to day operations. As you can imagine, sometimes communicating with that amount of people felt like my office had a revolving door.
Whenever I had to concentrate on a business submission or work on a strategic plan for the general practice, I either had to lock my office door, work in the evening or work from home. My system was set up so I could login and watch the medical software waiting room, check the billing and monitor emails (as we all do now). I found that I could do more work using this method than working at the medical centre. The work was of high quality and I could avoid the interruptions that led to me constantly re-reading documents.
Hence, Virtual Practice Management was born.
Over the years, better technology has developed and Virtual Practice Management is now in its prime. Nicky Jardine Health Business Solutions has been part of this growth. We have been providing Practice Management for over ten years, and have a large team of practice managers who assist with the Virtual Practice Management of medical centres Australia wide. Our team has great relationships with all the practices and each member of the team strives their best to deliver the best possible service.
So what kind of items are included in Virtual Practice Management?
There is not a “one package fits all” and we do not use a corporate model. Each centre has a team leader and each manager reports to Nicky Jardine. During the “hand over” process of the management, we audit your practice, hold team interviews and find out what works and what doesn’t. Each centre may have different priorities.
For instance, your priority may be:
- Doctors contracts
- PIP or PNIP payments
- Financial Reporting
- Medical supplies and costs
- HR issues and recruitment
- Recruiting or Head-Hunting GP
- IT support and liaison
The point is, that it may be one or two items or there could be a combination of multiple priorities. During the audit process, we identify these items and build a plan of improving or rectifying them. We also develop a strategic plan to implement new ideas.
Virtual Practice Management helps you as a practice owner stay focused. Many doctors and investors set up medical centres but have no idea the amount of time which goes into every single component of the management process. All too often we meet general practitioners who are burnt out, lost focus in their business or undergoing financial stress. This is usually a combination of a lack of time to manage the centre and not analysing what the business is doing.
There is also a multitude of human resource issues with any business and this also can be quite exhausting and time-consuming. Our Virtual Practice Management model takes away these issues and lets you concentrate on the reasons you opened the centre in the first place. This could be to practice medicine the way that you want to, or build a medical centre or medical centres with your vision in mind. However, being an owner and a visionary is near impossible. It’s like being a general practitioner without a nurse and medical receptionist.
How does staff of a general practice accustom to Virtual Practice Management?
To be quite honest – well. Staff start getting the training they require, and they have a support service where the Virtual Practice Management team is always available.
The staff enjoy structure, like to know whom they should direct inquiries to, and enjoy the freedom of getting on with their job while being mentored.
Associate General Practitioners also enjoy the support and the advice regarding contracts, building their own patient base, understanding Medicare items and just venting about any issues. Sometimes it is hard for an Associate general practitioner to communicate any problems to the owner as they are too close or do not want to cause any issues. Our Virtual Practice Management system acts as a communication conduit often solving problems as soon as they come to hand.
This service also helps with projects. How many general practices are looking for doctors now? I bet everyone who is reading this blog now is nodding their heads.
And how hard is it to dedicate the time to speak to recruiters, place advertisements on your own and build an excellent practice profile to advertise to prospective candidates. Because there is a shortage of general practitioners in Australia, you must make sure your practice looks “wind-swept and interesting” compared to your competitors. This means time to build an image, polish your branding and put systems into place so the new general practitioner can see how efficient the practice is. This kind of service is just one element of what is included in our Virtual Practice Management Service.
Let’s look at another general practice headache. Accreditation.
Every three years most practice owners and staff start having sleepless nights about the thought of getting ready for accreditation. Even though there are a lot of resources about accreditation, it is the whole thought of coordinating the process and ensuring all the documentation is ready for the day. Our Virtual Practice Management service takes over this whole process for you. You just keep working.
The only issue which will concern you is understanding the interview questions and we will help mentor you in this process. And yes, we are there for the day. The documentation is correlated in such a way that the accreditation process for the next three years is not even worth thinking about. Its already done. During the accreditation process, all systems are audited and new ideas are developed. The process is made fun and educational.
Our Virtual Practice Management team consists of practice managers all over Australia who have chosen the path to develop their roles into more of a business management challenge. They have had years of experience in different general practices, whether it be in a metropolitan or rural location. Some of the Virtual Practice Managers have worked at small medical centres and some at very large medical centres. We also work with general practices that are attached to hospitals or are part of the State Government. Our combination of years of experience covers all modalities.
The best part about the Nicky Jardine Virtual Management Team is that they are constantly educating themselves with new ideas. Sure, they have a lot of health management education, but they are also very knowledgeable in finance and law. But if they don’t know the answer to a curly question, you can be guaranteed that they will get the advice from a specialist in the field. Your general practice will receive the best possible practice management advice available and all of this is part of the Nicky Jardine Virtual Practice Management service.
Our team has a combination of Bachelor degrees in Health and Law, Diplomas in Practice Management, training qualifications, and an array of health-related certificates. For the cost of the service, it is amazing the calibre of Virtual Practice Management staff you have on YOUR team. Our model costs less than a full-time practice manager and you have years of experience and outstanding qualifications.
The Nicky Jardine Virtual Practice Management team is not operated in the same way as a corporate medical centre service. You are not “just a general practice”, you are part of a team, part of a family, an organisation which genuinely cares about your practice. The reason to believe this is because I am the Director of the company that manages your medical practice and like you, I am a business owner. If I don’t look after your business, I don’t look after my business.
The next question I always get asked – do you ever see us? Of course we do. We organise to visit your general practice a few times per year and we also organise Skype meetings. We arrange our office hours so it covers all States daylight saving times and we also have an after-hours service.
In summary, the thought of Virtual Practice Management can be daunting. However, you can try the service on a casual service, you can telephone some of our clients for references (both general practitioners and medical support staff) and you can talk to us about auditing your practice.
And why our company?
We have been doing this for a long time. We have an excellent reputation and our team is fun. We think about your practice management issues methodically and we deliver a very fast turn around with problems.
The other good aspect of our service is that you never have to worry about your practice manager going on holiday. One of our team is always here. You are allocated a team leader and your team leader has a group of experienced practice managers to assist him or her. It is literally like having another company assisting you in the background.
We can even look after paying your bills, paying your staff and operate your medical centre via our Virtual Practice Management service whilst you are on holiday. Oh sorry, do you remember that term? That is when you have time to enjoy your vision, spend time with your family and concentrate on what you really enjoy.
Our Virtual Practice Management team looks after the rest.
For further information about this great model, telephone Ms Nicky Jardine or one of the friendly team on 1300 798 831 or email Nicky directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Focus on what matters and save money and time through the Nicky Jardine Virtual Practice Management service.