Physician Practice Management Challenges
If you are managing an oncology practice, you know that there are many challenges that extend beyond your medical school training. In addition to providing care for your patients, you also have the challenge of running a business, including clerical, administrative, and operational tasks. Each aspect of your practice brings along a different set of challenges that you may face.
It is impossible to run an oncology practice on your own. You require staff to help you provide outstanding patient care. But hiring staff brings a unique set of challenges.
How many staff members do you need? Right-sizing your staff is a critical piece of your practice management. How many physicians do you need? How many clerical staff do you need to reduce waiting times for your patients? Without the proper team around you, you may find yourself addressing billing or administrative tasks instead of practicing medicine.
How do you recruit and hire the right people? Some of the people you hire will interact directly with your patients. Others may be responsible for billing, which is crucial to having a successful practice.
Once you hire them, how do you keep up with training? If we’re familiar with anything these days, it’s how fast things change. It is crucial to make sure your team is properly trained with the latest information relevant to their tasks.
How do you reduce employee turnover? According to a study conducted by Leaders For Today in 2017, nearly 69 percent of clinical and non-clinical staff intend to leave their current job within the next five years. Replacing employees is costly for your practice, not just financially but in terms of patient satisfaction and care.
Patients are the most important part of our practices – our focus is always on the patient. If Triple Aim is our goal (improving patient experiences while improving population health and reducing per capita costs), then a whole list of additional challenges come into the picture.
How do we improve patient satisfaction? Patient satisfaction scores are more important now than ever, and that impacts everything from wait time to customer service experience … and medical care. This is one of the top challenges that practices face today.
What about over-treatment? Thanks to the availability of information online, patients are changing the dynamic of interaction with their health care providers. This causes a set of unique challenges — both good and bad. Patients care about their health, but sometimes at a cost of unnecessary treatment.
How do I get my patients to follow through on treatment? Affordability and patient compliance are other big issues for practice management. If the treatment prescribed is too expensive, many patients won’t follow through, deciding not to have their prescriptions filled or to stretch an existing supply.
From supplies to IT, we also face challenges when it comes to operations. How do I keep good relationships with vendors? You rely on vendors for everything from medical needs to basic hygiene supplies. Maintaining good relationships and contracts with vendors is key to your success.
What information technology do I need? From electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) systems to billing and scheduling needs, you need someone to help you maintain your IT needs and ensure proper security.
These are just the beginning of a lengthy list of day-to-day challenges that physician practice managers face.
So, how do you begin to start facing these challenges and get back to treating your patients? Our first suggestion is to reach out to a practice management company that can help you with the non-medical aspects of running your practice.
Verdi Oncology works specifically with oncology practices to help you with everything from human resources to vendor contracts, so you can focus on patient care.
Contact us to learn about how we can help take your medical oncology practice to the next level.
- “The IHI Triple Aim,” Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- “LFT Industry Survey: Hospital Staff Hiring & Turnover (May 2017),” Leaders for Today
- “Management, Job Perception Drive Healthcare Employee Turnover,” RevCycle Intelligence
- “Top 10 Physician Practice Management Challenges for 2018,” Health eCareers
- “Top Medical Practice Management Challenges to Overcome,” HealthyHabits Business Development