Why PMs can be the saviour of GP surgeries


During our recent survey, Practice Index, a group set up to support practice managers, helped by promoting the survey through their networks.  We asked them if they could write a blog for us on the role of Practice managers in GP.  Read on….


At a time when hundreds, if not thousands of practices, are facing the very real threat of closure, now is the perfect time for GP partners to allow their practice managers to become the saviours of surgeries everywhere.


Unlike GPs, practice managers tend to come into the profession with a variety of skills and experiences, which can help primary care move into the new, service-focused world we all exist in. This means practice managers can be leading advocates of new ways of working and therefore well-placed to establish truly patient-focused, efficient services.


Practice managers also have a true understanding of what goes on across the whole practice, both front of house and behind the scenes. They’re the chief executives of practices. They know the practice budgets, have knowledge of where capacity is in the practice, can see where additional services can be added, understand where additional resource is needed and they’re also the conduit between practices and the never-ending dump of administration from the NHS and CCGs.


Now’s the time


So, it’s therefore time to utilise the skills of these experienced professionals, allow business skills to be brought into play and free-up practice managers to utilise the full range of systems, tools and resources available at the front line to the benefit of businesses; because that’s exactly what practices are.


For example, could technology be used to improve efficiencies and cut expenses concurrently? Many surgeries will still have a receptionist to book patient appointments, but their time could be better spent elsewhere. Communication takes many forms these days so why not let patients book their appointments online and by telephone.


Keeping up with the latest technology can also help practices to become more efficient and ultimately reduce expenditure. For instance, practices can save both printer ink and paper by sending invoices and statements electronically. Also, small changes such as switching to energy efficient light bulbs will go a long way for cutting your expenses too. While clinical staff concentrate on that side of the practice, it’s practice managers who can effectively implement changes, whatever they are.


Change is needed and inevitable and with the support of partners – and that is the key here – practice managers can drive practices forward, update processes, streamline operations, cut costs and boost revenues. They have the skills to save general practice so now’s the time to let them do just that.


Author: Practice Index