Many things go into running a successful medical practice besides providing competent care to your patients. There are lots of logistical issues that come into play, from efficient processing of claims to proper scheduling of appointments. You need to ensure your staff is doing everything they should be doing, and that your patients have a pleasant experience when they walk into your office. The crux of your efforts hinges on hiring a good office manager. Whether you are doing this for the first time, or are in the midst of finding a replacement, and hope to find a better match this time, here are some important considerations.
Clearly Outline Role
Medical office managers perform a variety of functions, and in order to find the best fit, it is important you define exactly what it is you want yours to do for you. For what do you want her to be specifically responsible? How much authority will she have? Besides the obvious administrative tasks, will she be involved in hiring or firing employees? Will she take the reins on your accounts payable? Picture a typical day in your office—what are the types of duties you see her carrying out? What do you expect of someone in this position?
What Type of Person Do You Want?
Once you have defined the role, it is time to think about the type of person you want. Do you want someone with a specific type of degree, such as business administration? Are you open to candidates who have managerial experience in any field, or are you only considering people who have managed a medical office before, and if so, what sort of specific experience and knowledge do you want? For example, do you want someone who is knowledgeable about particular types of medical practice software? Think of the average patient—is there a specific type of personality that you think would gel well? Do you want someone younger or older? What is your office culture like? What traits would someone need to have to fit in with it as best as possible?
Always Check References
Many employers neglect to check references. Perhaps the interview goes really well, and you like the person a lot. You assume they will probably say good things anyway, so no need to check. The mere offering of references may also lead to this same assumption—after all, who would give references of someone who will bash her? But, your choice of a medical office manager will have a huge impact on your practice, and this is not the time to skip this important part of the hiring process. This gives you a chance to find out more information, information that can greatly aid you in your hiring decision, and finding the best fit.
Find out how the applicant got along with your patients and fellow staff members. Did she get sick often, or take time off excessively? Was she on time for work? Is she a quick learner? Can she work with little supervision? Was she ever contributing ideas to help the office run more smoothly? Knowing what you know about her now, would you hire her again?
If you can follow these suggestions, you are well on your way to hiring a great medical office manager.