3 tips for practice administrators in team-based settings


A good administrator makes a practice more productive by ensuring all physicians and staff members work together smoothly and effectively, and that could be the key to a smooth transition to team-based care, according to an article in Diagnostic Imaging.

The industry shift toward quality-based care has generated interest in practice models that use a team of physicians and medical staff to provide patient-centric care, as FiercePracticeManagement has previously reported. Models such as patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations have demonstrated benefits, but those benefits sometimes come with friction among team members, according to the article. Enter the administrator, whose job involves ensuring that practitioners work together as efficiently as possible.

The article provides tips for effective practice administration. Here are three:

  • Encourage trust among team members through careful recruiting. “Don’t ever hire in a panic,” says Elizabeth Woodcock, a practice management consultant with Woodcock & Associates, who points out that it can take three to six months to find a good fit. She also advises administrators not to be afraid of firing providers who fail to measure up or buy into the organization’s culture.
  • Carefully define team members’ roles in the organization to keep team them from stepping on one another’s toes, Woodcock also advises. That means ensuring practitioners’ job descriptions define their scope of practice, which ideally should allow them to work to the upper limit allowed by their license. “That’s where [advanced practitioners] get frustrated; when the practice doesn’t support them and they’re basically working as a glorified medical assistant or nurse,” says Woodcock.
  • Communicate effectively to keep morale high and create a healthy environment for staff members, according to Halee Fischer-Wright, president and chief executive officer of the Medical Group Management Association. That means both identifying problems and working with all stakeholders to solve them before they become too corrosive, she says.

- see the article