The author of this article is Mark Birmingham, DPM, a podiatric surgeon who practices with a multi-specialty group in Colorado and a member of the Physicians Practice Advisory Board.
It is imperative for physicians to understand how practice administrators or office manager think and handle specific situations. Physicians should also recognize their own personality type and how they work with others to prevent possible clashes with administrators. Being proactive and embracing open communication are critical components to this relationship.
Here are several strategies that may improve physician-administrator relations:
- Be respectful when listening to administrators to hear all sides of a conversation and to optimize the sharing of ideas. Encourage and challenge administrators to do what they do best.
- Establish purposeful, planned meetings to revisit goals, make adjustments, and plan for the future.
- Tap the knowledge and skills of your administrator’s ability to run a practice and consider their ideas regarding potential improvements or solutions to problems.
- Avoid interrupting administrators at inopportune times just as you would expect them to avoid interruptions during patient encounters.
The cohesion of ideas and goals starts with the physician-administrator team and permeates throughout the rest of the staff. Physicians need to back administrators and vice versa. By avoiding divisive dialogue with administrators, physicians can build positive morale that may ultimately result in better patient care and satisfaction.
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