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Practice managers: Management in practice

Managing a modern general practice has become a professional position that often requires extensive training and business knowledge.

‘A practice manager’s role has evolved quite significantly,’ Allana Gregson, a practice manager from Queensland who has been at her Rockhampton practice for seven years, told Good Practice. ‘It’s more business management and marketing and HR [human resources]. It’s more a CEO role … in the sense that you’re marketing someone’s business and helping it to grow, and the bottom line is what [this role is] all about. ‘My day-to-day doesn’t so much involve front-of-house anymore, or have much to do with patients.’

Helen Siegertsz, an Adelaide practice manager with an extensive business background who also owns her own practice, believes the role has grown to become its own vocation.

‘The education levels are lifting from what they used to be. It’s actually a profession within itself,’ she told Good Practice. ‘I not only do the practice management; I do the marketing, I do the accounting. I do everything.’

While the idea of hiring a full-time staff member to manage your practice may not seem cost effective, according to a recent article from the Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM), not having a practice manager can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars a year in lost income.1 ‘A clinician spending even just a few hours a week [managing a practice] would save a lot of money having a practice manager work full-time for them,’ AAPM CEO Gillian Leach told Good Practice.