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Practice Management: Management tools

Medical school is designed to train would-be GPs in any number of aspects of healthcare, whether general or more specialised. What it is less likely to teach them, however, is the business side of running a general practice, which is often learnt ‘on the job’.

Unlike most other small businesses, general practices are regularly exposed to somewhat unique pressures as the first point of medical contact for most people: managing patient expectations and workload; a growing emphasis on e-health; consultations in acute illness, preventive health and chronic disease management. A poorly managed practice can have negative effects that go beyond the industrial or financial.

‘I think it’s important for GPs to have a reasonable understanding of practice management if they are working in a small-business environment. The way the practice is run has an impact on patient care,’ general practice owner and operator Dr Neville Steer told Good Practice.