You first need to acknowledge that an effective office manager can absolutely help you achieve success in your practice by taking some huge time-consuming responsibilities off your plate. Transferring these administrative duties and responsibilities to a capable manager will allow you more time to do more of the revenue-producing tasks that you were medically trained to do.
In regard to hiring an office manager, the candidate should have the proper training as well as the hard and soft skills. These skills include sharing visions, goals, expectations and standards of practice. Other skills are leading by example, recognizing staff talents, helping develop skills, trustworthiness, honesty, fairness, problem solving, conflict mediation, evoking team spirit, listening and communicating.
He or she must do all this with tact and diplomacy. If the candidate does not have all these skills, he or she cannot successfully fill the role of a competent office manager.
There is a certain peace of mind that comes with having a trusted individual who can take things off your plate by handling financial, administrative and human resources issues efficiently and effectively. If the right person is in the right shoes, you are golden.
Can you afford to hire an office manager? If you plan on simply bestowing a new title on a current employee, increasing his or her duties to include all that I mentioned above and throwing them a dollar more an hour for the extra effort, that is probably affordable. However, it is not fair to you or your staff members.
Speaking strictly from a business perspective, chances are your choice employee is not management material. Even though he or she may be an excellent worker and may know your office inside and out, this is not what you hired that person to do. Do not automatically expect that person to take on administrative duties in addition to what he or she already does. With proper instruction and mentorship to develop skills, some may have the potential to fill those shoes. However, doctors who insist on simply “bumping up” a current employee (clinical, front desk or otherwise) continue to challenge the theory that this does not always work.
It is also important to recognize that managing an office is not a part-time job. If managers are forced to split their time between being part manager/part assistant, they are compromising their work, jeopardizing the success of the practice and are ultimately set up for failure. Often, this leaves the doctor disappointed and the employee frustrated.