4 Must-Have Skills for Medical Office Managers

Medical office managers are critical for the success of the facility they manage. The common definition of a manager is merely someone that can gather people together to accomplish desired goals. Simple, right? With the right combination of skills, knowledge, and determination, any manager can successfully lead their team to accomplish the objectives of the medical office.

Leadership Skills

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A wise proverb says “If you think you are leading and no one is following, you are just taking a walk”. In order to be an effective office manager, it is important to be a good leader.

In a medical office, this might mean that the office manager puts the overall success and well-being of the practice as a whole ahead of their own wants and needs or that of any one employee. This can be an uncomfortable part of the job, but leaders who are consistently honest, fair, and trustworthy will find that their employees and physicians will respect and admire them for making the hard decisions when not everyone agrees.

Communication Skills

Communication
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With planning and care, the office manager can increase efficiency and effectiveness exponentially through successful communication techniques and practice. Communication is one of the most important tools in any relationship, be it personal or professional. In order for communication to be completed, there must be ideas or information to be shared, someone to give the information or idea, and someone who will receive the information.

Effective communication isn't just talking and listening. It means having mutual respect and understanding between staff and management. It is for the benefit of the office manager to set the tone for effective communication.

  • Establish clear expectations for each employee. Managers need to make sure they are specific in what they expect from their employees.
  • Provide feedback. Employees need to be given feedback on a regular basis whether it is telling them they're doing a great job or it is constructive criticism.
  • Listen. Employees can be an excellent resource for office operations. They have first hand knowledge of office processes or policies and can offer great ideas to assist in making office tasks operate more efficiently

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Ability to Motivate Staff

Motivate employees
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As the leader of your organization, one of your many responsibilities is to find ways to motivate your employees. It is important to understand what factors influence maximum performance and how.

Many managers practice the system of using negative reinforcement to motivate their employees. Managers unknowingly create complacent workers that work just hard enough not to get fired. In order for praise and recognition to work effectively, managers must be consistent. Employees begin to expect to be routinely recognized and will lose motivation if they feel overlooked or ignored.

No matter how much recognition you give your employees, they want to eventually see how valuable they are to the company. This comes in the form of monetary incentives and increased responsibility. The best way to get maximum performance from your employees is to incorporate both of these factors in your performance improvement policy.

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Committed to Excellent Customer Service

Customer service
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The purpose of the medical office is to perform the administrative tasks necessary to deliver excellent customer service to our patients. Whether it is answering phones or billing and coding medical claims, the tasks performed by the medical office has an impact on the patient's overall experience.

Medical office managers committed to excellent customer service lead their staff in actions, not just in words. Some of these actions include:
  • satisfying our patients needs to the best of our abilities
  • responding to patient complaints and feedback in a professional manner
  • providing a welcoming, compassionate and culturally competent environment
  • recognizing the value our patients add by dedicating resources to support positive clinical, financial, and personal outcomes

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