What Does it Take To Be a Great Medical Office Manager

There are many opinions about what it takes to be a great medical office manager. Medical office managers have a complex role within the medical office. Depending on the size of the facility, a medical office manager could be responsible for administrative tasks as well as clinical tasks. Also, they could be responsible for a small or large staff.

No matter what tasks a medical office manager is responsible for, the characteristics that contribute to defining a medical office manager as "great" seem to be universal.   

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Setting a great example for the medical office staff is not a complicated task. Simply put, setting a great example is just about holding yourself to the same set of professional standards to which you hold your medical office staff.   

What are some basic professional standards?

  1. Be reliable. Show up to work on time and come to work every day.  Of course, things come up that will cause you to be late or call out of work but setting a great example means that you don't expect staff to do something you don't do yourself. 
  2. Dress professionally. Self-explanatory. Dressing professionally not only encourages employees to do the same, it also gains respect from them and the patients.
  3. Have a positive attitude.  When you have a positive attitude, you encourage others to do the same.  A positive attitude will rub off on everyone in the office.

Medical office managers 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.

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Most college textbooks on business management tell you that you don't have to know what your employees are doing to manage them.  This may work in other industries but the health care industry is completely different. You must know what your employees do in the medical office in order to be an effective manager.

Medical office managers are not effective managing from a desk. The medical office is a complex arena and requires the medical office manager to be actively engaged in the day to day activities. Whether it is coding, compliance or billing-related in addition to managing finances, human resources or marketing, medical office managers should be an expert on all things medical office-related.

Medical office managers that are experts on all things medical office-related will find that their employees will respect them and physicians will trust them with the success of the practice.

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With planning and care, the office manager can increase efficiency and effectiveness exponentially through successful communication techniques and practice. 

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

Medical office managers that communicate effectively and consistently will have a great relationship with both employees and physicians.

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