Published by GPEx on July 11, 2019

Managing change in practice

Every 6 months or so, our training partners go through change with new GP registrars coming into the team and others departing. We spoke with a couple of our Practice Managers about how they support their teams during this time, Kate and Michelle share their thoughts with us;

Kate Foster, Practice Manager, Kingcraig Medical Clinic, Naracoorte

Allow plenty of time for full orientation within all areas of your clinic – Practice Management, Administration/accounting and billings/reception, Nurse area – emergency trolleys etc. Plus include a clinical orientation of computer systems, referral pathways, hospital orientation if required.

We instill a weekly half an hour meeting to discuss one topic, for example, billings is always a struggle for the registrars in the beginning – a weekly catch up over coffee to discuss your practices billing policy, certain item numbers, hospital billings, how to increase billings can be very helpful for them to begin to understand the Medicare and private practice systems.

Ensure the registrars understand that their supervisors are always available – don’t feel like they can’t approach them at any time. They may need to wait 5 minutes if the supervisor is in a consult but an open-door policy should be encouraged.

Have a registrar welcome pack with some of your main practice policies, specialist/allied health workers listed, important contact numbers for PM, Supervisors and other staff members.

Help the registrar’s partner and or family to feel welcome to your practice and community. Introduce them to certain playgroups or kindergartens if they have children or sporting groups, churches or other community groups in your area so they are welcome to the town and happy also.

Michelle Fiegert, Practice Manager, Tumby Bay Medical Clinic

It’s important for new registrars to have a thorough orientation of the new practice even if they are GPT3 or GPT4, we ensure this happens with all new registrars, it does take a few days to get their heads around different programs, referrers, billing methods and the like.

On the other side is a proper debrief or wind down at the end of the day is a great idea where the staff can talk about various cases, queries or teaching requirements- we do this a few times a week.

We can all learn from another practice so be open and listen to new registrars on how things are done differently in other practices, they just might sometimes be better, or you may be able to take the opportunity to explain why you do things a particular certain way in your practice to allow them to adapt more easily.

Ensure the team is open to change. We have certainly adapted new ways of doing things which benefit both the practice and the team, which ultimately flows onto our patients
Finally, being respectful of other practices when sharing and receiving information, remember we are all working toward the same goal of supporting our community’s health and well-being.