Healthcare Leadership and Innovation

What To Expect As Practice Mgr

  • 1.  What To Expect As Practice Mgr

    Posted 09-29-2018 08:48
    I begin a new adventure as a Practice Manager for a small <20 employees Urgent Care ctr. Because it is so small, my BSHIM and RHIA is what landed me the job. I not only will be responsible for all things HIM related (coder,billing,EHR, compliance) but also all things management (employee scheduling, posting payments, maintenance, etc). The owner of the office is wanting to take me under her wing and teach me everything. I do not have extensive experience in some of the above and quite nervous, just want to make sure I don't overstep bounds or do anything really "out there". I'm excited about the opportunity to finally be able to utilize over 25 years experience in healthcare (All HIM) and my management degree. Any words of wisdom from anyone who has been in this same position starting out is really appreciated...if just to encourage me as I begin this new journey.

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    Jennifer Hill, RHIA
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  • 2.  RE: What To Expect As Practice Mgr

    Posted 10-01-2018 21:54
    Hello Jennifer.  Congratulations on your new appointment.  I received my RHIA credential 30 years ago.  Within 5 years of working as a supervisor in a traditional Medical Records Department at a large local hospital I was offered a similar position that you've described at the hospital as a Clinic Coordinator (which was the job title at the time).  The job functions was essentially what you're describing in your new role-practice manager of a single family medicine clinic.  Most of the staff were clinical professionals, i.e. nurses, social workers, medical office assistants, and all reported to me as the practice manager.  This opportunity was the best decision I made in terms of my career, as I believed at the time that I was very well positioned to take on the role.  There was no predecessor-it was a new position that was the result of two hospitals merging into one at the time, so I did not have the benefit of a mentor or someone to assist me with the role and responsibilities.  However, after working in the Medical Record Department as a supervisor and gaining the RHIA credential, I was confident that I could handle the administrative and leadership functions that were part of the job.  In fact, I did just that and over the next many years (until my retirement from the same organization a few years ago), I not only mastered the practice manager role, I also received several promotions including Director of Ambulatory Care (essentially a practice administrator), Assistant Vice President of Ambulatory Services, Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation and School Health Services, and lastly Vice President of Community Health where I led teams providing a myriad of community-based primary care and specialty care facilities, community outreach and health education programs, school-based health clinics and school nursing services for the school district serving 40,000 children attending public and non-public schools.

    I share this to hopefully encourage you to embrace the opportunity that you've been given to utilize the wealth of knowledge and skills learned  and practiced as a HIM professional.  In my view the HIM professional is well prepared to take on leadership roles within a variety of care settings including physician practice management and administration.  I wish you the best of luck in your new position.

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    Melva Visher, MA, RHIA
    [(retired) Clinical Ass't Professor and HIM Program Director
    Medaille College (2018); (retired) VP Kaleida Health (2012)
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