Practice management: Avoiding stress, demotivation and burn-out through best practice alignment

Facts and Figures from the German Health Care System

What it’s all about

Practice comparisons show that in the personal cause analysis for permanent stress for general practitioners and specialists, external influences in the form of bureaucratisation, health policy regulations or increased patient demands are primarily responsible. However, a precise analysis of the management of the practice shows that this is where the real cause lies.

A look inside shows the stressors

Frustration about lack of free time, stress, burn-out: for a large number of doctors, these terms are not empty phrases but agonising reality. At the same time, a fatal negative spiral develops from these phenomena, because in the long run, staff and patients also get caught up in the downward pull of doctors‘ low moods. When researching the causes, external factors dominate. However, practice analyses show: about 2/3 of doctors‘ stress and burn-out problems are caused internally by incorrect practice organisation.

With best practices hardly any stress

The less the best practice design factors that ensure a smoothly functioning practice are implemented, the greater the stress perception of the practice owners:

  • many practice owners do not plan their activities, work without priorities and do their work on an as-needed basis; this systemlessness creates chaos and dissatisfaction,
  • only a few doctors have ever carried out a work analysis and consistently eliminated all „time wasters“, most practice owners allow themselves to be passively steered through the day-to-day running of the practice instead of becoming active themselves,
  • Often the doctor’s working hours and the scheduled consultation times differ, i.e. the doctors only come after the official start of consultation hours, which means that every working day already starts with delays that cannot be made up for,
  • there are rarely clear agreements with the staff in which cases a consultation may be disturbed, usually the definition of the importance of an occasion is left to the staff. This results in a multitude of „minor“ annoyances, since only in very few cases does the opinion of the female staff coincide with that of the doctors,
  • quite a few doctors are „counter tourists“: they come to the reception desk an average of 56 times in the course of a day to do administrative work. With an average time spent there of about one minute, they lose almost an hour of working time for tasks that mostly clearly belong to the staff’s area of responsibility,
  • others are involved daily in searching for documents or files, answering the ringing telephone or solving other problems of the staff („How much postage should we put on this letter?“),
  • the consistent delegation of work is a fundamental problem in medical practices anyway: only a small percentage of doctors take a „clear line“ here and consistently relieve themselves of all tasks that do not fall within their scope of work. Most, however, fear that without their constant intervention and presence, nothing will function properly. The result: the female employees are frustrated due to the „permanent control“ and the doctors are overworked.

With an entrepreneurial practice management on a „relaxation course

The term „entrepreneurial practice management“ refers to the systematic use of validated best practice methods, instruments and behaviours in GP and specialist practices, which, taking into account the practice goals, are both future-proof and flexible in order to

  • the best possible quality of medical care for patients
  • a balanced and motivating quality of work for doctors and medical assistants – i.e. significantly less stress and work pressure – as well as
  • ensure economic success.

This form of practice management is geared towards always being able to act proactively and successfully in the multi-layered events of the health care system with all its imponderables – and not only being able to react passively without greater freedom of decision.

Testing your own entrepreneurial development

Developing an entrepreneurial practice management is easier than many general practitioners and specialists think. The starting point is a comprehensive as-is analysis with the Valetudo Check-up© „Practice Management“. The instrument shows practice owners where they stand with their business management and what they may still have to do. This is a benchmarking analysis that can be implemented without the need for an on-site consultant to examine and optimise the functionality of practice management.

All information at a glance…