Mastering the medical mindshift: from gut feeling to fact-based practice management assessment

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

Studies of the quality of management in GP and specialist practices show substantial opportunities for change for a large part of the businesses, which could lead to sustainable improvements in patient care, but also in working conditions and entrepreneurial performance. The fact that this potential remains unused is primarily due to far too little analysis activity.

The professionalism deficit

What is almost too much in terms of medical aspects is almost completely lacking in the management field: professionally collected insights into the reality of work. Instead, assumptions, conjectures or deductions from simple indicators (no complaints = 100% satisfaction) are used to form a picture of reality. The lack of professionalism is expressed in three aspects

General analysis inertia despite „suffering pressure

For example, a good 80% of the practice teams complain about daily work overload, stress as well as demotivation and blame this on bureaucracy or excessive patient demands. At the same time, however, an organisational analysis has only ever been carried out in just under 25% of the businesses and only 15% of the practice owners have put their personal time management to the test.

Wrong analysis methods

The majority of surveys carried out in practices are based on school grade scaling, for example. However, it is neither suitable for querying an overall status nor for examining the performance characteristics, because it does not provide any insight into the requirements of the practice visitors. This information is important, however, because not all performance characteristics have the same significance and importance. Only the complementary consideration of this variable makes it possible to form priorities for action by distinguishing between core and marginal strengths or weaknesses.

The superiority of the two-dimensional survey in terms of objectivity and realism compared to the school grading system is shown by the result of a comparison: if school grades and requirement/satisfaction values are collected in parallel, the grade „3“, for example, is associated with PCQS values between 31.4% and 54.7%. The range illustrates how little precise the school grade value is.

Inadequate depth of analysis

The efficiency and productivity of a practice depends to a large extent on whether „real“ teams are working here. However, this is only the case in very few practices; collaboration usually takes the form of a group. Their characteristics:

  • A low synergy of individual activities, people work together, but only within the framework that is given,
  • Individual initiative or helping out with problems is rare,
  • Moreover, the cooperation is often characterised by unresolved conflicts,
  • Although every medical assistant strives to do her job well, there is no sustained commitment to continuous improvement.

Those who want to lead their staff successfully in the long term because of the special importance of internal cooperation as a team need comprehensive knowledge – and not assumptions – about the following facts:

  • Team Experience Portfolio (TEP)

What is the current self-image of the team members, broken down into a description of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities as a result of previous cooperation experiences?

  • Overall Team Satisfaction (OTS)

How do the team members generally rate their framework of action in comparison with their requirements?

  • Team Harmony Balance (THB)

How pronounced is the degree of agreement among team members in evaluating their working framework? The information can also be used as an

This information can also be used as an indicator of the potential for conflict within the team.

  • Teamwork Quality Score (TQS)

How far is the quality of cooperation in the sense of implementing „real“ teamwork developed? Often the members interact only as a community, group or alliance of purpose.

  • Return on Management (ROM)

What impact do team building measures have on teamwork quality?

  • Team Development Options (TDO)

What ideas and suggestions exist from the employee’s point of view that contribute to further improving teamwork?

Professional analysis made easy

GPs and specialists who want to obtain an overall view of the quality of work in their practice and identify previously unused opportunities for improvement can use the Practice Management Comparison© for this purpose. A good 30 minutes of working time is sufficient to identify an average of 40 previously unused suggestions for improvement.