Data, facts and instruments on the German health system
What it’s all about
„I am a doctor, not a businessman!“: doctors in private practice have an extremely distant relationship to the term „business management“. This is mainly due to a profound misunderstanding, as most associate it solely with financial management („…my tax consultant will take care of that…“), a primarily monetarily motivated medicine and / or demands for a rigorous economisation of the health care system. But the reality is different.
Help instead of prescription
Business administration, is primarily designed to help:
- it systematises the actors participating in the economic process,
- points out principles according to which they can act in their sector and field of activity, and
- provides concepts, methods, principles and instruments in order – depending on the individually chosen principle of action – to organise the work as optimally as possible.
Business management is thus free of demands and specifications and provides help for the work content of the individual company, i.e. also for medical practices, to achieve the set goals simply and safely.
Structured for success
General practitioners and specialists are faced with the task of proactively acting successfully in an increasingly complex environment with many imponderables – and not just reacting passively without greater freedom to make decisions. This can be achieved with the help of entrepreneurial practice management in the form of professionally implemented best practice management.
The term refers to the totality of all business management regulations, instruments, measures and behavioural patterns that are applied – across all disciplines – in the fields of action of
- market research,
- leadership and cooperation,
- time and self-management,
- patient management,
- marketing and
- financial management
must be used to ensure smoothly functioning practice operations even under changing stresses. At the same time, they define the entrepreneurial medical activities in the basic management functions „analysis“, „planning“, „implementation“ and „control“ from „A“ like „adherence“ to „Z“ like „target group“.
Management at a glance
The standard is a native, i.e. directly derived from the concrete practice activity, orientation parameter for the best possible practice management quality. Since it is a catalogue of criteria, doctors can easily analyse their practice management on their own. A scaling procedure makes the whole thing quantifiable and measurable. In this way, the complex events of managing a practice can be mapped, assessed and controlled with key figures.
The Best Practices have not yet arrived in the daily practice routine
The objective of using the Best Practice Standard is a future-proof, flexible practice management, which equally
- the best possible quality of medical care for patients
- a balanced and motivating quality of work for doctors and medical assistants, and
- economic success.
However, German medical practices are still far away from this, because currently only 53% of the best practice standard is actually applied on average in the outpatient sector – across all speciality groups and practice forms or sizes. No wonder, then, that there are complaints about work pressure, stress, demotivation and patient dissatisfaction.
One of the many business management tools for organisational optimisation is the walking distance analysis, because the spatial arrangement of the contact points and the coordination of work or the resulting walking distances have a significant influence on the time available for patient care. For example, the distance between the material room of a practice and the treatment room was 36 metres. The number of aisles / MFA and the time required for this meant that the practice team spent almost two hours per day walking between the two practice points. Relocating the materials room directly next to the treatment area – a corresponding option existed – freed up this time daily for other work.
GPs and specialists who want to examine the best practice status of their practice management can use the Practice Management Comparison© for this purpose. The validated survey, which can be carried out without the need for an on-site consultant, requires only thirty minutes of medical working time and identifies an average of forty suggestions for improving practice work.