GP and specialist management: Systematically finding the right practice management consultant

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

„We need a consultant!“: more and more GPs and specialists in private practice feel the need for support in their practice management and are thinking about seeking external help. With the help of a simple procedure, practice owners can define their problem so precisely that a consultant who fits the task exactly can be found and the costs of the support can be minimised.

The problem of practice management complexity

Physicians in private practice are often confronted with the problem that they and their medical assistants

  • experience the symptoms caused by practice management deficits or have basic goals,
  • but are unable to narrow down the possible causes and approaches due to the complexity and interactions of the practice management action areas („…things are not going so well…“, „…I would like to develop my practice further…“).

If external practice consultants are called in in such a situation, the problem search must therefore first be broadly based, an aspect that is reflected in the duration and cost of such support. In addition, it is possible that a localisation of deficits may arise in areas of action in which the commissioned company is not specialised.

Problem solving „Upstream Diagnostics“ (UD)

Therefore, it is not only sensible but also cost-saving for practice owners to use the „Upstream Diagnostics“ (UD) approach. The implementation tool, the „UD-Scanner“ in the form of the Practice Management Comparison©, consists of a questionnaire-based (doctor/physicians, MFA, patients) 360-degree analysis of practice management, which is carried out upstream of the actual examination without the need for an on-site consultant. In this process, practice teams assess the everyday implementation of the best practice standard. It describes all regulations, instruments and behavioural patterns that guarantee smoothly functioning practice work. The amount of work required for the UD is extremely low, the processing of the doctor’s questionnaire takes half an hour, the MFA document twenty minutes, supplemented by a patient survey of up to one hundred practice visitors.

Precise problem definition

The data is then analysed, the scales used in the medical history questionnaires are quantified and subjected to best practice and specialist group benchmarking. The result is an evaluation report that

  • documents the practice conditions
  • visualised with the use of key figures and
  • identifies strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the practice work.

The associated expertise pinpoints the starting points for possible changes, which can then be implemented in a targeted manner on one’s own or enable a pinpoint selection of consultants with a focussed briefing.

On average, the savings potential of the UD-based approach is about 50% compared to the usual procedure.

More information on the Practice Management Comparison© (German)…