Mastering the medical mindshift: Why it’s so important to have a smoothly running practice organization

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

Practice teams are faced with the conflicting demands of their own performance, the legal and professional framework, patient requirements, social trends and economic goals. The key factor in achieving a balance in this context is the organization of the practice.

Mastering the medical mindshift

In view of the changes that practice owners and their staff are currently facing and will face in the future, many established ways of thinking and acting are also reaching their limits and need to be corrected or even completely replaced. This means that the upheaval in medicine necessitates a mindshift. One aspect of the rethink concerns the importance of practice organization, which has received very little attention to date. To date, just thirty percent of physicians in private practice have had their structures and processes professionally analyzed or have had corresponding studies carried out.

What can the organization achieve in concrete terms?

Six aspects need to be considered to answer this question:

Almost all areas of action in practice management depend on the quality of organizational conditions.

The quality of practice organization directly influences patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction with other key performance characteristics of a practice. Or to put it another way: the practice organization is so strong in its qualitative effect that its effect cannot be counteracted by changes in other service areas. If the structures and processes in a practice are optimized, the positive variant of the effect takes effect.One example is the relationship between competence assessment and practice organizational quality. Practice management comparisons show that the better the patient’s assessment of the practice organization, the higher the physician’s expertise is rated. From the practice visitors‘ point of view, physician expertise is a subjective variable that is not based on objective criteria, but on the experience of contact with the physician and the self-perceived change in condition as a result of the treatment/consultation. A central evaluation parameter here is the time available for the contact. It is assessed on the basis of the punctuality of appointments and, above all, the ratio of waiting time to consultation time. In the practices of well-organized physicians, the waiting time is only short and the time available for the doctor-patient consultation is significantly longer than in practices with inadequate scheduling. As a result, physicians can spend more time with their patients, thereby enhancing their image of competence in the long term. Professionally organized practices are also characterized by calm and sensibly coordinated processes. Everything runs without hectic and gives the impression of a system that is coordinated down to the last detail. If deviations are necessary, patients are informed immediately and solutions are offered. The patient’s experience thus stands out clearly from the experiences they normally have in doctors‘ offices. Both parameters are further strong signals of competence, i.e., of a doctor or doctors and his/her team who know exactly what they are doing.

Good organization avoids stress, anger, frustration and demotivation within the practice.

It is obvious that functioning regulations relax cooperation, minimize conflicts and significantly increase „work morale“.

With a functioning structure, work productivity can be significantly improved.

A well-adjusted organization increases work efficiency and productivity. Practice teams with smoothly functioning structures and processes do the same work in less time and with less effort than in the opposite case. Likewise, it is possible to accomplish more tasks with higher quality. The frequency of careless mistakes also decreases significantly.

The quality of patient care is better

If sufficient time is available for practice visitors and their individual concerns, the diagnostic and therapeutic quality of care automatically improves. This fact also has an effect on compliance as well as on patient retention and acquisition.

A well-functioning organization is a decisive competitive advantage in competitive situations

For patients, good organization is a key criterion for selecting a medical practice and word gets around quickly.

The practice result also benefits from organizational fine-tuning*.

Medical practices in which the structures and processes have been professionally analyzed and comprehensively optimized have an average 25% better operating result in relation to comparable practices that do not do this