A healthcare practice manager

My 9 to 5: Peek Inside a Healthcare Practice Manager's Day

Without the right support, a day in the life of a healthcare practice manager — while rewarding — can be ripe with pain points.

As a medical practice manager, you wear a lot of hats, and overseeing supplies is just one aspect of your job. No matter what, you seem to get swamped by small emergencies and extra tasks.

If this scenario sounds all too familiar, it may be time to shift to a supplier that can help create efficiencies and ease your workload. Especially if the following “day in the life” feels eerily similar to your every day.

Impromptu coffee run. You’ve just arrived in the office. The first patient is scheduled to arrive in 20 minutes, but the K-Cups that you ordered on Monday via “next-day delivery” aren’t here yet. Nobody is prepared to tackle another 8-hour day without caffeine — least of all the doctor, who’s also due to arrive soon. You rush to the market and pay out-of-pocket for several boxes. Wait — how did a box marked “decaf” sneak in there?

Fighting germs. It’s flu season, and the first three patients you’ve welcomed have found out the hard way. Your fourth patient is in for a routine check-up, but she’s using the very same pen to sign in. You push the hand sanitizer her way. On your to-do list, you scribble: “Antimicrobial office supplies — are they worth it?” 

Soon after, a delivery is received — new ergonomic office chairs! — and you hurry to make space. Tomorrow, you’ll arrive early to assemble each chair. It’ll take time, but you (and your coworkers) are really, really looking forward to those chairs.

Supplier trouble. After learning you were overcharged for last month’s supplies, you spent the lunch hour trying to determine the best point of contact. Is it your supplier, or your GPO?

By early afternoon, two patients have mentioned the latest healthcare data breach, which is all over the news. You wonder if your own patient record system is at risk, and how often your practice’s part-time IT expert is testing for flaws. 

Technical difficulties, at the worst possible time. The entire office is behind schedule, and patients in the waiting room aren’t happy. Now, your payment processing system is acting up, only adding to the delay. You’d purchased the system at a discount and remember how pleased the doctor was at the price, but hey — you get what you pay for.

Meanwhile, a new patient called to say he is having trouble accessing his data via the patient portal. Your mind circles back to the IT expert you haven’t seen in a while. Is this something you can learn to troubleshoot? Do you really have time to take that on?

Take stock — of your massive to-do list. Only two more patients to go. Now that you have time to think, that overcharge on your supplies is nagging at you. What else are you being overcharged for? It'll take time to check each invoice, but you’re on high alert now. You add “full review” to your to-do list — at #27.

Also, where are those k-cups?