• 6 Pearls for the New Administrator

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    Administrators must be Jacks (or Jills!) of all trades. During a four-hour master class at AAO 2016, instructors covered all the tools you need for success. Here are six pearls from the The Administrator’s Toolbox: Resources for the New Administrator. 

    1. Know where to get help. The course began with a review of outside resources, because no practice is island. You do not need to be an expert in all facets, but you do need to know when and where to go for help. There are times when it is guidance from an accountant or attorney; and there are times when a quick question on eTalk listserv will get you the answer. 
    2. Manage risk now to save time in the long run. Next, the class examined risk management. Key take-away:  If you stay on top of it now, you have time to do your actual job.  Drop one ball and you will need to focus all of your energy on fixing it. 
    3. Monitor your practice’s viability. The course also covered financial statements and benchmarks to help you know how your practice is doing as a business.  If your doctor wants to buy a piece of equipment at this meeting and they call you, can you afford it and do you know the best way to finance it? 
    4. Learn your role in people management. Your practice staff normally account for 25 percent of the budget -- and sometimes take up 100 percent of your time as the administrator.  The course covered different facets for which an administrator is responsible, to help you plan ahead and avoid surprises.
    5. Turn to your peers. Of all your tools, seasoned administrators have learned that you need your peers for success…and sanity! 
    6. Know when to comply vs. use discretion. Some parts of administration are black and white, such as the new LEP rule. Many other items are practice-specific, though, such as clinic flow. The latter give you more discretion to manage as you see fit, but many times your peers can refer to tried-and-true solutions for your situation. 

    Bottom line:  Know what should be in your toolbox. One of the most important tools is the fellow administrator(s) whom you will meet networking at this meeting.