Reviewer: Susanne Astley(Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: The author has written a primer on medical group operations organized around the natural flow of patients through a practice. Her intent is to help others master "pearls of practice management." Her straightforward layout is enhanced by symbols alerting the reader to specific aspects of the process she is discussing, such as steps to take, logistics to consider, case studies, and key concepts.
Purpose: Many practices are inefficient, with attendant low patient satisfaction and related poor earnings. The author, while acknowledging the uniqueness of each practice, compellingly argues there are common principles inherent in the administration of a medical practice. Her successful approach is a practical blend of research, suggestions for self-surveys to dovetail the concepts to the individual practice, and her considerable experience in a wide variety of practices.
Audience: She describes her target audience as nurses, physicians, and administrators with all levels of experience and types and sizes of medical practices. Her book does in fact appeal to all these disciplines, with "advanced concepts" at the end of each chapter for the more experienced reader.
Features: The author begins well with two reminders: managing the provider's time is fundamental to a successful practice and the telephone is central to that management. She then logically explores the episode of care, from scheduling through checkout, and gives sensible, detailed suggestions for reviewing and improving such processes as registration and care provision. She finishes with a few financial fundamentals and an excellent summary.
Assessment: This book is exactly what it purports to be a useful manual to improve efficiency and earnings. The author is a seasoned consultant, speaker, and writer. Her approach incorporates up-to-date concepts such as open-access scheduling with research and methods to adapt to the individual practice. Finally, she emphasizes patient focus and a healthy appreciation for technology in this eminently functional text.