We have examined, in a series of previous articles, the pressures facing GPs in the UK, the effects that these pressures have had on a diverse range of issues such as morale, recruitment, working hours, waiting times, salaries and the physical and psychological well-being of practitioners and their staff. Clearly, many of the external factors that affect the efficacy of general practice are beyond the influence of individual practices but there are certain measures which, if implemented, might go a considerable way towards ensuring that GP practices are able to survive (and thrive) in an increasingly pressurised marketplace.
It is clear that, if the situation is to improve, GPs have to take responsibility for their practices, acknowledge the need to adapt to prevailing and future challenges and ensure that a programme of change appropriate to the individual circumstances, requirements and resources of their practice is devised and implemented.
In order to assist GPs in achieving these objectives Adcurata has created an innovative programme, which has been carefully tailored to support GP practices in achieving these objectives and in this article we set out some of the key components of this exciting initiative.
Remodelling UK General Practice – Cultural Issues
The culture, mores and values of every organisation have a direct effect on its operational proficiency, its effectiveness and, in certain market conditions, its very survival. The fundamental key to achieving what may be significant and substantial changes to the way that GP practices are managed therefore involves an analysis of their existing organisational culture, the identification of any modifications to that culture that may be required and the creation of a strategic programme to implement the required measures. The imperative is that a GP practice adopts an adaptable organisational culture if it is to respond to ongoing external (and consequential internal) pressures.
The objective, so far as effecting this kind of cultural change is concerned, is to introduce a platform for the instigation of a series of operational innovations that are a feature of the Adcurata programme.
Remodelling UK General Practice – Operational Issues
One of the core objectives of Adcurata’s strategy is to achieve improved practice efficiencies through advocating a more effective use of their existing resources and/or augmenting them so far as may be necessary to achieve their organisational goals. In practical terms this may include:
- Enhancing the effectiveness of the practice leadership. This is likely to involve an examination of the existing management structure, the identification of source(s) of management conflict and resolution frameworks and an analysis of the efficacy of partners meetings.
- Assessing and optimising staff competencies and efficiencies. This might involve issues such as reducing the time that GPs spend on chronic, long-term patients and patients with less serious illnesses through a more thoughtful use of the practice’s nurse(s), thereby freeing the GPs to deal with the more acute cases.
- A review and, if appropriate, an overhaul of the practice’s internal processes, including, for example, an analysis of how patient care is targeted to the appropriate health professional in the practice’ with the goal of optimising operational efficiency.
- Enhancing costs, through, for example, making better use of technologies such as video conferencing and the exploration of more inventive, collaborative relationships with other practices.
- Improving revenue development through maximising opportunities. This could include exploiting potential income sources such as the provision of private medical consultations, offering external training and sharing/letting part of the practice’s premises.
- Creating the model for a responsive, commercially aware, sustainable practice, with clear financial and non-monetary benefits to its medical and non-medical team members, making it an attractive career proposition for the highest quality potential recruits.
Adcurata work closely with GPs and their practice managers to identify the most appropriate measures for the particular needs of their individual practices and, in that connection, the type of measures described above do not constitute an exhaustive list. Adcurata are confident that, working together, their programme will aid GPs to ensure the continuing viability of their practices in providing excellence of primary care through a coordinated patient service in a commercially aware, modern, responsive organisation.
Article written by Mark Edwards, Marketing Director, Adcurata Limited
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