A practice manager plays a key role in the smooth and effective operation of a practice. 

They can be involved in activities like business planning, finance, recruiting, training, and IT, depending on the size of the practice. They’ll also be responsible for the day-to-day running of the practice management software that the clinic uses. 

While a practice management qualification is not strictly necessary to take on this role, practice managers are expected to understand medical terminology, policy-making and compliance, and practice finances.

So, what benefit does a practice manager bring to private care?

To provide high-quality health services to the local community, practices need good management. Practice sizes vary, but a small practice could treat around 500 patients, the largest of more than 20,000. 

This generates a lot of admin work that the treating practitioner can’t complete.

Private Practice Managers: What do they do?

A Practice Manager is one of the most critical and highly valued team members in any practice. Whether that’s a GP clinic, a medical clinic for physiotherapy, a mental health practice, or a hospital department, the practice manager is the glue that keeps the whole operation together.

The role can differ widely depending on the business they’re working for:

Client management

Practice managers are responsible for communication with clients, from answering the phone to introducing clients and reminding them of appointments.

A savvy practice manager utilises tools like practice management software, which allows them to automate things like appointment reminders, appointment scheduling and invoicing. 

The software also allows them to set up online booking, meaning patients can book into the clinician’s calendars without having to phone or email the clinic. 

Practice administration

Practice management is a term used for the admin and business side of a healthcare or medical practice. To maintain the running of a professional practice, practice managers are responsible for tasks like

While a practice manager in a small practice might be able to get by using paper-based and manual systems, many practice managers find that they work in a much more efficient and professional way once they move to an online practice management software which deals with the bulk of this admin for them.

Using software for this part of their job, they spend much less time looking for information, preparing notes, writing client emails and text messages, and so much more.

They can also send out forms to be completed online in advance of the appointment, and some of the more advanced practice management systems will automatically import the client’s data from this form straight into their contact record.

Financial management

A practice manager will generally oversee certain financial tasks, such as managing KPIs, overseeing budgets, and ensuring the practice has all the resources it needs.

Practice managers need a firm understanding of numbers to construct income reports, send out regular invoices, and deal effectively with day-to-day banking transactions. Of course, these processes can be automated by using cashless payments and online invoicing tools. 

The financial management of a practice is made easier when using the correct clinic management software, which tracks all clinic activity for you. The reporting functionality in this software assists a practice manager in recording cash flow, monitoring profit and loss, and understanding what’s happening in the practice so that they can start making improvements in business areas.

Privacy and security

Practice Managers are responsible for managing privacy and security. 

Their responsibility is to ensure patient records are kept confidential under privacy and security laws like GDPR and to oversee policies that allow their release to the right people when necessary.

Luckily, most major practice management systems have ways to simplify the process. 

They make it easier to capture privacy consent (Article 13 of GDPR) and fulfilling access requests (Article 15 of GDPR), so a practice manager can make this part of their role easier when implementing the right software for the job. 

Relationship management

Practice managers are responsible for fostering a healthy, happy, and stimulating work environment for their staff. This includes:

  • Motivating and boosting staff morale
  • Creating an effective working environment for teams and groups
  • Incorporating bonus incentives and job perks into reward systems
  • Understanding staff benefits, including sick and maternity leave, pay scales, and holiday pay
  • Organising individual and group training sessions
  • Complying with current employment laws

Taking care of employee disputes and other staff grievances is also part of practice managers’ management responsibilities.

Is a career as a practice manager right for you?

Practice managers need a wide variety of skills, many of which they learn whilst taking a certification programme. It is possible, however, to transfer some of the most important skills from other roles.

To be an effective practice manager, you’ll need to have the following qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Exceptional organisational skills
  • An understanding of conflict resolution
  • Skills in multitasking
  • Skills for leadership
  • An understanding of practice management software

What will you learn from studying a Practice Management Certificate Program?

Whilst you can certainly learn a lot of the skills needed to be a practice manager on the job, there are a few areas where it’s important not to take the trial-and-error, makeshift approach.

Here are the three key benefits of studying for a certificate in practice management:

1. Learn what medical terminology to use and how to interpret it

You’ll gain skills and knowledge in interpreting medical terminology through a practice management qualification. 

Communicating verbally and in writing means you’ll need to understand the jargon and apply it. Studying for this qualification will give you the confidence to interpret medical terms and the tools to improve your communication skills.

For your practice to be successful, you need to be able to communicate effectively with your specialists, patients, and visitors, and being able to communicate professionally will put you above the competition.

2. Learn about policy-making and compliance

Practice managers need to develop policies and procedures that enforce and ensure compliance with legislation such as GDPR and ethical standards.

Each of these is a specialised area on its own, and you can’t afford to rely on guesswork.

In the practice management course, you will learn how to research and qualify requirements for standards within your practice. After you complete the course, you will be able to craft, implement, and monitor policies to ensure they meet your standards. 

Additionally, you will learn how compliance fits into your practice’s operational activities and how to communicate compliance procedures and policies effectively.

3. Understand practice finances and managing billing systems

The use of practice management software is an essential part of managing and administering a practice. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to work with online invoice systems and communicate effectively with patients about their needs.

The physician practice management certificate will cover implementing a system tailored to your practice’s needs and goals. 

As part of the practice management certificate training program, you will also learn how to budget for adequate cash flow and encourage future practice growth.

What practice management training is available?

If you’re looking for a formal qualification in practice management, these are some of the options available:

Let WriteUpp take the burden of practice management from you. 

WriteUpp is an online practice management system for health and wellness professionals.

In addition to being GDPR-compliant and ISO27001-registered, it’s also easy to use and affordable. 

With just a few clicks, you can access a ton of features, including:

  • Taking bookings from your clients online, 24/7
  • Eradicating repetitive & time-consuming tasks
  • Accessing reporting to analyse your business income
  • Eliminating paper 
  • Improving your client’s experience 
  • Simplifying your compliance with key regulations like GDPR
  • Reducing the threat of virus transmission

You can free up time on admin and spend more time with existing clients, attract more clients and generate more income, or simply enjoy more time away from your practice.

If you have any questions or want to chat with us about what an integrated practice management solution could do for you and your practice, just grab us for a live chat. 

The button is just there in the bottom right corner of your screen.


Ellie is WriteUpp’s in-house Content Creator. Her research and writing for private practitioners focuses on marketing, business growth, data security, and more. She also hosts WriteUpp’s podcast The Healthy Practice; the show that guides practitioners in the early stages of their careers through every aspect of practice management. Outside of work Ellie writes a mental health blog, studies mindfulness and is a keen nature photographer.