Case study – Virtual Administration & Reception


This busy, well-established Surgical Practice had prided itself on personal communication with referring doctors, and the care and attention its admin staff gave to patients. They had more staff than comparable practices, but the benefits out-weighed the costs according to the two Principals.

Quarantine of two staff members due to COVID19 exposure had a crippling effect on even the most basic administration functions, leading the Principals to question how resilient their team really is.

The problem

While the practice has effective and highly trained staff, we knew that the team did not have the resilience to deal with multiple absentees, and  that we could also give the Principals clear recommendations about how to start optimising their admin processes and providing flexible outsourced support.

The solution

After initial contact, we outlined our proposal and scheduled an on-site review of administration processes, briefing the Practice Manager (PM) with a list of administration and HR-related documents to have ready for our meeting.

Once onsite with the PM, we reviewed key admin activities and workflows, position descriptions, staff-capabilities and quality-related benchmarks. This enabled us to follow up with a report suggesting process improvements for the PM to make and a cost benefit analysis of outsourcing some telephone and administration work. 

The Gap Analysis Report was sent to the PM recommending:

  • Call Overflow Virtual Reception to provide cover for absent staff and lock in resilience for the business (at no net cost to the business). 
  • Outsource bookkeeping and payroll to Avant Practice Solutions (saving 10 hours of admin time and $150 per month).
  • Clear instructions for how to improve staff roles and duties.
  • Several strategies to increase administration efficiency.

We also recommended 3 or 6-monthly reviews to monitor the practice and benchmark efficiency and business resilience.

The Virtual Reception service was connected within 5 days, providing a well drilled team of 4 off-site secretaries with deep knowledge of the practice, the patients and the attending surgeons. Bookkeeping and payroll services completely took over from the Practice Manager within 2 weeks providing, reducing her stress and improving financial literacy within the business. The review of practice processes allowed the PM to focus an dynamic management and strategic improvements for the business.

The results

  • Net saving of $2000 per year
  • A resilient admin team that provides multiple levels of cover to allow the practice to deal COVID19 related staffing pressure, while improving overall business resilience. 
  • Actionable steps towards better, more financially rewarding processes



IMPORTANT: This article is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on its content, and practise proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this article must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2023

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