heighten over the next few years (76%), according to the second annual Medical Practice Monitor by OPEN from American Express(SM), the company's small business team.
Regardless of their specialty, survey respondents say that they find managing the dual role of practicing medicine and running their business -- or practice management -- to be challenging (83%), and that further training in financial management skills would help them to run their practice more efficiently (74%). More than half (61%) agree that incorporating the use of credit or charge cards would positively impact the business of managing their practice.
Time is one of the most significant challenges for physicians and their staff, according to the Monitor. More than half of the respondents (51%) say they spend at least one full day per week (defined as seven hours) managing their business, and 16% say practice management takes as much as three days per week.
The time that respondents spend on practice management is primarily devoted to implementing electronic patient records (56%) and trying to stay on top of slow third-party reimbursements (54%). Other challenges include managing malpractice insurance issues (48%) and collecting payments from patients (42%).