Practice Managers’ Program 2017

Confirmed speakers (updated: 9 October 2017)

Ms Robyn Peters

Managing Director of Direct CONTROL…a Practice Admin & Clinical System
Practice Managers’ Annual Conference Premium Sponsor 2017

Robyn commenced working in the health industry in 1998 as a practice manager of a nine GP Practice in rural NSW, which was the third practice to undertake accreditation with AGPAL. She noted the many disparate systems being used so implemented software, procedures and processes that streamlined workflow thus saving money and time.

In 2000, Robyn was invited by UNE Partnerships to be Director of Health and Professional Services and oversaw and presented on the Certificate IV in Practice Management. As author of a number of books to include Accounting Basics, MYOB and being understanding of business requirements, she realised the need for a ‘practical’ course for medical staff so donated much of her work to the Medical Reception Course and Diploma of Practice Management. She was an instigator in the Surgeons as Managers Workshops inviting in 30+ surgeons on a regular basis focusing on their business needs. She recognised an opportunity for a NSW government grant at the time ensuing in 400+ practice managers being able to undertake the Certificate IV in Practice Management at a cost of only $240 inclusive of membership of the AAPM.

Since then she has worked in most medical disciplines recognising the need of a software programme that is intuitive, affordable and educational. This resulted in the development of Direct CONTROL in 2007, a Practice Administration and Clinical Software, that offers both desktop and browser/portal access. Prior to 1998, Robyn was Senior Educational Officer with NSW TAFE teaching teachers in NSW and the Solomon Islands. She and her husband have setup and sold a number of successful businesses. At the age of 22 Robyn managed her father’s extensive logging concern in Papua New Guinea.

Presentation blurb: Surprisingly and unfortunately in the past 20 years, not much has really changed in practice management in the health service industry. All are still reliant on people doing the right thing or ‘band aiding’ solutions. Robyn would like to take you on a one hour journey from pre-booking through to review and/or discharge to include statutory reporting to end of year financials so you are in direct control with systems and processes that do not cost a fortune with minimal need for third party involvement no matter what software you use. We will spend time focusing on how best to manage day-to-day workflow and reduce the risk of error and fraud, manage Medicare and Health Fund Claiming for both the doctor and the hospital, the best integration with your accounting application and to ‘cloud’ or not to ‘cloud’. It really is all about the people (staff, doctors, nurses, IT, consultants, financials, reps, Medicare, health funds, and the list goes on). You will walk away either confirming that what you are doing now is right or with ideas for improvement. This session will give all an insight to requirements of all providers involved in the patient’s episode of care.

As Direct CONTROL is proudly sponsoring the Practice Managers’ Annual Conference, we will be available throughout the three days for ongoing discussion.

Mr Bret Mannison

Director/Founder of LOGIQC

Bret Mannison is a Director/Founder of LOGIQC quality management systems. Bret oversees the development of the LOGIQC software to support healthcare organisations to comply with the requirements of Australian and New Zealand standards.

Presentation blurb: The NSQHS standards, like most quality standards, require core systems such as document control, auditing, improvement, risk and adverse events management. Implementing proven systems in your practice to manage these processes will simplify accreditation and reduce preparation time. This presentation with review the core processes required by NSQHS and provide an overview of one software solution designed in Australia for healthcare accreditation and currently in use by a number of leading ophthalmology practices in Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Katarina Steele

Operations Manager of Inservio

Katarina is the Inservio Victorian and South Australian Operations Manager and has been with the Inservio Group since May 2014. She has a Bachelor of Business Science (Honours) in Marketing from the University of Cape Town.

Katarina has extensive operations, management, research and strategic planning experience working in multinational companies in both South Africa and Australia at a senior level. She has been awarded the Chairman’s Award for outstanding achievement in recognition of exceptional performance, improving productivity and resulting in significant savings to the company in two separate companies, both in South Africa and Australia.

Katarina is passionate about supporting best patient outcomes and helping clinics streamline their resources and processes.

Presentation blurb: Will be covered on two separate topics – optometrist study and IT health check. The objective of optometrist study is to gain understanding of current referral patterns and experiences and to identify any areas where referral processes can be improved. Katarina will go through the results of the study and encourage delegates to take key learning from the research to strengthen and expand their own referral network. IT health check focuses on risk management and clinical governance, given the recent worldwide cyber-attacks.

Ms Morag Smith

BJuris, LLB
Senior Solicitor for Avant Mutual – Law

Morag is a Senior Solicitor who works for Avant Law. She has extensive experience managing and advising on claims involving medical practitioners and other health industry in Australia and the United Kingdom. Morag also represents doctors in Western Australia in relation to civil medical negligence claims in the District Court; disciplinary proceedings – appearing at panel hearings and assisting with responses to the Medical Board/AHPRA complaints; and coronial hearings.

Presentation blurb: Social media is an ever increasing part of our day to day life, influencing us in both our personal and professional worlds. The management of a medical practice provides the opportunity for utilising social media for growth, communication and education among other things but it is not without risk. This presentation will review these opportunities and risks and how they can work for you in your practice environment.

Mr David Wenban

Managing Director of the Australian Health Industry Group

David has formal clinical, management and legal qualifications which have seen him in various professional roles such as the Chief Executive Officer of a small rural health service, Executive and Corporate Counsel of a large Metropolitan Health Service and a legal and management consultant throughout Australia.

His special areas of practice are administrative law, computers and information technology, contract and commercial law, disciplinary tribunals, employment and industrial law, equal opportunity, governance, internal audits, occupational health and safety, workcover, risk management and strategic planning.

Presenting on:

Session One: Performance management

When employees underperform, they not only decrease business productivity, they also lower workplace morale. Responding to a given employee’s underperformance, if not done properly, can have legal implications for the business. This one hour session will provide participants with an overview of the laws and regulations that managers need to bear in mind when performance managing employees and will also provide useful insights into the best way to structure a tailored performance improvement plan.

At the end of this session participants will able to:
> Describe the components of performance management
> Describe the relationship between the performance cycle, an organisation’s strategic and operational goals and an employee’s performance management
> Understand how to set meaningful expectations and structure a tailored performance improvement plan

Session Two: Effective interviewing

The object of the interview is to determine who is the best candidate for the position and who best fits the organisation’s culture. To meet this objective interviewers need to ensure that the candidate feels comfortable, is not rushed through the interview and that they adhere to equal employment opportunity legislation. This one hour session will cover interview purpose; interview techniques; equal employment opportunity; tips and suggestions for conducting an interview; and interview questions and why you need an interview matrix.

Learning outcomes:
> An understanding of recruiting within the law
> The benefits and impacts of good and poor selections
> Interview preparation
> Structuring the interview
> Essential communication skills

Session Three: Staffing contracts

What is an employment contract? What should it cover? What does it need to align with? Our one hour session addresses each of these questions and what the basic legal obligations are when writing an employment contract. It includes:
> The five essential rules (basic risk management)
> Why business structures are important
> The differences between employees and contractors
> Sham contracting
> Areas of influence and control
> Minimum contract inclusions
> Negotiations
> Performance
> Probationary periods
> Pre-existing injuries and illnesses
> Restraint clauses
> Medical records, confidentiality and privacy
> Induction and training
> How a contract ends

At the session conclusion attendees will be able to:
> Describe what a contract is
> Have a greater understanding of the importance of contracts understand
> Know what a contract should include (operational factors – risk, cost and performance balances)
> Know what areas they can control within a contract
> Negotiate more effectively – tips and hints

Mr Chris Johnson

Managing Director of Horizon HR

Chris has over 20 years’ experience in employee relations, industrial relations and strategic organisational development. Prior to establishing Horizon HR, Chris was a Senior HR Consultant for a boutique workplace relations Company in Perth, WA. Chris has also worked as an HR Manager for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (UK) and as the Employee Relations Training & Development Manager for Belfast City Council (UK).

Chris started out his career in the British Army, serving 24 years as a Warrant Officer in both the Royal Artillery and Army Intelligence. He has served in various countries throughout the world and been involved in numerous operational tours including clandestine operations in Northern Ireland.  Chris is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (MCIPD) and a professional member of the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI).

Presentation blurb: Workplace bullying, sexual harassment and cases of discrimination are still very common in our modern day working environment. Employers have a major responsibility to ensure their employees conduct themselves appropriately at all times. This one hour presentation provides participants with that knowledge and by the end of the course participants will be able to:

> Understand the differences between bullying, harassment & discrimination and explain the legal implications for employers and employees alike.
> Identify what bullying, harassment & discrimination looks like in the workplace.
> Identify the effects of bullying for both individuals and the business.
> Explain supervisor and employee responsibilities.
> Consider complaint considerations and act upon complaints effectively.

Ms Rachel Green

Director of The Emotional Intelligence Institute and Job Interviews Australia

Rachel is one of Australia’s most dynamic, down-to-earth and popular expert speakers. Rachel is also the author of the ground breaking, 2 DVD program: “How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions”. She has the highest level of international accreditation in the professional speaking profession: Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and has twice been nominated for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year. She has qualifications in psychology, speech pathology, adult education and the Feldenkrais Method, has had a regular meditation practice for 30 years and has studied and presented internationally. She has already presented on emotional intelligence and resilience for the Perth Eye Hospital and was declared a great success. Her catch cry is “content with comedy” and it’s true, she delivers on her promise not to be boring!

Presentation blurb: Ever come to work and found a black cloud hanging over people and want to tip-toe around them? Negative emotions influence everyone they touch and wear people out at their workplace. Positive emotions are contagious and build resilience. Every practice manager needs to be able to withstand the stress, pressure and ever-changing nature of today’s fast-paced, complex and challenging ophthalmology workplace. Let this speech help you apply the three pillars of emotional resilience, develop ways to increase the positive emotions in your team and design your own emotional resilience management plan. This speech is inspiring, funny, practical and life-changing – and interactive. Everyone will be given the opportunity to try out several strategies for themselves.

Dr Kathryn Choules

PhD, Founder of Mind and Movement WA

Kathryn is a qualified instructor of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction from the University of Massachusetts and a Senior Teacher of Meditation (Meditation Association of Australia). Starting life as a lawyer and working in government, academia, the private sector and the community sector, both in Australia and overseas, she has had ample opportunity to experience high stress workplaces. Through Mind and Movement she offers courses, training and retreats, bringing together the research and practice of mindfulness to support well-being.

Presentation blurb: Stress is an intrinsic part of being alive. It comes in all sizes, shapes and places. We can learn to manage and alleviate some of the physical, mental and emotional impact of stress. Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach to stress that teaches us to move from reacting to stress to responding to stress. Developing mindfulness helps us deal with daily stress, as well as respond to chronic stress. The presentation will look at some of the stresses of the modern workplace and ways that we can respond skilfully to them. It will look at the theory and research into mindfulness – facts and myths. Short mindfulness practices will be offered throughout the presentation. You will take away information on mindfulness techniques that can be immediately implemented in your current daily routine. Prior to the conference, delegates will be sent a short survey to complete on particular issues that are causing stress in their work environment and the findings will be incorporated to the presentation discussion.

Mr Simon Bibby

Senior Adviser Industrial/Legal at Australian Medical Association (WA) Inc

Simon has over 30 years experience in industrial relations in a range of roles. He has worked and the Principal Industrial Officer of the WA Branch of the Australian Services Union and more recently was a Senior Consultant with the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry advising employers in a range of matters including unfair dismissal. He has represented both employees and employers in the context of unfair dismissal matters before the Fair Work Commission.

Presentation blurb: Many practice managers hold the mistaken belief that the Fair Work Act makes it extremely difficult for an employer to terminate the services of an underperforming employee. As a result many practice managers avoid managing an underperforming employee. The session supplements the Session One by providing a more detailed understanding of how to manage the process of disciplining and where necessary terminating the services of an underperforming employee. The session will cover the specific steps the Fair Work Act requires if an employee is to be terminated fairly.

At the end of the session the participants will be able to:
> Describe the difference between misconduct and poor performance in regard to the contract of employment
> Outline the specific steps required by the Fair Work Act if you are/are not a small business employer in regard to both misconduct and poor performance
> Outline some practical tips employers need to remember in dealing with the termination of a contract of employment

Ms Anna-Maria Gibb

Creator of PracticeHub

Anna-Maria has extensive experience in the fields of business management, general practice accreditation and adult education and is passionate about creating resources that are reliable, current and meet the requirements of a changing healthcare practice environment. Anna-Maria holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Education (Adult and Workplace Education).

Anna-Maria is the Senior Product and Operations Manager for PracticeHub (formerly MyPracticeManual). She worked with Brisbane North Division of General Practice at a time when practices were undertaking their first round of accreditation. She developed a range of resources, workshops and services to support general practice. More recently, Anna-Maria has worked with specialist and dental practices to develop resources that support their practices.

Presentation blurb: This presentation aims to connect this topical area with the activities that practices undertake for accreditation, e.g. audits, patient feedback surveys, staff surveys, document review, quality and incident reporting and demonstrate the most effective ways to complete these activities efficiently (including using PracticeHub). It will also look at how these activities can add value to the practice beyond simply being compliance and administrative tasks.

As part of the presentation, Anna-Maria will look at the research on key indicators and ways to measure patient satisfaction, interpreting results, developing actions and measuring change. As with all adult learning, the focus will be on practical examples and activities with actions that delegates can implement back in their practices. Anna-Maria will use PracticeHub as a tool to demonstrate how technology can support these activities, but the information will be relevant to practices regardless of whether they are using PracticeHub.

Ms Jane Schuller

DOBA, MPH (Stats/Epi), CO

Jane graduated from LaTrobe University with a Diploma Applied Science in Orthoptics and later completed a Masters of Public Health in Statistics and Epidemiology at Melbourne University in 2001. After years of working abroad in Singapore, Bangkok and the USA, she completed her American Orthoptic Certification in 2008 before returning to Australia in 2014. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings and is currently a member of the Orthoptic Association Vic Branch Council. She continues to work in the Ocular Motility Clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Bayside Eye Specialists and Lasersight.

Presentation blurb: In a busy practice, it can be difficult to allocate time for clinical policies and procedures that reflect best practice. Areas of potential risk from a clinical perspective and strategies to minimise this in a practical way will be discussed.  Topics will include benefits of university qualified orthoptists, AOB registrations, certification and CPD, professional indemnity, IOL calculations and IOL selections, procedure and patient assessment protocols, equipment calibration and compliance, in-room consents and more.

Mrs Cheryl Bushe-Jones

Business Development Manager
St John Ambulance Patient and Community Transport Services

Cheryl has 20+ years’ experience within a complex health services environment and has worked within the WA health system in several health related fields, including pathology, medical centres, hospitals and patient transport and community services.

With a passion for community services, in 2015, Cheryl was instrumental in launching St John Ambulance Community Transport business developing transport solutions that enables the strengthening of services at the primary care level for older people that target health promotion and prevention and self-management strategies, which assist our older community members to remain independent and living in their own homes longer.

Presentation blurb: Access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation is something most people take for granted. However, for many, transport is a significant challenge. Together with Perth Eye Hospital, St John Ambulance WA provides a vital transportation service to help meet the everyday needs of the people we service within the West Australian community. St John Community Transport Service is safe, reliable and affordable offering transportation and companion services at a simple, flat rate. This short presentation provides participants with an insight into the service offerings and how to access the service.

Mrs Colleen Sullivan

OAM, B.A., FAAPM – Life Member

Colleen has been an Associate Member of RANZCO since the Practice Manager group was formed and is a past member of the Practice Manager Committee. Colleen has a background in nursing and is a graduate of the University of Queensland. She has a strong commitment to healthcare practice management and the role of the practice manager. She is passionate about promoting her profession.

For most of her career, Colleen has been actively involved in with AAPM and held positions of State and National President. She is a Certified Practice Manager, Fellow and Life Member of the Association. Colleen is currently a member of the Editorial Committee and the Fellowship Taskforce. She is also a presenter and assessor with the UNE Partnerships Professional Practice Management Program.

Colleen has published two books with Professor Geoffrey Meredith, ‘Successful Practice Management – Exceeding Patient Expectations and “Starting Practice: The Essential Handbook”. In 2014, Colleen was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, OAM for services to Medical Administration. This year, in  2017, Colleen was honoured to be awarded an Associate Member of AMA Queensland.

Presenting on:

Session One: Customer Service – The Patient Experience

Why focus on the patient experience? What are the practical reasons to focus on the patient experiences? This session will explore the significance of a positive patient experience to the practice as well as patient outcomes.

Colleen will examine what is patient experience and how does it relate to patient satisfaction. In the session, she will visit the barriers to creating a positive patient experience and strategies to overcome those barriers. Colleen will also demonstrate ways to engage staff and patients in creating a positive experience at the same time as improving patient outcomes.

Session Two: AAPM & UNE – Pathway Guidelines for Practice Managers

The Australian Association of Practice Managers (AAPM) is a professional association for practice managers. UNE Partnerships is the education and training company of the University of New England. AAPM and UNEP have worked together for 30 years this year. In this session, Colleen will talk about the importance of qualifications for practice managers and the evidence that qualifications make a difference. She will discuss the development of specific courses and qualifications for practice managers and staff of ophthalmology practices. Colleen will also include the career path and opportunities for practice managers and information on the AAPM Certified Practice Manager and Fellowship Program, as well as the 2017 AAPM National Salary Survey results with focus on ophthalmology practices.

Ms Colette Kinsella

Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Colette has broad experience within the pharmaceutical and optical sectors and has a keen understanding of the running of medical practices to deliver optimal patient support. Her background in nursing, coupled with her sales and marketing experience, allows her a unique perspective on both the business needs of a practice, and the non-clinical needs of patients and families. Colette is a dynamic presenter and her energy and enthusiasm will ensure an engaging session.

Presentation blurb: Macular Disease Foundation Australia has a long held and valued partnership with practice managers. They have a common goal, to help patients, family members and carers achieve the best possible health outcomes, within the context of efficient business practices.

The presentation will focus on how the Foundation can help enhance the visit to the ophthalmologist by providing patient services to support non-clinical needs.  Attendees will learn about the breadth of services provided by the Foundation and how they can complement the clinical services delivered by ophthalmology.

Mr Scott Bell

Executive Director at Nexus Hospitals

Scott Bell has extensive experience in growing strong healthcare businesses. With a track record of achieving value for doctor shareholders, Scott is adept at developing healthy surgeon relationships and identifying opportunities for business improvement.

During a broad healthcare career in profitable day hospitals and specialist group practices, Scott has worked with specialist surgeons to bring together top class teams and facilities and deliver outstanding patient care. Scott has achieved landmark negotiations with private health insurers and suppliers, and has supported a number of specialist surgeons and day hospital operators on strategy and business development.

Prior to its merger with the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists, Scott was a Director of the Independent Ophthalmic Network. He remains involved in supporting and advocating for surgeons and day hospital operators alike.

Mr Kerry Gallagher

Chief Executive Officer at Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO)

Kerry has earned notable respect as a medico-political adviser and government relations expert. He is a registered lobbyist in every state and territory who capitalises on his knowledge of politics and bureaucracy to achieve consistently valuable outcomes for his clients. Kerry has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Medical Association Queensland and also as Secretary General to Australian Medical Association federally. Significant achievements included developing a legislative framework for the National Registration of medical practitioners and securing AMA involvement in the Northern Territory Indigenous intervention program.

Kerry played a vital role in securing changes to Tort Law in Queensland, allowing doctors to practice without the constant threat of frivolous and vexatious litigation and guaranteeing the delivery of complex medical procedures in Queensland hospitals. He also played a leading role in nationally significant improvements in salary and conditions for salaried doctors attracting a wave of new talent to Queensland’s health system. Kerry is a recognised builder and leader of result-focused teams, with more than 30 years’ experience as a manager of successful and respected organisations, in particular within the Australian Defence Force (ADF). He has a strong track record on selecting, developing and leading innovative teams.

Dr Bradley Horsburgh


Bradley previously served as President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and President of the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO). He was also previous Chairman and Medical Director of the Queensland Eye Hospital. Dr Horsburgh has been in private practice in Brisbane since 1995 and has been a visiting Ophthalmologist at the Royal Brisbane Hospital since 2001. He specialises in Cataract Surgery, Adult Strabismus Surgery and General Ophthalmology.