Audiology practice management in South Africa : what audiologists know and what they should know

25 Apr 2016

BACKGROUND : In future, the South African Department of Health aims to purchase services from accredited private service providers. Successful private audiology practices can assist to address issues of access, equity and quality of health services. It is not sufficient to be an excellent clinician, since audiology practices are businesses that must also be managed effectively. OBJECTIVE : The objective was to determine the existing and required levels of practice management knowledge as perceived by South African audiologists. METHOD : An electronic descriptive survey was used to investigate audiology practice management amongst South African audiologists. A total of 147 respondents completed the survey. Results were analysed by calculating descriptive statistics. The Z-proportional test was used to identify significant differences between existing and required levels of practice management knowledge. RESULTS : Significant differences were found between existing and required levels of knowledge regarding all eight practice management tasks, particularly legal and ethical issues and marketing and accounting. There were small differences in the knowledge required for practice management tasks amongst respondents working in public and private settings. CONCLUSION : Irrespective of their work context, respondents showed that they need significant expansion of practice management knowledge in order to be successful, to compete effectively and to make sense of a complex marketplace.