Your practice may have a routine, but does it operate like a well-oiled machine?
The daily grind of seeing patients can sometimes be, well, grinding.It’s important to take a step back and reconsider how you do things. There’s likely another way to achieve the same, if not better, result, especially when it comes to staffing.There’s always more work to be done, and more to a job than just the work. Review opportunities to improve processes that help staff be more efficient and more invested in their job. Your own performance will improve, and most importantly, your patients will benefit.Here’s a sample of what 943 practice owners, managers and physicians say has helped them create a better environment.
The best thing you can do for your organization is to create a healthy work culture where employees feel respected, empowered and valued. Maintaining a positive work culture will make your employees want to stay and give their best to the organization.
Pay and treat people what they are worth, so they will not look for greener grass. If someone leaves for a position offering $2 more an hour at another facility, it will cost you more than that to retrain someone.
Set the bar high but be a cheerleader and coach to help your employees be successful.
You get what you pay for, so skimp at your own risk.
Give your employees the freedom to do their jobs. Don't micromanage them down to the level of quitting.
I interview for disposition, mainly, and then the candidate’s ability to learn a new skill set. I can train someone who is motivated, but I cannot change dispositions.
When it comes to staffing and high- demand positions such as certified medical assistants, have affiliation agreements for schools in your area with a medical assisting program. Allow students to do their internships at your practice, as this gives you the opportunity to see how they adopt and work within the office setting. Give and receive feedback from the school's program director. This is a win-win situation.
Give employees extra time off when productivity is lower. If a physician goes on vacation or to a meeting, consider giving one employee time off, too. These days do not count against their vacation or sick days and are awarded on a rotating basis.
Do not treat your employees as machines but as people with families and personal lives outside of work.
Rigid performance reviews are cumbersome and unnecessary.
Equip employees with the tools they need to be successful in their role. Provide comprehensive onboarding to prepare new staff for their new role. Consider quarterly training for all employees, especially with new requirements and insurance demands.
When making procedural changes, where possible, ask for input from staff who will be impacted by the change. They are the people doing the work. Unless the change is specifically mandated by some new regulation, open discussions prior to implementation leads to improved procedures and, most importantly, happier staff who feel valued.
Praise your staff on things they do right and help them understand their role in the delivery of care - from the time patients walk in to the time they leave the office.
Keep in mind that taking away something is bad for morale. If you give a holiday bonus the first year, then you should be prepared to give a holiday bonus forever. If you do that, then give a set amount every year and don't raise the amount - or else employees will expect an increase every year.
Secret shop your area to find out what other like practices are paying their staff and subscribe to local medical societies for information.
We test extensively, including basic skills as well as personality testing, plus a 1- to 1.5-hour interview. We make it clear we respect our staff, and we protect them (mainly from patient/rep. harassment). We train them intensively and, when the time comes, help them find their next step up professionally. This inculcates extreme loyalty. As a result, our turnover is very low.
Never rush to open a business without conducting a proper business assessment. Know the financial costs associated with opening a healthcare business and make sure you have at least two years’ worth of money for expenses.