By: Paul Bernard, MBA
Your online presence is the first thing that potential staff members will see about you. It’s important to make sure your website is up to snuff.
In a recent survey on Practice Model Perspectives, physicians using various reimbursement models said finding and keeping qualified staff was one of their top five challenges. It makes sense when you consider what someone needs to know to be an effective practice manager or biller today.
In addition to difficulty finding qualified staff, a small practice needs to recruit them. The first introduction to the practice today is often going to be your website or online reviews. Even someone finding your job listing through word of mouth will probably do an online search before applying.
In the same way that you need a strong online presence to attract patients, you need it to attract the best staff. If your practice website looks outdated, your online reviews are negative, and your online listings appear inaccurate, a prospective candidate might not bother to apply. If your online presence isn’t up to snuff, what is your brick and mortar office like? Who wants to work somewhere that appears outmoded and inefficient?
Your practice’s success hinges on retaining and recruiting patients to keep your appointment slots full. Your staff are the first people that patients and prospective patients interact with. They are the foundation upon which your practice is built just as much as the physician. So making the effort to attract the most qualified staff is certainly worth it.
If you haven’t put much into your online presence then now is the time. Here are some tips to get started:
1. Show off your current staff and providers: Use photos of your office and staff in your website and on your social media pages. It’s also a chance to show off your office environment and technology. Let potential staff see what’s best about your practice. Are your staff members warm and friendly? Is your office really modern? Use photos to share those qualities.
2. Share your practice philosophy: Your website should include an “About Us” section that really reflects your practice philosophy. Make sure this philosophy aligns with the photos, content on the rest of your site, and the posts to your social pages. That consistency says a lot about how much you truly live by your words.
3. Make sure your website is mobile? Today, Google penalizes sites that can’t be easily accessed on mobile devices and people search as much or more on their mobile devices than on a computer. Don’t miss an opportunity because someone heard about your job opening and tried to search to learn more on their iPhone, but could not see anything or had to struggle to resize a page and gave up.
4. Post patient reviews to your website and social pages: Hearing about your practice from the people you serve is a great way for a prospective staff person to get a feel for what it is like to work there. It is also a chance for that person to see how they might be recognized for the work they do by the people they will be helping each day.
What often appeals to employees about working in a smaller, independent practice is having relationships with staff and patients, the opportunity to make a difference, and having a certain amount of autonomy and impact on success. So use the online tools at your disposal to showcase things like this and whatever else makes your practice unique and the kind of place the right person would want to work in.
Paul Bernard, MBA, is the Director of Strategy and Analytics at Kareo. He previously owned a successful revenue cycle management firm, Broadleaf Health. Prior to acquiring his own company, Paul was Chief Financial Officer at Intuit Financial Institutions Division. He has also served as a Senior Vice President at Experian and as Finance Director at both Intuit and Avery Dennison. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt with an MBA in Finance from the University of Kentucky.