Rewarding Your Staff for ICD-10-Related Stress

Here are ten potential ideas to reward your staff for enduring the stress of the ICD-10 transition.

ICD10 is coming.  How will you reward your practice for the stress it causes?

Congress is very unlikely to delay ICD10 again this year, especially with the furor over the Nuclear Treaty and another potential government shut down on the horizon.  Despite the apparent lack of readiness, it seems as if it actually will occur in a few weeks. 

With that in mind, how will you help your practice get through this enormous change?  I have a few ideas that might be helpful:

1:  Supply good coffee with real creams or milk and consider bringing bagels, pastries, or doughnuts on Thursday and Friday morning.

2:  Have lunch delivered on Thursday and/or Friday.  Pizza is always welcome in our office.

3:  Build in some extra time in the schedule for the first week or two to allow providers and staff to get caught up with their notes.  We are allowing 45 extra minutes per day for the first two weeks for our providers.

4:  Consider having a happy hour on Friday evening to congratulate everyone for getting through the first two days.  We are planning to have wine and beer available, as well as snacks like chips/dips, cheese, and crackers.  It’s a good way for everyone to distress and bond out of the office. 

5:  Get a large bouquet of flowers and hand one to each staff member during the second week.  It can be as simple as carnations or daisies.  It is the thought that counts and everyone likes flowers!  Most of all, appreciating your staff with small gestures  goes a long way.

6:  A very big expression of your gratitude to your staff is to have a massage therapist come to the office for seated back and shoulder rubs.  Allow 15 minutes per staff member.  This is a particularly nice touch (pun definitely intended!).

7:  Don’t forget about your billers and coders, especially if they work different hours and in different locations than your main office.  Gift cards are a nice idea and one size fits all!

8:  Combine your Friday night social hour with a manicurist or two for quick manicures.  Everyone will think this a grand idea!

9:  Don’t forget about the patients! They may have to endure longer wait times and less available appointments.  Update your website with the news and have your front desk inform them about the big change in computer billing codes so they will at least know what’s happening.  Also offer the patients bottled water, coffee or tea, and small bags of snacks (especially to the children).  Make sure that your providers acknowledge to the patients if they are running behind in their schedule.  The best thing you can say to patients is that you want to make very sure that you get their billing correct with their insurance company.  I’ve always found this a good way to keep my patients in good humor.

10:  Above all…..DON’T PANIC!  We are all in this boat together and we will get through it with sanity intact!

These ideas may seem frivolous to some, but a small investment in rewarding your staff and providers will pay off in less frustration and quicker adoption of the new billing codes.  These small gestures should allow you to get your practice back up to normal speed in no time.

Please respond if you have any other good tips or tricks to help keep everyone calm and productive during this challenging time of great change! 

Good Luck to everyone!

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