Training Your Medical Practice Staff Just Became Easier

October 1, 2016

When training your staff becomes more of a burden than a requirement, it's time to take a step back and find new and easier ways to get that job done.

We've all been there. Trying to gather staff for a meeting or training can prove to be very challenging with scattered schedules and multiple locations. You actually have more options than you think.

We've been working on implementing these techniques over the past few months and found them to be most effective.

• Develop video training. Recording your voice and going over updated policies, procedures, with visual training guides, assists you when you cannot be present. This is also great for staff members that have varied schedules and can watch the training on their own time.

• Compile frequently asked questions. Every time someone asks a question regarding policy, specific insurance information, or billing inquiries, write the question down. Gather these over the course of a few months and look at which question recurs most often. This is the area you will want to focus training on. Create a FAQ list and make it available to everyone on staff - making sure to refer back to the list when staff members ask one of the questions. I've often heard people say, "It's easier if I just ask you, it takes less time." Less time for them, perhaps, but if managers are spending a decent portion of their time answering the same questions, it's time to change that behavior.

• Update staff manuals. Make sure your front- and back-office policy and procedure manual is updated annually. Typically, new or changing policies happen in January, so now is the time to review these manuals. Have someone on staff who does each specific job review the manual, too. You'd be surprised how many policies either are outdated, forgotten about, and/or not being followed.

• Hold quarterly mandatory training. Have this scheduled out for the entire year and be sure everyone blocks that time out on their schedule. Hold it in one location and have everyone come to you. This may not be the most efficient or cost effective method, but if this is all you can do, make the most of it by providing training materials and agendas ahead of time.

If you are unsure about what topics to cover in training, you can look at multiple sources for inspiration. For instance, if you have a lot of claims denials or delays from the insurance company, this is a great place to start. Tally those up, take the top five reasons, and think about the best way to stop those from happening in the future.

Insurance companies are sending out notifications to their providers regarding updates to their manuals. These are very important, so be sure you are reviewing those websites and the changes that may affect your specific practice.

With healthcare changing all of the time, it's more critical than ever to constantly disseminate information to your staff. Be sure they understand the importance of their presence during the training, and that they are accountable for the new information. This will cut down on the time your staff repeats questions, saving you time and money.