Productivity is key to running a successful medical practice. While it’s one thing to try boosting your own productivity, it can be challenging to bring the rest of your team up to pace.
How can you encourage your medical staff to step up their game and improve your practice’s financial performance?
These key tips from leading medical accounting firm Nitschke Nancarrow will help you make your practice staff more efficient.
Know where you want to go.
It’s not enough to simply want to increase your practice revenue. You must know how much progress you want to make and set concrete goals. This will lay the foundation for designing an actionable plan.
Ask yourself these questions about your practice:
– How much do I want my practice to earn each month/quarter/year?
– What will help my business to grow?
– What areas of my practice could be made a little more efficient?
– How can I make better use of the time we have each day?
– How do we attract more patients or keep current patients returning?
– In what areas could my staff be more productive?
Keep your practice goals for each staff member realistic and measurable and appropriate to each individual’s unique role in the clinic.
Revisit your workflow.
Just because you’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean you should keep doing them that way forever.
Once you have a target goal of where you want your medical practice to be, it’s time to step back and evaluate the processes you currently have in place.
It takes time and might not seem necessary at first, but it’s worth it to get a clearer picture of your starting point.
Look for areas in your practice where there is unnecessary overlap. Are there any tasks that are being done twice by two members of your team? Is miscommunication slowing down the workflow? Are any of your employees confused about the roles they’re expected to fill during any particular process?
Keep your employees engaged.
If you want your medical staff to up their productivity, they need to understand what’s in it for them. In other words, they have to be engaged, they need to have a reason to give their all at their job.
Your job as the employer is to help your employees stay engaged so that everyone stays on-task to meet revenue goals.
Here are a few ways to boost medical team engagement in your medical practice:
– Show personal interest in your employees’ problems and concerns about their responsibilities and workload. If they sense that you care about them, your staff will be moved to do their best work.
– Offer a provision for continuing education. Continuing education is critical to increasing your practice productivity. Your team’s skill set and knowledge must be constantly refined. By providing opportunities for your staff to expand their knowledge, they’ll become more engaged and productive in their roles at work.
– Check in regularly with your medical team. Find out whether the current workflow is too fast and overwhelming or too slow and unmotivating for your staff. The better you understand your team’s capacity, the more opportunities you’ll find to make changes that boost productivity.
Cross-train your team.
Cross-training will help your workflow to continue flowing smoothly even when you are short on staff. Other team members can fluidly adapt to fill in the vacant roles to keep important tasks in motion.
Your employees will likely also feel more valued and important when they’re trained to handle extra tasks outside of their usual scope of work. They will feel more motivated to help out.
When they’re cross-trained for multiple tasks, your medical staff are less likely to have a “not my job, not my problem” kind of attitude. Instead, they’ll look for ways to help your team remain productive.
After setting productivity goals and training and inspiring your team to meet them, you may have to offer a little more incentive. You could reward productive employees with a cash gift, recognition among their peers or virtually anything else that you know they’ll appreciate.
Offer incentives for goals reached as a team and for outstanding individual effort. The promise of a reward could stir up a little friendly competition in your practice that has each employee trying to outdo the other in terms of productivity. Alternatively, rewarding your entire team for a job well done promotes unity and a sense of bonding among employees and can inspire everyone to continue working hard and helping one another.
Make technology work for you.
You can’t overlook the importance of technology when it comes to upping your medical team’s productivity.
Your staff’s productivity may be limited by outdated or faulty equipment. For example, employees may be loathed to take an x-ray, scan documents or fax urgent papers if the equipment doesn’t work well. As a result, jobs just don’t get done. Your business loses revenue and you lose credibility.
Explore new apps that can facilitate communication among staff members in the office. Invest in computing software that makes scheduling and data storage fast and uncluttered.
Reliable, accurate, fast and smooth-functioning technology can help your team to treat and assist patients faster which allows you to welcome even more patients to your practice.
Cut out drags on your productivity.
Do you have one or two employees who are unproductive, and show no signs of improvement? Not only do they produce poor-quality work, but they can also have a negative influence on your more productive and high-producing employees.
Try to be prompt about dismissing staff members who are genuinely a bad fit for your team. You should first take the time to find out if there’s anything you can do to boost someone’s productivity and engagement before firing them. But if you have that one person who doesn’t put forth any effort, you’ll do better to just let them go.
As a busy medical professional, you don’t have time to get involved in office politics. Tempting though it may be to simply ignore the drama, you should take seriously any complaints you receive about unproductive team members. It would be a kindness to the rest of your team to address an unproductive individual and even remove them where necessary.
Prompt action on your part will boost the morale of your truly valuable and productive medical staff members and help them feel even more engaged.
Hire a practice manager.
If your medical practice is on the large side with more than a few employees, then you should seriously consider hiring a practice manager to boost productivity.
A practice manager functions as the link between a busy doctor and a successful business. Practice managers focus on managerial matters so that doctors like you are free to focus on treating patients.
Having a practice manager doesn’t mean you can take a totally hands-off approach to running your business. But this arrangement does increase productivity in two ways:
– Lightening your responsibilities so that you can increase production by treating patients
– Giving the rest of your medical staff someone they can rely on who’s capable of resolving their issues and concerns
Do you think that you can’t afford to hire a practice manager? Most likely, you can’t afford not to hire one. Having a practice manager could be a boon for your medical practice, increasing your financial productivity to a point that you can afford to grow your business and team even more.
Want to get your medical practice humming?
Contact Nitschke Nancarrow, experts in all aspects of medical accounting, finance and business. We operate in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Australia. Managing partner Kym Nitschke is available for a free initial discussion about your situation. Call us on (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email.
– Kym Nitschke
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