Great communication among staff can be one of the most valuable assets in a medical office. It can create fantastic teamwork, loyalty, and delight your patients. When communication breaks down and starts to cause problems within the office, it’s usually happening among the staff members. This must not happen because it will ultimately affect overall patient satisfaction.
Where can you improve?
Each area of the office must work together with a vision and goal to satisfy your patients and give them the best experience possible. Failure to have this common purpose can result in undesired results and ultimately dissatisfied patients. In finding that there is a high percentage of practices that struggle with intra-office communication, we suggest four ways you can improve within your office.
- Start at the End: Start by looking at how you want every visit to go in your office, with happy patients who feel they have been listened to and helped. When there is a clear understanding among all staff of the overarching vision of the practice, great things can happen. When there is buy-in to the vision, goals can be discussed openly and the benchmarks to achieving those goals can be created. Post the vision in staff offices or break rooms and then make sure you implement a way to record progress. Remember, without written goals and a clear vision you only have a wish or nice thought.
- Morning Stand-Up Meetings: A short 15-minute team meeting first thing in the morning could do wonders for the staff. This gives everyone an opportunity to provide updates on their area of responsibility. It also provides each team member a few minutes to share what’s working for them and what they need help with. During this time, you can quickly review the schedule to see how you can fill openings or prepare for any special patient needs.
- Prepare for the Unexpected: Difficult or complex situations are going to arise—it’s just part of the business. But to lessen the intensity of these sometimes frequent occurrences every office should have a plan in place to address it. You may have some scenarios that require more care than others when you must not only prioritize your action plan but also choose how to handle each. There must be a plan that helps you tackle the problem head-on and then a good follow-up strategy.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: With the limited time you will spend together in you daily huddles it becomes imperative to implement an intra-office communication platform. This allows all staff members to have a method of communication where they can address issues that arise in real time. Situations and scenarios are ever-changing in our offices so having this crucial chat tool is a must. The best way to make sure everyone is on the same page throughout the workday is to use one of the many instant messaging apps on the market that facilitate and encourage this open communication line.
Implementing good communication isn’t a simple task, but with the right tools, goals, plans, and listening, employees can easily open up and accomplish great things.