At the core of the medical profession is one purpose﹘ to keep people healthy. You likely chose to become a doctor, at least in part, because you wanted to serve others. But running a successful medical practice is about more than just how you help your patients. In order to maintain a practice where patients consistently feel cared for and respected, you must have an excellent team of people to back you up.
Here are a few key ingredients I’ve found that make up a great medical office team.
Every Interaction Counts. Patient experiences can hinge on even the smallest details. Every interaction your patient has with your staff and physical office space has the potential to impact their overall experience. Your team needs clear guidelines about how to handle individual patient interactions.
Examples of patient touch points include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Any and all phone conversations between staff and patients
- The amount of time a person waits to be seen at their appointment
- How they are greeted by staff (by name, at close proximity rather than across the room)
- Conditions in and around the office (cleanliness, staff appearance, atmosphere, etc.)
- Their experience within the exam room
While these may seem like minute details in the grand scheme of keeping a person healthy, they have a huge effect on patient satisfaction. By thoroughly training your team on how to treat patients in any given situation, you’re ensuring a higher rate of return customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
Your Goals are Their Goals. Every business-minded person sets goals in order to achieve their objective, and doctors should be no different. In order to grow your practice, you must set attainable goals regularly. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try as an individual, you will very seldom reach your goals alone. You’ve got to have a team to back you up.
At our practices, we give each staff member a laminated card that clearly states our annual goals. We also meet with the whole team multiple times a year to check in on our progress and collaborate on ideas for achieving our objectives. You must be as transparent as possible about what you’d like to achieve so that everyone can join the effort.
Celebrate Individual Accomplishments. Whether it’s a small act that made a big impression or a personal achievement, people love to be recognized for their efforts. For example, we highlight team members who have gone above and beyond for patients every week at our staff meetings. Even small day-to-day actions deserve praise.
On the other hand, we also praise big accomplishments. Whenever a team member furthers their education or earns a new certification, we celebrate it! We prominently display everyone’s credentials on the wall, not just the doctors’, because we are proud of the hard work everyone has put in to get where they are today.
The point is, doctors are nothing without their team. High standards and high praise will help your staff and your business succeed.