Running an Effective Medical Practice

Most medical practices are hectic, and the physicians must be freed up to spend as much time as possible in helping patients through research and direct care. The most effective offices operate as a team, with each member being well qualified in their role. This kind of synergy does not happen by accident. Here are three qualities of a medical office team that works together for the benefit of its patients.

Understand what the goals are

It seems logical that the purpose of a medical office is to serve the patients, and the hope is that’s the case. But, there are times when the ultimate goal ends up being to help the doctor since they are “the boss.” If the doctor’s agendas make patient goals impossible to achieve, there is a problem. Therefore, the next steps should be a plan to get everyone on the team on the same page, and that is understanding that the office works for the patient, and the team is required to satisfy the patient’s needs.

Clarify everyone’s role

A key to running an effective practice is everyone knowing what their role and duties are. For example, a patient might need a blood pressure recheck while in the office, but the intake nurse gets busy, and no one remembers to do it. In cases like these, if someone is assigned to cover certain tasks throughout the day, then specific aspects of patient care are not missed. Cross-training is essential, but clearly defining these roles proves to be a service to the patients and the practice.

Communication is key

As with most systems and groups, good communication is at the heart of happy customers—and in this case, happy patients. Communication runs in all directions, from among those on the team to the patients to other practices. There are many platforms that today’s practices use to be efficient in communication. One example is when patients notify the office of a pressing concern. They likely only tell one member of the medical team, whether the scheduler, nurse, or physician. If there is not a sound system in place, the result could be an unhappy patient experience, leading to bad reviews via the web or, even worse, the death of a patient.

Bottom Line

When practices are chaotic, it is difficult to motivate staff members to make changes to better the team because everyone is just trying to keep up. However, being willing to evolve and improve constantly is one of the best guarantees for a successful practice. Arrange some goal-setting sessions and distribute communication about what roles people fill and how important those roles are to the team. The culture comes from the top down, and if the physicians are enthusiastic about these crucial points, so will the team members.

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