Your employees are the most important asset to your medical practice, and hiring the right employees may be the most important element of your success. Hopefully, you’ve already determined the key qualities that you want your staff to reflect, and have selected accordingly. But the medical field changes rapidly, and ensuring that your staff has the training they need can not only provide a better patient experience, but it can also improve your bottom line.
Five Signs that Your Staff Needs Extra Training
- You’re getting bad reviews or complaints
Granted, you can’t please all people all of the time, but if your Yelp or RateMD pages are showing complaints centering around the same issue (such as reception, billing or wait times) you may need to look at additional customer service training for employees. Many practice advisors will offer extensive information on the courses that could benefit you the most, and may even teach the courses themselves.
- You’re not seeing a good collection ratio.
You may need to speak with your financial specialists about ways to improve your collections. Even just a slight increase can dramatically increase your yearly revenue. It’s also important that patients clearly understand, as much as possible, the costs that will be involved in treatment, particularly if it’s a cosmetic procedure that will not be covered by insurance.
- They’re not comfortable with new technology or electronic medical records (EMRs) A medical office should run like a well-oiled machine, but like a train engine, it also has many moving parts that must work seamlessly together. When employees are having difficulty with technology, whether that is new X-ray equipment or a software upgrade, it slows things down, causing wait times and confusion that leave patients disgruntled. While you obviously want to be sure your staff members meet the job requirements, technology changes so fast that there’s a good chance even the most recent developments will be outdated quickly.
- Patients are not following up with treatment plans
Physicians need additional training as well. Often, particularly in dental practices, patients do not see the benefit vs. cost from proposed procedures. There’s an art, as well as a science to case acceptance, and many practice advisors can provide the winning advantage to help your patients say yes.
- You have high employee turnover
In a medical practice, high employee turnover can be an expensive problem, particularly after the time and money you’ve spent recruiting and training them. The first question you should ask is, why did they leave? Was it due to a more lucrative opportunity? Was there a personality conflict with other employees? Perhaps their paycheck wasn’t within the market range for your area. If that’s the case, you and your human resources staff may need additional training in employee retention.
Everyone, at some point, can benefit from additional training, whether it’s to keep pace with medical advancements or ensure your level of customer service. If training is needed, be sure to explain to your staff that the additional training is not a demerit, but merely a way for all of them to enhance their skills. Singling them employees out or making them feel like they’re being “punished can cause them to resist your training efforts.