7 Pointers To Keep Your Staff Motivated and Happy

I’m sure you have heard the saying “When you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you will always perform your best without worrying about anything.” In my prior post titled “9 Tips On Improving Patient Loyalty” from October 23, 2015, I talked about how brand loyalty begins with the staff. Your front desk staff are the first people patients see when they enter and the last people they see when they leave. Cheerfulness from your staff is absolutely crucial and will translate an air of positivity over the phone and in person. In a healthcare market research survey by Press Ganey Associates of 1.4 million patients treated at 5,400 sites nationwide, overall cheerfulness of the practice came in as the number 2 patient request, right under sensitivity to the patient’s needs. Overall, the likelihood of the patient recommending another patient to your medical center can be seen based on these priorities. You can view the results of the study here. Inspiration and enthusiasm starts with physicians and the office manager, so what you can you do to ensure that you staff remains jovial and allows your patients to leave satisfied with their entire experience with your practice? Here are 7 pointers to help keep your staff motivated and happy: Embrace flexible work schedules. Typically, medical practices have established schedules and routines, so flexibility of staff schedules may not be an easy pill to swallow. However, when you allow someone to have flexible work options, it shows them that you respect the fact that they have lives out of the office. If you ever need to leave...

Super Physicians: Stopping The Financial Abuse of Seniors

The subject of this blog post is very different from my other posts, as I feel that it will hit close to home – rather than the office – for many of you. We need to talk about something very important – something that you can do now to really make a difference in the lives of your patients. I’d like to talk about how doctors and nurses can play an important front line role in stopping the financial abuse of seniors. I grew up in rural Southern Maryland in a loving household filled with lots of family. Mine was a traditional Indian extended family, with my grandparents, parents, brother, sister and myself living together. My Father is a hardworking physician – a Gastroenterologist. As a child, I remembered he would leave home at 6 am to see patients at his private practice, come home in the evening to eat dinner, and go back to the hospital to make rounds – just to make sure that our family would live a good life. My Mother is an absolutely amazing woman and always made sure that me, my younger sister and my younger brother were taken care of, learned the right lessons, ate the right foods, etc.  (I’m now 38 years old and she still does – thanks Mom!). My Grandmother, now 98 years old, and my Grandfather, who has since passed, would spend time with us, speak with us in our mother tongue and ensured that we learned to respect the older generation. Together, they all played a part in making sure that we, the younger generation, would ingrain...

ICD-10: The Sky That Never Fell

Many physicians and medical billing experts predicted that the sky would fall on October 1, 2015, when the United States began using the newest version of the International Classification of Diseases, or ICD-10. The Department of Health and Human Services first issued a regulation proposing the transition to classification scale in August 2008. After nearly a decade of trying and three delays, clinics and other medical institutions in the United States begrudgingly switched to the new coding system to report medical diagnoses and procedures on October 1, 2015. Paging Chicken Little Many physicians and medical groups panicked at the mere thought of transitioning to the new codes. Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), for example, expressed their concerns about the level of industry preparedness in a March 2015 letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Burwell. WEDI worried that many organizations had not taken full advantage of the extra time afforded by the March 2014 delay. In that letter, Devin Jopp, Ed.D, president and CEO of WEDI said that, “unless all industry segments make a dedicated and aggressive effort to move forward with their implementation efforts in the next few months, there will be significant disruption to industry claims processing on Oct 1, 2015.” In July of 2015, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) surveyed physicians in the state regarding their practice’s readiness for "the transition." Ninety-seven of the 936 respondents treated patients in active medical practices and 42 percent were solo practitioners. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they expected delayed or denied claim payments resulting from the transition to ICD 10. Understandably, physicians facing possible delayed or...

9 Tips On Improving Patient Loyalty

For many companies, I represent the ideal consumer. Why do I say that and how do the below “ideal consumer qualities” relate to your practice? I’ll explain that shortly. As the ideal consumer, I do my research before purchasing anything so I am well versed on the product or service and seldom have too many questions after purchase. Because I have done my research and read reviews, I typically have positive experiences. As I am myself a business owner, if I do have negative feedback, I rarely choose to relay this information publicly because I feel that it could have just been an anomaly in production. Instead, I will call the company and speak with a manager in charge to privately explain what I would have expected from them. For services, I usually try and look at a negative experience from the provider’s point of view. After all, everyone has good and bad days. I’ll try again hoping that the next time will be better. I am what you would call a “sneeze marketer.” When I like a product or service, I will sing praises from the highest mountains. If I like a particular piece of technology, I’ll happen to mention it in conversation. If I like a restaurant, I’ll let people know that this is a place they must try and even offer to take them to lunch. If I like a service provider, I will make sure to send them referrals. For example, when my back started to hurt, someone recommended me to a certified massage therapist a few miles from my office. I was so impressed...

7 Ways To Improve Patient Waiting Room Times

Many times, waiting to be seen by a physician can be one of the most stressful moments in the patient-physician relationship. You can almost compare it road rage when there is a lot of traffic. Similarly, the unknown wait times can cause a patient to become agitated. In a prior blog post, I had actually touched on how cutting out the waiting aspect can increase patient satisfaction with the care they receive from their provider. Again, Jerry Seinfeld's “Waiting Room” bit comes to mind and is worth reiterating below to really illustrate this frustration from a patient’s perspective. See this bit from comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, that perfectly illustrates the waiting area scenario: "I hate when they make you wait in the room. ‘Cause it says 'Waiting room.' There’s no chance of not waiting, ‘cause they call it the waiting room, they’re going to use it. They’ve got it. It’s all set up for you to wait. And you sit there, you know, and you’ve got your little magazine. You pretend you’re reading it, but you’re really looking at the other people. You know, you’re thinking about them things like 'I wonder what he’s got. As soon as she goes, I’m getting her magazine.' And then, they finally call you and it’s a very exciting moment. They finally call you, and you stand up and you kinda look around at the other people in the room. “Well, I guess I’ve been chosen. I’ll see you all later. You know, so you think you’re going to see the doctor, but you’re not, are you? No. You’re going into the next waiting...