Practice management is a challenge even for experienced medical providers. Depending upon the size of your practice and your resources, you may need to be a human resources manager one moment and a marketing manager the next.
Of course, at all times you’ve got to oversee your practice and manage your employees. At HENO, we believe that a well-thought-out employee training plan is at the heart of good practice management.
There’s evidence to suggest that ongoing training plays a key role in employee performance. We think that makes sense even without research. No employee stays content forever if they feel their employer isn’t there to provide resources and guidance.
With that in mind, here are 5 ways an employee training plan can prevent practice management issues, giving you more time to focus on your patients.
#1: Employee Training Plans Build Consistency
The first way that an employee training plan can help prevent practice management problems is by creating consistency. A robust training plan will ensure that:
Repetitive tasks are completed consistently and without deviation.
Every patient receives the same level of care.
Every employee knows what to do and how to do it.
You may need to change things up once in a while, but when you’ve got a system that works it’s important to get everybody on board. Training ensures that every employee knows how to complete routine tasks and that patients know what to expect when they arrive at your practice.
#2: Employee Training Programs Improve Staff Morale and Decrease Turnover
When communication is poor and your employees haven’t been properly trained, their morale may suffer. There’s plenty of evidence showing that low employee morale costs businesses money due to:
Increased sick days and health leave.
High turnover rates.
Mistakes and sloppy work.
A well-thought-out employee training program can help to keep employee morale high. Why? Because your employees will be engaged and challenged and they’ll know they have your support. Proper training improves efficiency, meaning that employees will feel better about their job performance, too.
#3: Employee Training Programs Reduce Your Risk
In any medical practice, there’s a risk that a dissatisfied patient (or the family member of a patient) may file a claim or lawsuit. There are also risks associated with HIPAA non-compliance and the handling of patient credit cards. Every practice owner needs to take steps to minimize these risks.
Employee training can take care of reducing your risks of a claim or violation simply by ensuring that your employees understand their responsibilities and what the consequences of not meeting them are. When your training incorporates risk management and legal compliance, you can be confident that you won’t be overrun with claims and fees. In fact, research shows that training reduces medical errors by 18% and improves the overall safety of a practice by 11%.
#4: Employee Training Programs Decrease Patient Wait Times
What do patients want when they visit a medical practitioner? While the obvious answer is that they want treatments, the quality of treatments is not even in the top five most common complaints about medical practices.
One of the biggest complaints is about long patient waiting times. 35% of the complaints from Google+ reviews of medical practitioners cited long wait times as a problem. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that your staff has a lot of control over patient wait times.
A good employee training program can improve scheduling, streamline patient onboarding, and reduce patient waiting times.
#5: Employee Training Programs Increase Patient Satisfaction
If you ask medical practitioners what’s most important to them, most will cite patient care and satisfaction as their top priority. We’re willing to bet you feel the same way.
The good news is that you can increase patient satisfaction by implementing a robust (and ongoing) employee training program for your practice.
You already know that long wait times are a top complaint from patients. The other biggest complaints are:
Poor communication from medical staff.
Unsatisfactory interactions with practice staff.
Let’s talk about how a training program can address these issues and increase patient satisfaction.
Communication is hugely important. Your training program can put communication protocols in place, including teaching employees how to handle difficult situations and communicate clearly with patients.
The way your staff interacts with patients plays a big role in overall patient satisfaction. Improving staff efficiency and communication are things we’ve already talked about. However, training can also help by making your priorities about patient care clear to your staff and setting expectations for how you want patients to feel when they visit your practice.
Finally, billing issues can arise due to practice inefficiency. Streamlining your processes through training will minimize mistakes and may eliminate most billing issues.
Creating and implementing a robust employee training program can do a lot to minimize the most common practice management issues and improve patient satisfaction. The key is to create an employee training plan that is for all employees – not just the new ones.
Ready to learn how HENO can help you with practice management. Click here to schedule your free demo!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.