Category Archives: Practice Management

Improving Medical Office Efficiency

In order for your medical practice to run at its optimal level, you must take the time to evaluate your current practice and fix what’s keeping you from having an efficient medical office space. First, start by evaluating your own productivity; make a list of tasks you perform every day and see what most of your daily efforts are going towards. Some tasks might be responsibilities only you can perform while others could be delegated and therefore your time could be better spent focused on other things. How you handle your workload greatly affects the rest of the office’s workflow. You must set the tone for how the office should operate. For instance, if you’re disorganized and run late with patients then your staff falls behind on their own work. Some staff members might even pick up on your bad habits and emulate them, making the office run ineffectively.

You should also take the time to hire qualified staff members, both clinical and non-clinical, to work for you. How the medical staff operates depends greatly on how well they can do the job you’ve hired them for. If you don’t feel like you have time to dedicate going through resumes, you can always hire a third party medical recruiting company to only send you qualified candidates and perform background checks.

Another way to help your medical practice is to have a system of employee evaluation in place. Allowing staff members to asses themselves and be evaluated by the physician or practice manager can help improve employee satisfaction and this will cross over into other areas of the practice. By fixing small problems, committing to timeliness, and planning ahead your practice will only improve and become more efficient.

Hiring a Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant Increases Patient Satisfaction!

If you’re looking to hire an NP or PA the benefits can have a great impact on your practice. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that the U.S. will face a physician shortage of over 90,000 physicians by 2020. Due to this fact NPPs are becoming increasingly important to primary care and overall patient satisfaction.

Patient satisfaction is the most important aspect of your medical practice.

In some cases, Physicians might be concerned that an Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant won’t garner the same respect as an MD, but this has proven not to be the case in many instances. Studies have shown NP/PAs score equally with physicians in terms of patient satisfaction. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that patient satisfaction levels based upon interpersonal care, confidence in the provider and understanding of patient problems ranged between 89 and 96 percent for PAs. Nurse Practioners & Physician Assistants handle many types of office visits that a physician may be too busy to do, including: preventative care services, diagnose conditions, evaluations and therapeutic plans. If NP/PAs take time to establish relationships with their patients, they can build a positive rapport that will increase satisfaction, accessibility, and productivity. Hiring NPs and PAs are not only a financial benefit, due to the decreased salary expenses, but they also ensure that your medical practice will run more efficiently. If your practice is running more smoothly, then patients will be happy with their quality of care making Nurse Practitioners / Physician Assistants an invaluable benefit to your practice.

Hiring a Medical Marketer for Your Practice

Physicians may not see the benefits in hiring a medical marketer but good marketing can help double or triple your current business. Of Course you’d want to hire an experienced marketer with a resume to back it up; a marketer’s salary can be high depending on what state your practice is located in. You don’t want to be paying a marketer to do a job they are not equipped to do that’s why a candidate needs ample experience listed on his/her resume.

Medical practices are using more technology than ever before and patients can search for a practice on the internet before making an appointment. A marketer can help advertise for your practice on social media and manage your practice’s website. Also, a medical marketer should be utilized to handle public relations; this means they may be working odd hours and not the typical 9 to 5 work day. Remember that a medical marketer does not need a healthcare degree, but he/she should have a good understanding of your practice and your practice’s specialty. A degree in business/marketing may be more suitable, but someone who has worked with a hospital or medical practice before is a necessity. You do not want a marketer who has zero experience working with some type of medical practice. If you feel like your practice can’t afford a new hire you may want to ask your office manager if they can fulfill some of the marketing tasks, but make sure your office manager is on board with these new responsibilities. You want to see results and if your office manager can’t commit to that then you should talk to a financial consultant and see if you can budget to afford a medical marketer even if it’s just part time.

Take the proper steps to hire a medical marketer and be involved in the hiring process. Medical marketers can really help a practice on so many levels; it’s better to hire someone else to do the marketing than trying to treat patients and keep track of public relations and social media.

How to Resign the Right Way

Resigning from a medcal job can be stressful and uncomfortable depending on the type of situation you find yourself in. Sometimes a certain medical position just isn’t the right fit anymore or, maybe you’ve found a position elsewhere that is more beneficial towards your career goals. No matter what the case is, you want to leave your current position the right way, without burning bridges or creating hostility.

Be prepared when you are looking to leave your current medical job. Go over documents you signed when you took the job you are leaving and make sure you did not sign a noncompete or nonsolicataion because you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your future employment plans. Whether you’ve had issues with a fellow employee or you feel like your job performance is being overlooked by your boss, the right way to handle resigning starts with your letter of resignation and conduct while you are employed. A letter of resignation is a concise way of telling your current employer you’ll be moving on to another opportunity. Resignation letters are not meant to be rambling diatribes about your discontent with your current employer. If anything they are to be unemotional and to the point. If you really need to tell your supervisor any grievances you have then this should be done face to face. Remember, your current job (Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Medical Assistant Medical Biller….) has trained or taught you things you can take to your next position so be polite and cooperative. Your current employer might have policies for resignations that might include an exit interview or some kind of protocol you need to follow; be flexible and handle things in a timely manner. Make sure you give your employer at least two weeks’ notice before your last day. Building a good rapport with a medical practice, hospital or ambulatory surgery center starts from the very first day and should continue until you leave because you never know if you’ll need a recommendation in the future and you want to keep the lines of communication open for your benefit.

For assistance looking for a new position in the healthcare field plese visit SpineSearch’s current jobs on our curent Health Care Jobs page

Do You Know if Patients Think Your Medical Practice is Friendly?

Most patients can probably recall a time that they felt overlooked or treated in a rude manner by staff at a medical practice. Yes, medical and non-medical staff are very busy throughout the day, but this does not mean patients deserve to feel like they are an annoyance. After all, patients are coming to your practice in need or treatment or diagnosis and they deserved to feel welcomes and cared for.

A good way to get a jump start on creating a patient friendly atmosphere is putting yourself in your patients’ shoes. Take a look around the office, is the waiting room welcoming? A lot of patients often feel intimated when they walk into a waiting room that has tons of signs posted stating co-pays need to be paid at the time of service or about being late for an appointment. Your office has policies for a reason, but posting a bunch of signs may not do the trick. Calling patients to confirm their appointments 24 hours beforehand and reminding them in a polite way about co-payments will actually produce much better results. Sure, there will always be some people who cancel last minute or forget the co-pay, but having a system in place for dealing with minor inconveniences like these will reduce the stress of the staff. You may even consider an opt in text message notification policy like many practices are using today.

If you don’t know something is wrong you can’t fix it – Always make sure the Doctors, Practice Managers, Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants ask patients; How has your visit been? How easy was it to schedule your appointment? Are you happy with our practice?…. Patients who are asked for their input feel appreciated. One of the biggest ways to create a welcoming atmosphere starts with good practice management. If the staff feels appreciated, then the office will run happily and efficiently. Having a happy medical staff that is also on top of their game will reduce patient wait time and create a great atmosphere for you, your staff and most of all your patients’.

Evaluating Clinical and Non-clinical Staff

For a practice to run smoothly, evaluating staff regularly is very important. Sometimes, physicians are not sure how to go about evaluating their staff. A way to avoid the problem is to only hire employees that you know are qualified for the position, but after you hire an employee you must keep up with evaluations in order to make sure that your practice is operating at its optimal level. Evaluation helps provide documentation in cases where termination is necessary. It prevents unfairness in promoting, rewarding, and transferring staff to other positions. You must take into consideration professional qualities, personal qualities and develop a rating system that will apply to all employees. No matter what job responsibilities employees have they should be able to be evaluated on the same scale.

Depending on what their job duties are, rate employees in a way that is fair but you must also make sure that they are filling all aspects of their job description. Both clinical and non-clinical employees should understand that they are crucial to a practice operating smoothly. For instance, a non-clinical employee should not take their job less seriously because they are not a part of the clinical staff and vice versa. There shouldn’t be tension or resentment in the workplace. As an employer, your responsibility is to make it known that every employee in the practice has an important purpose. If you are playing favorites with the clinical or non-clinical staff then that will cause hostility and that’s something your practice cannot afford.

Evaluations of employees should come from the employer and the practice manager. Peers should not be responsible for evaluating other employees; you want to eliminate as much bias as possible. Peer review is generally not the best idea. As a boss, you have to look as who that employee works directly with; those are the opinions that matter. You should take the time to know every employee who is working for the practice. This may seem like a daunting task but in the long run you and your employees’ will be happier for it. Take an active role in the hiring process and schedule weekly meetings with staff, have a pre-evaluation, evaluation and a follow-up to make sure that employees needs have been met. Just using a few of these ideas will greatly improve your practice’s existing evaluation system or help you start an evaluation process in the future.

Top Reasons Your Practice Should Utilize NP’s/ PA’s

Due to increase demand practices can benefit greatly by hiring a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. So, let’s start by eliminating some of the common misconceptions people have about using Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.

In some cases, a patient may feel like an NP/ PA is not qualified to give the same care that a physician can give. This is not true. NP’s and PA’s go through extensive schooling and training in order to diagnose and treat patients. The main difference between them and a doctor is NP’s and PA’s work under a doctor’s supervision. This means that they can consult a doctor about a patient’s condition. The use of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants is rising and can help fix the needs that may be unmet by a physician. This does not mean the physician is slacking on their patient care, but a heavy patient load may be dividing the physician’s attention. There’s no better way to fix this problem by using other qualified medical professionals.

Nurse practitioners and Physician assistants can help reduce salary expenses because it costs significantly less to employ an NP or PA than it does to employ a physician. Patient wait time will also be lessened. With an NP or PA on staff, the patients will not have to sit as long in the waiting room for a busy physician. As patient flow increases, the office will run more efficiently. For patients that have questions about preventative strategies NP’s and PA’s are the perfect fit for helping teach patients about obesity, newborn care, hypertension, diabetes etc. Patient compliance will increase and this frees up the doctor to see more patients throughout the day.

NP’s and PA’s can act as an alternate for the physician. If a physician is unable to see a patient and sends in an NP or PA, they are qualified and credentialed to give the same quality of care you would get from a doctor. NP’s and PA’s are trained to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They both have extensive clinical experience and practice under a variety of specialties. As a patient, you want the best care and NP’s and PA’s are fully qualified to provide that care.

A physician has the ability to train the Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant in the manner that best suits the needs for the practice. This will help patients who may not feel as comfortable seeing an NP or PA have reassurance of their capabilities. In conclusion, physicians can benefit a great deal from utilizing an NP or PA in their practice.

To take a look at any open phsyician assistant or nurse practitioner positions/job descriptions please click on the following link SpineSearch Positions

Bad Habits in the Workplace

Our current Newsletter contains two articles with a focus on bad habits in the workplace. Whether SpineSearch has placed in you in a new position or you are currently looking to transition, we want to make sure that you are cognizant of the top rated bad habits in the workplace (that can actually jeopardize your chances of staying employed). Now that SpineSearch has helped you or is helping you to find your “dream job” we want to make sure that are not guilty of any of these bad habits and that you will stay happily employed.

Some of the top habits that we discussed in our newsletter and which lead to tension and an unprofessional image in the eyes of supervisors and other coworkers include:

Being late or leaving the office early- most everyone needs to come in late or leave early at some point in their career. But if you are chronically late or leaving early this shows that you are not committed to your work and that your time is more important than other employees and is more important than your job responsibilities. It is very unprofessional to show up late for meeting or to abuse your privileges by always taking extra time during your lunch break.
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Spring 2013 SpineSearch Newsletter- Join Our Mailing List Today!

SpineSearch is pleased to announce the arrival of our second SpineSearch Newsletter. Our quarterly newsletter is aimed to keep you informed about recent “SpineSearch Sightings” and upcoming SpineSearch events including: industry conferences and SpineSearch continuing education courses.

Our Spring 2013 Newsletter features articles on employee topics such as: “Creating an Emergency Action Plan”, “Identifying Bad Habits in the Workplace” and “Tips to Address Your Employees Bad Habits”.

Please contact us today with your name and mailing address to be added to our quarterly SpineSearch Newsletter mailing list. Click the blue link below to view our recent issue: Spring 2013 Newsletter Happy Reading!