SpineSearch’s first article in their four part Recruitment Resolutions series is presently featured in ORTHOWORLD’s- ORTHOPRENEUR Journal. The article entitled Recruitment Resolutions: Assessing Your Staffing Needs identifies the necessity for surgeons and practice managers to increase their focus on their actual and projected recruitment and staffing needs in relation to organizational growth. Co-written by Nicola Hawkinson DNP, Founder and CEO of SpineSearch and Heather Rottmund MHA, Director of Marketing at SpineSearch, this article provides industry insight for orthopaedic professional’s recruitment efforts.
What is marketing, and how does it apply to your spine practice? By definition marketing is the process of creating, distributing, promoting, and pricing goods, services, and ideas to facilitate satisfying exchange relationships with customers in a dynamic environment. The basic goal is to market your product/service in order to bring in new customers and therefore increase your sales. So what does this really mean in regards to your spine practice? Marketing for a new spine practice aims to provide information to promote your practice in order to attract new patients to your practice for care.
It is important to work with a clearly defined marketing plan and budget. Remember that marketing does not always have to be extremely costly. There are some really great ways to market your practice that are also very cost effective. Also, be creative in regards to your marketing efforts, the goal is to make your practice stand out from the competition. Read on to learn 10 tips on marketing your spine practice.
1. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Implement a data tracking system. When a new patient comes to you for care find out how they heard about your practice. Perhaps this is great question to add to your initial “new patient” paperwork. If you begin to gather marketing data, you can analyze the data in the future to learn what marketing tools really work to bring in new business. Analyzing your marketing referrals will allow you to allocate additional marketing dollars where it really counts.
Practice management is the most significant aspect of a well-organized office. The recruiters at SpineSearch know how important it is for a practice to have great management in order to retain employees. This week we will focus on steps you need to take towards effective practice management.
In order to manage your practice well, you have to establish a well drafted manual of policies your employees will follow. Use probationary periods and have a formal hiring process. If you have a system for hiring, you are less likely to hire employees that will not meet the criteria you are looking for. These tasks may seem difficult but there are huge benefits in establishing an office that runs efficiently.
Set up a meeting for your staff and show both new and experienced employees the new policies. Make sure everyone is on board and understands why you are enforcing these policies. Your goal is to create an office environment that is both positive and structured. Your employees need to feel like they are being heard just as much as you need to feel like you are in charge.
Aim for a healthy sense of control; you know what your employees are up to and they feel like they can come to you with any issues or concerns they have about their jobs. Communication goes a long way in an office setting; you can retain employees better if you establish a good working relationship with them.
Practice management can feel like a daunting task, but if you start out with a clear set of standards before you hire your next employee you will see a huge improvement in the overall flow of your office.
Here are four steps to remember:
1) Empower and Inform: Practice owners should monitor employees in a constructive way.
2) Talk and Listen to People: Spend one-on-one time with employees. The more you know about your practice, the better it will function.
3) Let People Work at their Highest Purpose: Give positive reinforcement. Encourage your employees to take on more responsibilities at work.
4) Follow up and Be Consistent: Set specific goals and timelines, have weekly meetings to catch up with what everyone is working on.
Am I happy with my job? People ask themselves this all the time without putting too much stock into whether the answer is yes or no. However, if you are unhappy with your job this can affect job performance and overall self-esteem, and decrease your productivity at work. This week we’re focusing on how emotional needs have to be met in the workplace in order to create a positive work environment.
Emotional needs in the workplace are very important in contributing to an overall healthy work environment. If you feel like no one cares about you at work, then you are more likely not to work as hard or dread going to work.
Feeling like you belong at your job and with your coworkers goes a long way when furthering your career; motivation is everything. When you feel like you belong and that people understand and listen to you, you’re much more likely to be successful at work. Team building at work can help fulfill the sense of belonging and also relieve stress. When a person feels like they cannot turn to anyone at work they become unhappy in the workplace.
Being given more responsibilities at work helps create great self-worth. When your boss gives you more tasks and responsibility it shows how valuable you are to the team. You should always be looking for opportunities to grow within your field and gain more knowledge about your industry. It is important to gain recognition for a job well-done. If you do not get the credit for your hard work you will not feel valuable.
Happiness at work is an important factor for employees everywhere. Finding a field you love and wanting to further your career will give you lasting success. SpineSearch can help you find a job that makes you happy and successful!
Contact SpineSearch Today!
Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins
You’ve spent thousands of dollars to recruit a physician for your practice, invited the doctor for site visits, paid advertising costs, legal and agency fees, and a slew of other expenses; but, after the honeymoon is over, and the contract is up, the physician decides to move on. Annually, about 10% of them do seek opportunities elsewhere. Not only have you lost the money you have invested to recruit, credential and on-board the physician, but now the loss of potential revenue looms—which can be in the high 6 to 7 figures respectively.
Among the physicians who leave a group, nearly half do so within the first 3 years. Why do they leave? There are common reasons. Often, job expectations are not made clear during the recruitment process. Typically these include: the amount of patients seen on a given day, call schedule, in-patient responsibilities, and the expectation to work on weekends and evenings. The most common reason, however, is that they may feel as though they are just not the right ‘fit’ with the other physicians in the group.
One way to insure that a recruit would be a good fit with the group, is to establish what the common values of the group are, and convey those to the candidate during the recruitment process. Also, involve other physicians in the practice in the interview process to determine if the candidate would be a good fit. Some may say that the best retention strategy is to hire the right physician in the first place.
Some issues are more challenging: feeling unappreciated, no involvement in the decision making process, no opportunity for partnership. And some things can’t be avoided, like the desire to be closer to family. But turnover is costly; therefore have a retention plan in place before recruitment begins. There are many success stories out there, but develop a plan that is unique for your practice; one size does not fit all. Have a plan that is at least a three year process. Start by providing enough startup resources, a mentor, and feedback which is crucial in the early stages.
Tips for keeping your medical employees HAPPY!
1. Clearly defined job descriptions and clearly defined chain of command
Many medical practices often delegate responsibilities in a very informal manner/process. This is a recipe for disaster in any large practice and or growing practice. Consider listing project priorities for your practice that are receiving attention because you’re working around staff that haven’t previously had defined job rolls and or responsibilities. SpineSearch recommends creating an organizational chart and chain of command diagram and a job description for every roll within your office.
2.Establishment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
A formal system includes employee goals, assessments of substantive accomplishments and behaviors, peer reviews, goals and prioritities, support needed from our staff. KPIs are important so employees know, before undertaking the job or project, exactly what is needed to be done and what an acceptable outcome is.
3. Reward those who go above and beyond
Reward those that work extra hours, are extremely resourceful, and or go outside of their job description to complete tasks for the office. Monetary rewards are not always the most successful. Try giving half days, dinner on the office, peer recognition…and don’t limit the rewards to individuals. Your office should also have team goals/descriptions — these groups can and should be rewarded.
4. Continuing education / opportunity for self improvement & advancement
In this era of health care reform it is extremely challenging to keep up with changing laws, regulations, reimbursement guidelines, daily operations and daily practice demands. By keeping employees current in each of their individual fields it helps to ensure the entire office is up to par with changes. This process also helps let employees know that you are investing in them and the betterment of their individual careers. Don’t just focus on clinical or required education. Look for education on customer service, disaster planning, patient flow, time management….
5. Have Fun!
FUN in the job place can go a lot longer than most administrators would think. Celebrate events such as birthdays, anniversaries, child birth, holidays and office specific accomplishments. If you are undergoing a big task, such as converting to an EMR system, order food for the office, give a small gift to each member of the team before the process begins (thanking them for their committing to the successful accomplishment of the task), or go out for an office dinner/drinks as a FUN event.