Do you want your practice to run smoothly with a happy work environment? Of course! Let’s talk about anticipating needs. This can happen on many fronts.
Staff, anticipate the needs of the providers.
If you’ve worked in a medical practice very long, you know what doctors want. Patients roomed expediently. All records/results in chart or EMR before they step in the door. Try to do everything in your power to set the provider up for success. If the provider is running behind, manage expectations for the patients so that they will be more forgiving with the provider.
Staff, anticipate the needs of the patients.
Proactively address common questions that come up. See if they are close to needing refills on anything. Give them informational handouts and resources for medications and ailments. Take the questions that are repeatedly asked and put them on the website, use them as hand-outs, and share them on social media. Generally, patients don’t want to bug the practice. So, making answers easy to find is appreciated.
Managers, anticipate the needs of staff.
If you know it’s going to be a busy day, arrange your schedule so you can jump in and help the clinical staff. Start talking about the end of year vacations in January so that you can plan appropriately. If you know the staff is anxious about a new team member a new process anything like that proactively talk to them to see what you can do to ease their concerns related to training Setting up different or better processes or even just opening a dialogue.
Providers, anticipate the needs of patients.
This is probably the most important one. And I can honestly say in my personal life I’ve seen providers that do this incredibly well and I’ve seen providers that literally dodge it. The first is to be considerate of time. Some patients want you to spend a lot of time with them to feel like they got what they needed. Some patients want to be in and out of your office quickly. You weren’t a mind reader you’re a doctor. It’s not your job to know each of these but when you know that a patient takes longer than normal schedule extra time for them so they don’t feel rushed. Or make sure that one of your other staff spends a lot of time with them on the intake so they feel like they got more time. If it’s a patient that you know likes a quick in and out, try to be on time as much as you can and be friendly but save the Smalltalk. Also, can we mention this under staff? While the patients in your office always check on refills. It’s easier for the patient and it’s easier for your staff. Also if you know that you are going to be delivering news is going to have a lot of follow-up questions be ready for this ready in the sense of time ready in the sense of resources. Maybe it’s having handouts ready. Maybe it’s having another support staff member like a nutritionist or nurse available to answer questions. Also, I find follow up outreach calls can do a ton here. Taking the time to check in on a patient the day after they’ve been seen in your office can aluminate emergency phone calls later. If they were coming from another doctor’s office, do you everything you can to get records ahead of time. I strongly recommend having the patient fill out a release form in the office actually get the records. I don’t have a problem per se with putting it off on the patient to get records but sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes Office his gift patience a hard time. And honestly, if I’m paying you money for something I expect you to do the work. Can you recommend any treatment that’s going to cost more than a nominal amount, be prepared to talk pricing or have a staff member that will be available to talk pricing?
Patients want to be cared for. They come to the office to literally get care. As the patient they don’t wanna have to do the work to get the care. Sometimes I feel like when I go to a doctors office that they’re doing me a favor. And maybe they are. But I’m also doing them a favor by putting money in their pocket so that they can pay for their overhead. Let’s treat patients like their customers. Not like they are an inconvenience.