Do Your Staff Members Know Their Top Priorities?

Most doctors assume their staff knows their top priorities.  Have you asked your staff what is their main function of their job?  You would be surprised by the answers. Your receptionist might think her job is to answer phones, and make people feel comfortable or keep things organized.

This is all correct, but your job as an owner is to educate the staff on their purposes and priorities.  So inform them that as a receptionist, their top three priorities is to keep the appointment full with productive patients, make sure patients keep their appointments, and collect all monies that the patient owes at the time of service.

Inform the staff member that they need to do their job with a smile.

Now, do the same for each position in your office.  Write down the top three priorities for the medical assistant, the financial officer, the marketing director, and of course, for the doctors. 

What happens if the staff member has the wrong priorities?  Well, that leads to stress and confusion.  You might be thinking why the receptionist is not collecting copays.  If she believes her job is to allow patients to dictate their care, she might not want to get into a confrontation with them, and just let things go bye.   You might have hired the wrong person, because you didn’t ask the right questions in your interview.

For example, you are hiring a receptionist, and you want her to be to collect all monies owed at time of service.  This includes today’s copays and deductibles as well as any old balances.  So, in order to hire the right individual, you should ask questions regarding the ability to collect money.  The best way is to do a scenario where you are the patient without insurance and the perspective hire is the receptionist.  See how she responds to this time of questioning.   Does she tell the patient that the money is due today, or does she ask, “do you have money today?” A lot of people have hang-ups with money.  If the perspective hire can’t handle this question, then I just say, next.

In order to lead your team, everyone needs to be on the same page.  Set priorities, tasks, goals and deadlines.  Make sure you follow-up with the team member to make sure they understand these priorities and they are achieving them.

To learn more about setting priorities, check out the Top Practices Practice Management Institute.

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