From Internal To External Communication
Your practice may have two employees or two hundred. But every successful practice has one thing in common: a finely organized staff where employees understand their jobs and their functions.
Practices that end up on the scrapheap are those where few on staff truly understand the practice’s overall mission and employees are unclear exactly what they must do individually to succeed.
Successful practices have clearly defined descriptions and responsibilities of which all staff have a thorough understanding.
Setting boundaries detailing job duties establishes order. Job descriptions yield greater profits and eliminates duplication of efforts. You’re able to increase your ability to oversee production to ensure your practice is running smoothly.
How Do Job Descriptions Work?
Organized practices consist of staff members who understand their specific duties and how they function individually to help achieve the objectives of the whole. Staff members are specialists; they are individual parts in a machine that must work in unison.
When employees don’t understand their roles in your organization, they may perform the jobs of other employees or refrain from doing any work fearing they may be stepping outside their responsibilities.
Establishing job descriptions enables your practice to isolate and focus on areas that require attention while monitoring functions that operate smoothly.
The insurance biller, for example, who answers incoming calls for appointments means your front desk doesn’t understand or hasn’t been adequately trained to do its job. Meanwhile, the insurance biller’s job suffers because of the time spent on other duties.
How about the associate chiropractor who can’t spend sufficient time with patients because the chiropractor is filling out forms that other employees are overlooking?
Employees must understand their job functions and others’ as well. If front desk employees are calling insurance companies for reimbursement information because they don’t realize your practice already has someone on staff to perform those functions, your office is heading in the wrong direction.
Similarly, if you set up your practice so that your receptionist is doing your insurance billing, you will have problems growing. Of course, in a small company, each staff member may perform several jobs. But the manager and the employees must recognize the fact that the job roles are separate, and this opens the door to future expansion.
Your aim is to create ongoing production. How do you do that? With written job descriptions and roles, drilling of job descriptions, setting aside weekly training time to develop skills and posting written company policy in a central location in your practice.
Once you establish a system of responsibility and accountability for your staff and everyone understands the roles the others perform in your organization, the next step is ensuring your staff knows how to communicate – and with whom – to get tasks completed.
You must determine how information is conveyed. Is it through an internal text messaging system? How about email? A telephone call or a paper memo? And everyone must know and understand the method and medium of internal communication.
The next question involves protocol. To whom do you communicate? Let’s say you have a patient with questions or issues about insurance. Is the request sent to just anyone in that department or to the supervisor? Not only do you have to determine who you communicate with but how you communicate.
Once the information is transmitted, what kind of follow ups – if any – should the one who initiated the communication take? Who is responsible for ensuring cross-department traffic is received and completed? Ultimately, you are, but with a well-designed system, tasks get completed smoothly, messages get sent efficiently and your practice keeps humming along without the confusion and drama that comes from vaguely defined objectives and unclear job descriptions.
Learn more about sound practice management at Chiropractic Business Academy. We’re here to help you prosper.
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