The medical industry is well aware of the need to improve patient satisfaction in order to further develop and grow a medical practice. There are many blogs written about this very subject to help practitioners learn how they can improve the patient experience. To properly market a medical practice, it is vital that practitioners improve the overall patient experience. One item that is often neglected is the job satisfaction of the employee. Dissatisfied employees can be a major catalyst for problems within the medical practice. Not many people will tolerate a medical practice that lacks a compassionate and friendly staff. There are things that medical practice leaders can implement to improve employee satisfaction and create a more balanced practice. In this article, I will share some tips that can easily be implemented to maximize employee job satisfaction which in turn, increases patient satisfaction.
Solicit Employee Recommendations
Soliciting recommendations from the entire medical team not only engages the employees in brainstorming activities, it make the employee feel that their opinion is of value. Medical practices that implement this, win because they gain valuable information from the staff that is in the trenches working with patients each day. In addition, their insight can help uncover unseen problems and solutions for free!
Choose New Technology Wisely
As the medical industry evolves, the need to update medical and information technology grows. In most cases, technology updates are a positive thing. Sometimes, however, technology can become a hindrance to the medical team by creating a more time consuming process for employees. For example, we learned of a hospital that implemented a new electronic medical record (EMR) system that required the medical staff to undergo a lengthy process for patient charting. This process multiplied the additional work for the provider and took the focus away from patient care. The added time thereby decreased the time they were able to spend with patients.
As mentioned, many areas of technology must be implemented and cannot be avoided. It is important, however, to poll your medical team to find out how the implementation of a new tool will affect their job. New technology should also be tested by the team who will be using it before investing in it to ensure success. If the addition is going to cause a decrease in quality of care, other suitable options should be investigated.
Provide A Relaxed Work Environment
A stressed work environment is taxing not only on the employee, but also the patient. Stress is something one can sense and negative energy from stressed employees will be felt by your patients. Medical practices can counteract this by providing a more fun, relaxed work environment. Laughter truly is the best medicine. If a medical practice can have fun with each other and the patient, while providing excellent care, they will create a more positive place for all involved. A great example of having fun at work is Raleigh Eye Center. They have a lot of fun on Halloween each year. Both the employees and the doctors get involved in the fun and dres up for the occasion! It is enjoyable for both patients and staff and is looked forward to each year.
Create a Flexible Work Space
Promoting flexibility and a work-life balance is very important for medical providers. Instances arise that require employees to come in early or work late. Management should encourage their employees to flex the hours worked by going home early another day.
Additionally, it is important for management to consider allowing staff members who can telecommute the ability to do so occasionally. Cisco recently discovered this in their TeleWorker survey where over 2,000 company employees were surveyed. It was widely found that there was a significant work-life flexibility, productivity and overall satisfaction as a result of their ability to work remotely.
A happy employee really does equal a happy patient. When considering how to market a medical practice, it is important to consider not only the patients happiness, but also the employees. By investing in the right employees and creating a positive work environment, medical practices will flourish.