Staff Retention Leads to a Successful Practice

Staff Retention Leads to a Successful Practice

I visit many practices throughout the year performing medical practice assessments.  One of the first items to review is staffing levels, length of service and each staff member’s role.  The administrator is a key component to engaging the staff.  Increasing the level of staff engagement can raise productivity 20% and reduce the probability of a staff member leaving by 87%.

Administrators who hire an employee for a specific position which is detailed in a job description makes the first step to communicating effectively.  Proper preparation for onboarding is essential to adding value to the employee/employer relationship.  The first day should begin with orientation, discussion of the handbook, employment paperwork and the introduction of the training plan.  More than 5% of employees leave a new job due to a disastrous first day.  It is important to equip a new employee with the tools to learn the job, such as a mentor and a checklist of key tasks they should be able to perform within a 90-day probationary period.

Once an employee is past the probationary period, goals should be set for development.  Ongoing communication and training are essential to engaging the employee and creating buy-in within the organization.

Annual evaluations are useful in rewarding good performance, and also setting goals for development.  An evaluation should not be the first time an employee learns of a performance problem.  Problems should be addressed at regular intervals with specific directions for improvement.  The evaluation should only report the need for continued improvement or acknowledgment of success.

During an office review, I sometimes find the administrator has simply turned new staff members over to the most knowledgeable employee. If the seasoned employee was not trained effectively, how successful could he or she be at preparing the new employee? The better performing practices have an effective training program, regular staff meetings and incentive programs to engage the staff.  I recently assisted a practice that had lost several key employees; they were paralyzed.  They could not even generate financial reports to realize the extent of their problems.  Your staff is your most valuable asset and losing them can be costly. It can cost 150% to replace a valuable employee considering loss of production and training time.

Cross-training staff to perform multiple task is a good way to assure you can get through a short-term absence or the timeline to replace an employee. Documented best practice workflows should be obtained from your practice management vendor and EHR vendor to ensure you can train appropriately. We are assisting practices in changing their employee bonus structure to reward performance and buy-in. Take care of your best asset, the staff you have trained and who know your practice. Warren Averett can assist you with all your recruiting and staff management projects.

MBI Transition Ends This Month: WILL YOU BE PAID ON JANUARY 1?

The 21 month transition period will end on December 31; use Medicare Beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) now.

  • You are currently submitting 86% of claims with MBIs.
  • Get MBIs from your patients and through the MAC portals (sign up) now and after the transition period. You can also find the MBI on the remittance advice.
  • Protect your patients from identity theft – use MBIs.

Starting January 1, if you do not use the MBI (regardless of the date of service) for Medicare transactions:

  • We will reject your claims with a few exceptions
  • We will reject all eligibility transactions

See the MLN Matters Article for more information on getting and using MBIs.

Article contributed by Tammie Lunceford, Healthcare and Dental Consultant, Warren Averett Healthcare Consulting Group. Warren Averett is an official Gold Partner with the Medical Association.

Posted in: Management, Members

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