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5 Essentials of Staff Training for Your Medical Practice

AUTHOR: SyberScribe, February 25th, 2020

Want to make your medical practice staff more productive and efficient? Or do you want to improve both the quality of care you give to patients and your bottom line? Either way, training your staff in all aspects of their duties and responsibilities is the key. It may cost time, money and effort, but the pros far outweigh the cons. So if you’re ready, we’ve put together five top things to focus on when training your medical practice staff.

The importance of having well-trained staff in a medical practice

According to healthcare studies conducted between 2013 and 2017, having well-trained staff provides a range of benefits for your medical practice, such as:

  • Reducing patient mortality by 13%.
  • Improving reaction times to patient needs by 18%.
  • Increasing employee learning by 29%.
  • Improving teamwork performance by 17%.
  • Improving clinical task performance by 32%.
  • Reducing medical errors by 18%.
  • Increasing skill-based transfer by 26%.
  • Improving safety climate for both patients and staff by 11%.
  • Decreasing length of stay in a unit other than intensive-care by 6%.
  • Increasing patient satisfaction by 13%.

Training your medical practice staff can also help boost morale and improve employee satisfaction, and, in turn, reduce turnover. It’ll also help increase employee productivity as weaknesses are addressed and improved upon. What’s more, training can improve your bottom line.

Most important things to focus on when training medical practice staff

1. Communication skills

Your front desk staff should have excellent communication skills. Since they’re the first people that a patient interacts with, you should emphasise to them the importance of listening to the patients. This’ll allow them to correctly answer every question the patient asks. Also train them to speak clearly so that patients understand everything they say.

When handling phone calls, tell your front desk staff to answer calls before the third or fourth ring. They should also use a warm and welcoming tone in order to leave a positive impression on callers.

2. Medical billing

Make sure your medical billing staff are up-to-date on the latest coding rules (i.e. current procedural terminology (CPT) codes), so that they choose the correct procedure code when completing insurance claims. This’ll ensure that claims aren’t denied, allowing for effective revenue cycle management, and that you can bill patients properly.

What’s more, your medical billing staff should be familiar with the codes that are specific to your specialty.

3. Patient collections

Your patient collections staff include the front desk staff and the medical billers. Train your front desk staff to carefully verify insurance coverage before patients see the doctors. They should also explain the payment policies to patients so they understand their financial responsibilities, as well as inform patients of the exact cost of a procedure so they can determine if they can afford it or not.

If you use billing software to collect payments from patients, train your medical billing staff on how to use the software properly so they don’t make any billing mistakes. You should also develop and create a payment process that’s easy to follow for your patients to help improve patient collections at your practice.

4. Health and safety

You should train all your medical practice staff on health and safety, such as following standard medical procedures specific to their job. Also consider your workplace conditions when training your staff, including health and safety hazards.

Training your staff to show others respect, actively listen to others, and encourage others to speak up can help create an environment that protects everyone’s psychological safety. You should also create a climate for teamwork by having healthcare professionals from multiple departments work together. This’ll help make your staff feel like a team and that they belong.

Additionally, you should incorporate more robust performance measurements and foster multidisciplinary collaboration to improve patient health and safety.

5. Using devices and technology/software

Have your front desk staff use automated appointment reminders that send patients a text or email reminding them about their scheduled appointment. This’ll reduce no-shows and save you time and money.

If you bought a new medical device, train relevant staff on how to use it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You can provide peer-to-peer training or in-depth training to a handful of staff members who can become your ‘super users’. You can also hold short informational sessions focusing on specific parts of the device, problems that may occur, and solutions to those problems. Moreover, you should develop a competency assessment where staff members demonstrate their ability to properly and safely operate a device.

If you’re using a new electronic health record (EHR) system, provide training as you would with a new medical device, but designate one or two tech-savvy ‘super users’ and only train staff on areas they’re going to use. For example, your medical billing staff need to learn how to find insurance information and billing codes, send messages to a physician, and submit an electronic claim. Physicians or nurses will need to learn how to transfer a chart, view test results, and enter a diagnosis.

Things you can choose to outsource

a) Medical transcription

Outsourcing your medical transcription services means you only have to pay per transcription job, rather than pay staff members hourly rates or salaries to transcribe audio files. Plus, if your practice’s doctors aren’t transcribing their own notes, they could spend more time with their patients. Good medical transcription services offer accurate, reliable and timely transcriptions, and among these is SyberScribe.

b) IT management

You can also choose to outsource IT management for services such as software development and infrastructure in order to cut costs.

Outsource your medical transcription services to SyberScribe

SyberScribe provides a secure, tailored, low-cost outsourced medical transcription service to the Australian healthcare industry via our Internet-hosted dictation and transcription platform. So if you’re considering medical transcription services, check out outsourcing FAQs or contact us online.