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Is Staffing A Nightmare In Your Office?

March 22, 2012

Perhaps one of the greatest Human Resource challenges in your office is staffing. When there are only one or two staff members in an office and one person calls in ill or has a last minute emergency, it often leaves the practice short-handed. There are not enough other employees to cover for that employee. Large offices have more people to “move around” but how can you move someone when there is no one to move?

Most difficult is coverage when an employee takes time off. Whether it is a single day or a week’s vacation, redistribution of personnel is often a challenge.

What can you as a manager do to alleviate the issues that arise ?

  • Be creative in your scheduling. Look for ways to add coverage without a lot of extra dollars.
  • Encourage time off for employees when the physician is away from the office.
  • Have more part time staff who may be willing to add hours when needed.
  • Utilize temporary agencies to fill the need. Of course, the time it takes to train a temporary employee may take longer than you need the person.
  • Look for 0n-call workers who may be able to substitute on a regular, as needed basis. That would allow you to call the same person each time you are short-staffed.
  • Hire a high school or college student who is available during summers to fill in for employees on vacation.
  • A mom with childen in school may be an option. You know her availability and when she is not available, yet she may be able to fill a need in your practice.
  • A senior citizen looking for occasional hours may be an option.
  • Offer overtime for the employees you already have.
  • Motivate and appreciate your current employees to promote loyalty. Those employees will be more likely to help out when you need extra help.

Creativitiy and planning ahead may be enough to help you get through your challenging staffing needs.



Make the most of your time

November 13, 2011

It is always amazing to me how fast time passes. We think ahead and say something is months away and then in the blink of an eye it is here and gone. So, I wonder how are you spending your time? Are you making the most of the time you have? Do you accomplish what you set out to do in a timely fashion?

There are ways to help improve on your time management. First, schedule everything in your day and as much as possible, stick to your schedule. Even menial tasks like opening the mail, taking a break and returning telephone calls should be scheduled into your day. Schedule time for the unexpected as well. That way, when something you were not planning on happens, you not only are prepared, but you have time to take care of it.

It is also important to organize your space. Your desk should be clear of clutter. Get rid of the “I know where everything is” pile. Use file folders to organize. Consider your desk prime real estate. What do you want and need in your space. Find the perfect location for your telephone and keep it in the same place all the time. The same thing should hold true for your paper clips, pens, note paper and stapler. Have a particular place for it and always keep it in its place.

Being organized on space and time will help you accomplish what you need to do when you need to do it. Now when you look back, you can feel like you made the most of your time.



ICD-10 Coding

May 3, 2011

Have you begun to prepare for ICD-10 coding which takes place on October 1, 2013? It seems like it is far away, but it is actually right around the corner.
Here is what you can do to prepare:

Conduct an impact analysis to determine how it will affect your practice
Contact your payers
Contact your vendors to verify they will have their processes in place
Contact your clearinghouse and/or billing service
Undergo installation of vendor upgrades
Conduct internal testing
Update internal processes
Conduct staff training
Conduct external testing with trading partners
Make the switch to ICD-10 on October 1, 2013.

Preparing yourself will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed!


February 22, 2011

Did you know that more employees leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated than over money? Yes, it is true. Employees may complain about money but that is not the primary reason they leave.

It should be easy to show appreciation. First off, a simple “Thank You” can do wonders. How about, “Great job! You really made a difference today” or “you did a great job handling that customer.” Your simple words can mean so much.

Another way of showing appreciation is writing a thank you note. You may even want to mail it to the employee’s home. That way they can show it off and know that you appreciate their efforts.

Having a “pot luck” lunch or ordering lunch may be an option as well. A small gift card can speak volumes about how you feel about the work your employees do. An extra afternoon off is also a great way to say thank you.

That said, appreciation does not have to cost money.  When you are creative you can be appreciative in many ways. Utilize staff meetings as a time to recognize those who “make a difference” in your workplace. My sister had a boss that each week at the staff meeting, she recognized one employee (everyone was selected at one time or another). She went on to say what that employee did that went above and beyond and why she was selecting the employee to recognize.

Little things can make a big difference. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Electronic Health Records

February 3, 2011

How many practices are hoping to purchase electronic health records in the next few months? Their goal: to prove Meaningful Use and be eligible for stimulus money. It is important to remember that not all practices will be eligible for stimulus money. Those practices that don’t see Medicare or Medicaid won’t be eligible.

When choosing a new EHR system it is important to do your homework. Review several systems, talk to other physician practices in your specialty and make sure you are buying the best one for you.

Cost is always a factor. There are many out that are cost effective but beware that it is CCHIT approved and will allow you to prove Meaningful Use.

Be prepared for an overwhelming process. Converting to electronic health records is major, but in the end if you have done your homework you will find that it will add value to your practice and your patients.

Contact a trusted consultant to help with the process. I am certainly willing to help you if you need.

Get In Shape For The New Year

December 30, 2010

New Years is a time for resolutions. Of course, the question is how many of us keep our personal resolutions? How about at the office. Make this a time to set goals for your business and what you want to accomplish during the next several months. Set a timeframe for accomplishing these goals.

New Years is a time for fresh starts. If your business has been doing poorly this past year, look for ways to increase revenue and strengthen relationships with business partners, vendors, customers and clients.

During the coming months I will offer ways to increase your revenue, build your business and gain clients.

Here is to a healthy, happy and prosperous year for you and your business.

Control Your Space Through Ergonomics

November 18, 2010

 Increasing comfort and efficiency should be a priority as it may have a great impact on your well being and productivity. For that reaon the design of your workspace should be taken into account.

Ergonomics is defined as the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. What types of changes can you make in the workplace to improve your comfort?

 Using a desk lamp rather than overhead or diffused lighting may have a positive effect on what you are doing. Preventing eye fatigue is just one of the benefits. Keeping your thermometer at 68-71 degrees will keep the room cool, but not too cold.

 The heights of your desk, your computer key board and the location of your computer screen all affect your comfort and vision. The type of your chair and its height also affect your comfort. The distance you sit from your computer will greatly affect your physical well being.

 Finally, the placement of items on your desk affect you’re your comfort and efficiency. For example, let’s think about the location of your telephone. How often are do you receive or make telephone calls? Where is the telephone located? Do you have to stretch to reach the phone or is it conveniently located? By placing your telephone in an easy to reach location, you are less likely to strain as you pick up the receiver.

Find ways to improve your comfort, well being and efficiency.