Remember to Communicate – Routines to Make Sure Your Messages Aren’t Misinterpreted

One thing I see offices struggle with is good communication. When you own your own private practice, you have to take on the leadership role and good communication is one thing that can immediately increase productivity and patient service.

Here are types of communication that may be lacking from your office. None of this is new, it is just really easy to forget how important it is when things get really busy.

Physician to physician. It is easy to make policy statements when you see something you don’t like. It may be the way you were scheduled or how the nurse handled a situation. If you are making a change that will affect how things are done going forward, talk with your partners first. You want to avoid putting your staff in a situation where they are saying things like “Dr. Miller likes it this way, but Dr. Carter wants you to do it like this.”

  • Consider a weekly 10-minute meeting and jot down your notes as you go through the week.

Staff communication – formal. Be transparent and tell them what is going on in the office. If you are thinking about adding headcount, let them know so they don’t just see an ad online. If you are concerned about some patient complaints, let the team know. They pick up on more than you think, but you want the interpretation to be yours, not theirs. You also might get some insight or information from the team that is invaluable.

  • Consider asking your office manager to have a weekly or bi-weekly meeting and email topics you would like her to cover for you. If it can’t wait for a meeting, use email as a tool to get communication out.

Staff communication – informal. You have to remember that you are the boss. What you do and say is subject to a lot of interpretation and team members usually think the worst. Go out of your way to say hello to everyone each morning, ask about their weekend, etc. It will go a long way towards building trust.

  • If small talk isn't something you are comfortable with, consider making it your weekly routine to ask everyone what their weekend plans are to have informal interaction.

Communication is key to any practice it can be such an easy thing to fix. Just don't let it be what slides when busy times hit.

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