Want to improve engagement at your next medical office staff meeting? Best intentions don’t always result in successful outcomes. You can become a better team leader with good preparation and a little ingenuity. Read on for tips that will help you turn a sub-par meeting into a forum that meets objectives. The formula is simple: start with "why", create your outline, and stay focused.
Why Are Staff Meetings Essential For a Medical Office?
Authors have earned millions with best-selling books focused on this three-letter word, “WHY”. The best office, the best team, the best plan starts with why. It cannot be overemphasized. Why are you holding a staff meeting? What is the purpose? What do you hope to gain? Here are some “why’s” to consider:
Staff meetings help streamline operations by:
- reducing interruptions during the workday to answer questions.
- eliminating task repetitions because someone did not know about a recent change.
- lessening the interchange necessary to make a decision.
Staff meetings increase productivity by:
- clarifying who is going to do what duties when.
- answering specific questions staff members have about their duties.
- reducing incidences of “crisis” management.
Staff meetings generate better decisions by:
- providing a structured forum for both clinical and non-clinical staff.
- promoting two-way communication to discuss issues and solve problems.
How Can You Conduct a Successful Staff Meeting?
Once you’ve established your whys, you can put more structure and shape to your meetings with some of these tips and best practices:
- Use a written agenda and stick to it.
- Set a consistent date and frequency that makes the most sense.
- Ask the physician(s) to attend.
- Make the meetings mandatory.
- Encourage everyone to speak but don’t let complaints hijack the meeting.
- Set aside time to talk about “fun” issues like birthdays, vacations, weddings, etc.
- Set specific meetings for larger discussions. (See ideas for discussion topics below.)
Plan time in your agenda to discuss a specific issue or topic that your office may be grappling with such as no-show appointments, compliance procedures, or the increase in rejected claims. Involving staff in problem-solving helps improves engagement, and culture overall. Here are a few general areas for consideration:
- Coding and medical claims management
- Patient relations
- Patient identity theft
- Changes in CLIA, OSHA, and Medicare guidelines
- Preparation for changes in health care guidelines
- Front office improvements
Meetings don’t have to be dull and unproductive. Create a structure that works for your clinic and you’ll be on your way to more exciting and productive meetings.
Learn more about leading your team at pmiMD.com. Practice Management Institute is a leading provider of training and certification for medical office professionals. Learn more about the Certified Medical Office Manager curriculum here.