Office staff play a critical role in the success of any chiropractic office. They are responsible for ensuring efficient workflow, keeping patients comfortable and ensuring that everyone is happy with the experience they have at your office. However, this work can be challenging, especially if you don’t approach it in the right way. In this article, we’ll look at some common challenges faced by office staff and how you – the chiropractor – help to overcome them:
1. Not Understanding The Practice
It’s important for the office staff to understand the practice, the patient needs, and what procedures are involved. This understanding not only includes what services are offered, case types, and appointment types. More importantly, understanding the practice is also knowing its mission and vision, mastering its systems and processes, and fitting in the company culture.
It’s easy to see if the staff truly understands the practice even before a patient comes through the door. Is your patient schedule all over the place? Do they have to check in with you when they are asked a question? Does it seem like your therapies make patients feel rushed? Are your staff taking days off all the time?
These scenarios happen when the office staff have no or little understanding of your practice.
The good news is you can easily prevent this from ever happening. All it takes is a comprehensive onboarding process and a whole lot of patience. Your onboarding process should cover all aspects of your practice: from the services offered, all the different office forms, case types and appointment types, to chiropractic quick facts, service attitude, and their training schedule.
2. Negative Attitude
Attitude is everything.
Chiropractic being a service-based industry, attitude IS everything – and it should be a positive service attitude. If one person in the office has a bad day or isn’t getting along with another employee, it can spread throughout the entire office like wildfire.
One person can ruin it for everyone else. If this person has a negative attitude, it will be reflected in their interaction with patients and other staff members. Do they smile? Are they helpful? Do they communicate in an open, friendly manner? Is their tone of voice pleasant?
The best way to address this is to make sure that you are training your staff properly when it comes to dealing with patients. Role playing how they interact with patients – yes, that includes smiling and tone of voice – can be a powerful and effective way to foster positive service attitude.
Another way to work out this issue especially if it’s office drama is to talk to each staff during your one-on-one meeting. You don’t have to call them out each and every time or they’ll be walking on eggshells leading to even worse behavior. Address this during your one-on-one meeting and iron out issues there and then.
3. Poor Communication
Communication is the backbone of any successful team. Communication can be challenging in the workplace because it’s not just about talking; it’s also about listening and understanding what others are saying.
People have different communication styles however you can make sure there is open and effective communication within the practice by standardizing this process. In our office, we have six ways to communicate: talking, notes, communication form, call, text messaging and, our favorite, email. Each one serves a different purpose.
We also have different types of meetings to make sure that everyone is on the same page. We do weekly one-on-one meetings, weekly staff meetings, quarterly meetings, and yearly meetings. With all these meetings, team communication is very open which allows for a very smooth workflow.
4. Inefficient Workflow
An inefficient workflow is yet another common challenge with office staff in a chiropractic office, especially a busy one. You must have a streamlined workflow in the office in order to provide high quality service to your patients. No matter how good your clinical skills are, if your workflow can’t keep up with it then you will not be able to sustain the volume of patients that’s coming into your practice.
Long waiting time, a lot of missed/no show appointments, open slots not filled in, seemingly hurried appointment times to accommodate the next one – these all indicate that your workflow needs some work.
Get everyone on board with what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. This means that everyone has to commit, otherwise things will fall through the cracks and this can lead to poor patient care and poor morale among staff members.
With a comprehensive onboarding and training process, everyone knows how to do their job. This process will take time and effort but it’s worth it in the end because it leads to better care for your patients and happier staff members.
These are just some of the most common challenges that many practices have when it comes to dealing with office staff. While it can seem overwhelming at times, there are ways to overcome these problems and make your practice run smoothly. If you’re looking for more information about how to hire the right people for your practice, check out this valuable free resource!