Whether you’re a dentist, doctor, optician, or work in any other kind of healthcare practice, growing your business is likely at the forefront of your mind. Every healthcare provider wants to get more patients – and to increase the satisfaction of their existing client base, to ensure that their services get attention through word-of-mouth.
But what’s the best way to do this? Better marketing? Partnerships with hospitals and other physicians? Advanced technology that makes health reporting and monitoring easier?
No. While all of those are great ideas, there is one efficient way to grow your healthcare practice, and enhance staff and patient satisfaction simultaneously – staff education.
Staff education is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Educating your staff about best practices and providing them with further resources for career training and education is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Why? Because focusing on staff education helps reduce turnover, and boosts employee morale and engagement. Let’s discuss this in more detail now.
Staff Turnover – A Huge Challenge For Healthcare Companies
Staff turnover is a huge problem in just about every industry – but it’s an even more pointed issue in the healthcare services industry. Healthcare is stressful and difficult, and the long hours certainly contribute to a higher “washout” rate. The average turnover rate in 2017 was 20.6% – up from just 15.6% in 2010.
For comparison, the average turnover rate in all industries is 15%. Healthcare is only second to retail (60% turnover) and the service industry (100%+ yearly turnover) when it comes to washout rates.
But staff education can help reduce this problem. If you take the time to educate new staff members on how they should do their jobs, and provide them with mentorship and resources to become more effective employees, they are more likely to stick around – and become competent professionals.
Staff education also helps reduce staff turnover because employees feel that you are investing in them – and they will know that, as they continue to grow more knowledgeable, there may be paths to promotions and other career improvements in the future.
In addition, staff education is extremely important in healthcare because you often only get one chance to obtain – or retain – a patient. Your staff are the first people they will interact with, so a poor or negative interaction could mean that you lose that business forever, which is antithetical to future growth.
A Real-World Example – Staff Education In Action
Staff education has a huge effect on employee engagement. Why? Let’s take a look at a real-life scenario.
Let’s look at two different employees. They’re both receptionists at a small-to-medium sized physician practice, in an average-sized city. Let’s call one Joan, and the other Brian.
Neither Joan and Brian have worked as healthcare receptionists before. They both have experience in previous administrative roles.
Joan goes to work at Office A, and on her first day, she’s barely trained on the basics of patient intake, answering calls, and scheduling appointments. She’s just thrown into her role – and told to ask the other reception employees if she has any questions.
This continues for weeks. As time goes on, she becomes more competent – but she has to struggle through dozens of mistakes and errors, and she becomes insecure about her ability to perform the job effectively. After three months, she can barely handle the stress, and she’s become unhappy in her position, and begun resenting the practice for how they handled her training.
Now, let’s look at Brian. Brian starts work at Office B, where he is assigned a full course of online eLearning, with instructions on how to perform the basic tasks at the office. He spends a week reviewing these materials and working with another reception staff member to learn the basic skills of the job.
Then, he “shadows” another worker for a full work week – learning along the way. After two weeks of patient education, he’s placed at the reception office, and has his first full day of work. He has a few unexpected issues – but consults with the other staff members to resolve them.
Over the next few months, he continues to learn more about his role, and takes additional education courses, in an effort to become the healthcare administrator for the entire office. He’s happy with his role.
Who do you think is a more engaged, effective worker? Yep, it’s Brian. And studies have shown that employee engagement drives growth, and helps make your company more profitable.
Invest In Your Employees – And Invest In Your Business
Training your employees and investing in their future education doesn’t just drive down turnover – it helps you hire and promote employees internally, build a stronger sense of company loyalty, increase morale, and so much more.
So take advantage of this. Give your employees all of the time and resources that they need to educate themselves, and your healthcare practice is sure to grow.
We Are Here to Help
For more information about employee development, customer service training, and growing your practice, contact Points Group today.