BASIC OFFICE STAFFING AND HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
[Organizational Asset or Liability?]
By David Edward Marcinko
By Hope Rachel Hetico
An overburdened, overstretched executive is the best executive, because he or she doesn’t have the time to meddle, to deal in trivia, to bother people – Jack Welch
Every doctor in private practice knows the importance of their office administrator, or practice manager, to the operations and success of the practice. For example, one important person is the receptionist because, although patients may love you, they will consider your entire enterprise “rude” if not treated sincerely and with respect. If the office is large, then the receptionist, secretary or scheduling employee who answers the phone is just as important as you. Now, expand this scenario to appreciate how the entire medial office human resources [HR] continuum affects your business. HR may be a blessing or practice bane even without your knowledge.
In small offices, the receptionist and scheduling person often play dual roles and thus making the hiring decision even more critical. The receptionist needs to be top-notch in customer service and hiring someone with previous experience dealing with patients/customers might be the best approach. These front-line staff members directly bear the brunt of patients’ frustration and anger when the schedule is too tight to allow same-day service, or when they are told the laboratory results are not available, etc. So, you need to be sure to incent them, reward them, and tell them when they do a good job; or how to improve performance. Too often the front desk-staff are overlooked for extra training, or get smaller bonuses than the nursing staff or office manager because their pay is usually less. This may be a mistake. Treat them well and you’ll have less staff turn-over and your patients will appreciate the continuity of regular staff in your office.
The first step in hiring personnel is to determine the number of employees needed and their office function. Most practitioners choose to screen personnel independently. Disqualifying characteristics include: poor communication skills, abrasive personalities, transportation difficulties or a lack of other specific qualifications. Miscellaneous recruitment sources include college placement offices, medical assistance schools, secretarial schools or local state unemployment offices. Professional employment agencies are often good sources of potential employees for a busy practice but expect to pay a premium for the service. References and background checks may be performed though services such as: www.references-etc.com
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