For any team to work well together, it is vital that each player know how their individual role fits into the big picture of what the organization is trying to achieve. It is why the football coach gathers the entire team together before the big game to discuss strategy. Equally important is that the players with similar functions or who are working on common projects stay connected and informed regarding their goals and objectives. It is why the quarterback calls for a huddle with the offense before a big play.
To keep your team cohesively moving together toward a common purpose, management must communicate in an organized and consistent manner. The most effective way to do this is by meeting regularly with your team. These are the 5 meetings that I recommend every manager incorporate into their medical office.
1. Office Staff Meetings
Whether you schedule them weekly or monthly, regular meetings with your entire office staff go a long way toward keeping everyone functioning as a single, efficient entity rather than as several disjointed departments. Staff meetings are also a very effective way to communicate policy and procedure changes, discuss company goals, disseminate information regarding compliance issues, etc. Discussing these things in an organized fashion with all staff present keeps everyone on the same page and prevents misinformation or lack of information from becoming a problem in your office.
2. Department Meetings
In most of our offices we have staff doing similar jobs that have challenges and concerns unique to that specific role they fill. Conducting periodic department meetings separate from your Office Staff meetings will enable you to focus some time on issues pertaining to that specific department, such as communicating information regarding new clinical policies or services to your Medical Assistants.
3. Team Lead Meetings
Do you have staff in your office that have, either officially or unofficially, taken on leadership roles in their department? Meeting weekly with those who are assisting you to lead your staff is an invaluable way to ensure that the messages you want communicated and the goals you want reached are being consistently and accurately relayed. Opening this forum for those taking the lead to communicate their observations and concerns to you will also result in a stronger relationship with that leadership staff, helping those individuals to further develop their leadership skills.
4. Physician Meetings
Are your goals for your office the same goals your physicians have? Do the doctors in your medical office understand the steps you are taking to reach those goals? If not, could it be a communication problem? Conducting periodic meetings with your physicians, taking the time to listen to and address their concerns and issues, but also communicating to them your well-thought out, specific plan for how to achieve your common goals, will add to the peace and overall functionality of your office. Meeting with them to ensure that they understand what you are doing creates an environment in which you are working with your physicians and not against them.
5. Manager Meetings
If you are fortunate enough to work in a practice with multiple offices and office managers, then take advantage of this opportunity. If not, seek out groups and organizations that are geared toward office or practice management and utilize the resources those provide. Your best and most valuable asset as a manager can be other managers who share your same challenges and goals. Whether these meetings are created formally by your administrators or are informal gatherings you coordinate yourself, use your fellow managers and benefit from their experience and their knowledge.
We all know that communication is the key to any successful venture. Ask any football coach or quarterback and they will tell you that it is not enough just to take the ball and run with it. The rest of your team needs to understand where you are going and how you plan to get there. Meetings are an effective and vital way to make sure your entire team understands what play you are running and what their part is in it.
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