One of my favorite books of all time is “Effective Phrases for Performance Appraisals, A Guide to Successful Evaluations” by James E. Neal, Jr. I have purchased many editions of this book through the years and I typically supply a copy of it to everyone in my practice who performs evaluations.
The contents of this book include:
- Effective Phrases (in 63 categories including accuracy, development, interpersonal skills, and motivation)
- Two Word Phrases (such as competing priorities, diversified approaches, fully prepared and team performance)
- Helpful Adjectives (such as adaptable, capable, perceptive, and systematic)
- Helpful Verbs (such as accomplishes, adheres, determines, and establishes)
- Performance Rankings (such as exceptional, unsatisfactory, and distinguished)
- Time Frequency (such as always, usually, rarely and seldom)
- Guidelines for Successful Evaluations (rate objectively, use significant documentation and factual examples, plan for the appraisal interview, emphasize future development, and emphasize the positive)
I have not always been excited to hear patient complaints. As a younger manager I absolutely dreaded when a patient wanted to speak to me. I felt that I had little to offer a patient who expressed anger or frustration with something that had happened and I was very impatient to get past the complaint and get back to my “job.”
Now, I can’t wait to hear patients’ complaints. Complaints are the only opportunity managers have to understand the patient’s experience and hear in their own words what went wrong for them. By listening carefully, you have the potential to accomplish several goals.
- You can heal the patient’s complaint, first by making sure the patient feels heard, and second by addressing the problem if something needs to be done.
- You can gain insight into an experience in the practice and dissect it to see why the problem occurred and what can be done to fix it.
- You can model to the staff how important patient complaints are and how seriously you take them. (more…)
This post is one of our top ranking posts of all time.
This tells me that people continue to struggle with the process of evaluating employee performance.
The point of the “5 Questions” evaluation is not to underline that the employee is often tardy or doesn’t complete assignments on time – those things should be dealt with outside of this process (remember the old adage “No new news at the performance evaluation.”) They can be added to #3 as goals, but the idea is to to dig under those things and see if the employee is dissatisfied, overwhelmed or under-challenged.
I typically use this form at 90 days after hire, then at the one year mark, then every 6 months thereafter.
Yes, evaluating this much is very time-consuming – but it pays BIG dividends.
Invest in your employees by using this form and meeting for at least an hour – you might be surprised that it’s one of the most in-depth evaluations you’ll ever do!
Mary Pat recently sat down with Peter Polack, MD of Medical Practice Trends for another podcast to talk about one of the most important parts of any practice: The Bottom Line. In this two-part podcast series, Dr. Polack and MP discuss ideas for cutting costs and raising revenue to strengthen any group’s financial position.
Mary Pat’s Note: This post has always been popular because it answers one of the most burning questions in Healthcare: “How can I improve my bottom line?” If you have used any of these ideas in your practice- or have some of your own to share- let us know in the comments below!
BUILD ON WHAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY DOING:
1. Add physician hours – add evening or weekend hours; start your office hours earlier and end hours later.
2. Reduce physician time off – decrease vacation or change weekly days off to 1/2 days off.
3. Set a minimum number of providers to be in the office seeing patients at all times the office is open.
4. Have each provider add one new patient visit to his/her schedule weekly.
5. Add ePrescribing to recoup additional Medicare revenue and streamline prescribing (there are free ePrescribing software packages available, but evaluate them carefully so they don’t add more complexity to the system instead of less.)
6. Report PQRI measures to recoup additional Medicare revenue.
7. Charge patients an out-of-pocket fee for completing patient forms – disability forms, etc. and reserve office visits for treating patients.
8. Choose an EMR that qualifies your practice for the ARRA money (although it has been widely promoted that in a larger practice, an EMR and its associated work will cost more than you will get from the government.)
9. If you are in an underserved or rural area, check to see if there might be grants or funds available locally, in the state or federally, for adding a service to your practice.
10. If your practice does Independent Medical Exams (IMEs), reviews records or depositions, make sure that your fee schedule for such services is current and that the fees are collected before the physician provides the service.
ADD TO YOUR CURRENT SERVICES:
11. Allergy testing & treatment
12. Dispensing pharmaceuticals
Mary Pat’s Note: This first ran in 2009 and it continues to be a visitor-favorite! If you are using it and added your own rules to it – leave us a note in the comments and share your own “Golden Rules.”
Sometimes employees do not understand or follow the most basic of workplace guidelines. Here is a simple but comprehensive list that you can tweak to make your own. It covers about 25 basics in a short list of ten “Golden Rules”. Make it part of each job description or personnel handbook and/or post it in strategic places.
- Report to work on time daily. Be ready at your desk to begin work at the designated time. Leave promptly for lunch and return to work when you should, unless you’ve made special arrangements with your supervisor. Take breaks on the honor system and do not abuse the privilege. Clock in and out faithfully.
- Command respect from the physicians, managers and employees of (your practice name here) by demonstrating total professionalism in the workplace with your dress, your demeanor and conversation. Represent the practice in a way that would make your Mother and your boss proud of you. Treat your co-workers as you would like to be treated.
- Be economical by not wasting time or supplies or doing sloppy work that must be re-done.
- Give every patient your total attention, patience and courtesy. Do not assume you know what the patient is going to say, but listen carefully to the patient (in-person or on the phone) so you can assist them to the best of your ability. Remember how good it feels to be the center of someone’s attention and give that gift to every single patient.
- Keep your supervisor aware of any problems in your workload, whether too much or too little. Do not expect your supervisor to know if you are falling behind or caught up.
- Document all interactions with patients and other medical facilities to assist your co-workers in knowing what you have done, and document your resolution of the situation to the customer’s satisfaction.
- Strive for a positive attitude every single day. Don’t whine.
- Be a team player. This means both covering for your co-workers and knowing that they will cover you. This means supporting your co-workers to their faces and behind their backs. This means having (your practice name here) goals for your goals, and knowing that your success will be your team’s success, and ultimately, the success of the practice.
- Clean up your own messes and act as an adult acts in the workplace: responsibly, maturely, and with thought for others. Accept blame for your own mistakes, knowing that everyone makes them, and that if no one is making any mistakes, nothing is improving.
- Contribute to making (your practice name here) a good place to work. Only you can create a place where everyone enjoys working. Only you can make this place a good place to be.
For more medical office rules, read “21 Common Sense Rules for Medical Offices.”
Photo credit: Barbara Helgason | Dreamstime.com