March 22, 2019
Who has time to for training, anyway? It’s easy to fall victim to that mentality when there are patients to see, staff to manage, and everything else that is thrown your way on any given day. While one way to go about training your staff is to throw them to the wolves and see who survives, that can have catabolic effects on employee retention, staff morale, security, and the patient experience.
There’s no need to do all things for all people, and there’s no reason to finish that sentence above the old-fashioned way (if you want it done right… do it yourself). Proper training instills staff with the confidence to do their job well. This will permeate through to your team’s culture and your patients will sense it as well. A little more ‘work’ up front is a win-win.
What’s the big deal? A well-trained team can impact your practice in many ways from patient satisfaction to increased security. When staff are more proficient at their roles, patients visits flow more smoothly, the patient has positive interactions with your team, and patient satisfaction soars. Well trained staff are also better able to reduce security risks when working with Personal Health Information (PHI) and patients.
Yes, but also no. It’s important to differentiate that there are two types of training. Onboarding training for a new hire and ongoing training on a regular basis for the existing staff. This post focuses on the latter.
In our experience, some of the strongest practices we’ve seen host consistent, ongoing training for their teams. This can be a lunch and learn, or any other format that works for your team to get together and learn at the same time.
You can certainly rely on video training for basic information that the whole team needs to be aware of. But don’t discount the benefits of interaction. Whether you have a formal training session, a structured time for employees to shadow others, or a group discussion about policies and procedures, those conversations will drive improvements for the whole team overall.
You’re probably thinking: that sounds great – but what do we talk about? Everyone should know their job by now, right? There are 100 things to train your team on. You can create awareness between departments by allowing each department to take a training session and walk the other staff through their responsibilities. This awareness will improve overall clinical workflow as staff realize how their specific role impacts others around them. It allows each department to share the value they add to the process each day and allows the team to work together to fix inefficiencies or drains on the workflow.
Training is necessary annually and should always be on your radar. Staff are all experts in different areas inside and outside of work, give them the opportunity to come to you with their ideas as well. Still at a loss? Reach out to your peers at other practices to get a few ideas.
Think of vendors as an extension of your team. They are an additional layer of expertise to rely on and can provide excellent training opportunities. For instance, at Systeem, we’ll partner with our clients to host valuable training opportunities. We go over basic troubleshooting processes for technology, and how to provide the best-possible information so that tickets are handled as quickly as possible. This educates the staff on their technology and it also allows us to serve their needs more efficiently as well. It’s a win-win!
Your technology partner can also help provide examples of other, similar practices and how they train their staff, best practices, and shared knowledge. True partnership with your vendors can lead to sharing of vital information!
We might not be your technology vendor yet, but we’re still sharing! Having the benefit of working with a variety of medical practices for many years, we’ve learned a few training strategies that we wanted to pass along to you today.
Don’t set it and forget it. Training should evolve with your team.
Take a hard look at policies and procedures. Crowd-sourcing feedback to policies can lead to marked improvement.
You’re never too busy to train! If anything, not training your staff up front can lead to increased delays in your workflow over time.
Work with your schedule. You know best when most of your staff have 30 minutes to spare. Find time to get the team together and train as many people as possible.
Start small. You don’t have to roll out a massive training strategy. Aim to do something quarterly, and document it as you go.
Now that we’ve shared our favorite training tips, we’d love for you to do the same. Drop us a note or Tweet at us: What’s your favorite way to train your team?
Becca comes to Systeem after earning her M.A. and M.B.A from Southern Methodist University. She has a passion for writing and sharing ways practices can find peace with technology.