Investing in the development of your staff can be an investment into the success of your practice.
By Kathy Mills Chang, MCS-P
Would you be surprised to know that 60 percent of chiropractic assistants (CAs) feel they are not adequately trained to do the job required of them?
A lack of training can lead to frustration, which ultimately turns into the high turnover rate most chiropractors experience with their staff. This turnover rate often lends to the owner’s frustration, creating a sense of unease.
CAs should always be a key element of your practice. As of 2012, employees ranked “opportunities to use my skills and abilities” as the number-one desire in the workplace. To end staff turnover, invest in the development of the individuals who you trust to help run your practice on a day-to-day basis. This investment pays off with a well-educated, well-trained team who feels satisfied in their role as a valuable CA.
When your employees are knowledgeable and feel like a part of something, their performance increases. It creates a pleasant environment and well-cared for patients.
Practices are busy and struggle to get each day’s tasks accomplished. Set aside time on a regular basis for the ongoing training that is often needed for your employees.
The following list details the various types of training available:
In-office training: Who is the best person to teach your team about chiropractic and your practice philosophy? You.
Schedule weekly or monthly training to review industry terminology, how chiropractic works, and anatomy training. Also, as you develop policies and procedures for your practice, make time to explain your expectations.
When a new person joins your team, have procedures in place for them to learn how your practice functions including phone skills, procedures, compliance programs, how to work with patients, etc. If their position requires specific knowledge such as billing and coding or insurance verification, ensure that they get detailed information before beginning their new role.
Remember, no team member should ever work with protected health information (PHI) without required HIPAA training. That should be completed on the first day, before they touch a file or answer a phone.
Out-sourced, in-office training: Are there areas of practice in which you and your team could benefit from additional training?
Online training often gives everyone the opportunity to gain additional knowledge that can be implemented into your practice by registering for and viewing webinars or online tutorials geared specifically toward the chiropractic practice.
This is an opportunity for everyone to learn together and strategize on ways to implement this training in your practice. Often, one individual may be assigned to study a topic. They learn new or updated information pertaining to chiropractic and then bring that knowledge to everyone in house by scheduling a team training session.
You will invest in this team member becoming the expert, and then they can help the practice become more empowered by sharing their new- found knowledge with everyone on staff. Learning from the comfort of your practice is a cost-effective way to stay on top of necessary training without a major investment.
Seminars: These are a great way for you to incorporate team-building with team to incorporate team-building with team training. When you and your team members are able to travel and immerse yourselves into chiropractic subject matter, it’s beneficial in two ways.
First, you are fully committed to the subject being taught because there are few interruptions. Second, you are creating a bond with your team by doing something together outside of the normal day-to-day grind.
Seminars range from very specific areas of practice such as compliance or Medicare training to those that cover several areas of practice. As with online training, it may be beneficial to send one or more team members to get the full benefit of the training. The goal is to bring those team members back to the practice and set aside an appropriate amount of time for them to share what they’ve learned with you and your other team members.
Set the expectation with your team as to what you will require when they return. Seminars are a valuable investment, allowing experts in your field to empower you and your team with knowledge.
Publications: These offer a great way to get up-to-date information on what is happening in the industry. Not only will you get interesting and useful articles written by industry experts, but you often get information on new products and services that are available.
Sign up to receive any publications that are available for your field and use them to better educate yourself and your team.
When you find an article that would be beneficial, make copies and spend 15 minutes during your team meeting to discuss how the information fits into your practice.
On-site training: There are opportunities to have experts come in to do on-site training with your group.
This can be a great way to learn together as a team and get instruction specific to your practice. When hiring someone to come in, make sure everyone will be present and fully committed to learning new skills and information.
On-site training is beneficial, and may be just what your practice needs to either get up-to-speed in certain areas of practice, or to completely overhaul what is currently not working. Sometimes, you can even partner with another local DC to cost share, and have private training at a fraction of the cost.
Throughout the year, use all of the above training opportunities to learn and grow your personnel and your practice. Mix and match training styles to suit the area of practice that you are building through training.
As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your team has the knowledge and tools they need to properly perform their job duties. Remember that training your team helps them feel empowered as a member of your practice. The investment for training is nominal when you consider the pay-off: a better equipped and more committed work force.
Kathy Mill Chang, MCS-P, has been providing DCs with reimbursement and compliance training, advice, and tools to improve the financial performance of their practices since 1983. She also serves as Foot Levelers’ insurance advisor. She can be reached at 855-832-6562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.