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Good morale makes your job as a chiropractor easier and usually leads to a better perception of your staff, care, and clinic.
By making morale a priority, you can boost patient retention and increase referrals.
Follow these suggestions to help improve morale and make your patients happier. Keeping a happy patient is usually easier and cheaper than replacing one who leaves your practice, so these tips are well worth your consideration.
Create a positive environment for patients
First, look for changes you can make in your office that create an upbeat and positive atmosphere. You need to be sure that patient perceptions are positive throughout. The entrance to your clinic, the front desk, waiting room, and hallways are likely the first parts of your office patients will see. Your staff members interact with patients regularly and will probably be the first to greet new patients. These are more than just first impressions—these are opportunities to make patients feel acknowledged and cared for.
Improve patient morale by:¹
- Hiring the right staff. When you hire, look for people with naturally positive, happy personalities. Positive employees help patients feel better and create a more professional atmosphere. While most people can be trained to follow procedures and apply methodology, it is harder to ask someone to change their personality or feelings. So hire positive staff from the start and they can help you build a great environment for patient morale.
- Encouraging patient participation and understanding. Confused patients are often unhappy patients. Be sure that your patients know exactly what to expect from their appointments, what you expect of them between appointments, and when they will hear test results. Consider creating a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list with answers to post on your website or have as a printout available at your front desk. Make sure patients feel comfortable making suggestions, asking questions, and getting involved in their care.
- Being attentive. Giving eye contact is one way to communicate to patients that you are listening and genuinely care about what they have to say. Train your staff to do this, too. Remind them frequently that they have a great deal of power to increase the quality of care and make patients feel important. Although patients are not customers, remembering to provide good customer service can go a long way.
These are all patient-focused changes that may help your patients feel better, cooperate with their treatments and refer others to your office.
Build a supportive work environment
You can also make changes to the work environment in your office. This can help increase morale among your employees, which then in turn can have a positive effect on your own work and your patients’ morale.²
Consider ways to improve your employees’ efficiency and make the workday flow better. You might need to try workflow mapping to discover unnecessary steps hidden in your office processes. Look to identify common non-standardized procedures, mistakes, learning gaps, or some other issue that needs to be addressed. If a particular process is unnecessarily tedious or inefficient, it may be a source of frustration for your employees and may require your attention.²
Encouraging your office to divide up the available tasks and specialize may also help improve work morale. For example, one office employee could be responsible for answering new patient questions while another could respond to insurance inquiries. Alternatively, your staff could divide their day’s workload and devote each block of time to similar tasks. This suggestion may also help smaller offices that have one office employee.²
Remember to listen to your employees, also. They may be more inclined to provide feedback if you create opportunities for them to share their ideas, opinions and suggestions. Staff meetings can be a great forum for small and large offices to share ideas, but you may also consider having a suggestion and feedback box just for staff members.²
Building good morale is a constant process. Become a student of patient and employee morale-building and look for ways to improve. This way, you may just get happier patients and employees, making your workday that much easier and more effective.
About ACOM Health
ACOM Health is your trusted partner for the long term. We are a division of ACOM Solutions, Inc., a 32 year old U.S. based corporation that supports thousands of businesses and healthcare organizations worldwide.
¹Roberts, L. “Six Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores.” Physicians Practice. http://www.physicianspractice.com/physician-compensation/six-ways-improve-patient-satisfaction-scores. Published May 2015. Accessed September 2016.
²Hording, G and Weida, T. “Tips for Boosting Efficiency and Morale.” Fam Pract Manag. http://www.aafp.org/fpm/1999/0700/p47.html. 1999 Jul-Aug;6(7):47-48. Accessed September 2016.