Medical practitioners face numerous challenges in their efforts to protect and save lives. Besides the regular difficulties encountered during the treatment of patients, they also grapple with logistical and operational problems that hinder the smooth running of their medical practices.
Chief among the operational challenges that practice owners encounter is staffing problems. These problems jeopardize service delivery and consequently put medical practices at risk of losing clients and revenue.
As such, all practice owners need to understand these problems and know how to navigate them successfully. Below are five staffing problems that medical practices face:
1) Unprecedented loss of employees
Each year, more and more trained professionals graduate and get into the job market. However, this fact doesn’t make it easy to deal with losing a member of staff. This is because new employees need to be retrained upon recruitment and this takes up time and effort that could be expended elsewhere.
Also, medical practices grow dependent on the special capabilities of certain employees, especially long-term employees. When such employees leave suddenly, operations they were in charge of tend to be affected. Finding competent replacements for such sudden departures is also very difficult.
Therefore, practice owners need to adopt cross-training of employees as a means of combating this problem. By equipping them with extra skills that are crucial to the smooth running of the practice, employees can step in whenever there is a gap so that operations can go on uninterrupted while a permanent solution is sought. If there are gaps in areas such as the front desk, technological solutions like remote backup front desks can also be very useful.
2) Low employee productivity
Low productivity of employees is another staff problem facing medical practices. Most times, physicians who double up as practice owners are usually very busy with their technical responsibilities. This makes it difficult for them to constantly supervise their staff.
The result is that employees end up neglecting some duties or taking too long to do their assigned tasks. Other employees take advantage of this absence of constant supervision to engage in their own activities during office hours. This consequently leads to low labor productivity and problems in service delivery.
To remedy this, practice owners have to set aside time from their busy schedules to oversee other front and back-office operations. Also, they can adopt the use of technology in monitoring the individual productivity of employees. This way, practice owners can avoid paying hefty salaries for non-productive staff, something that negatively affects the profitability of the practice.
3) Stiff competition for quality human resources
Any occupational roles that are either medical or closely associated with medicine call for sharp skills and high levels of competence. This is because the stakes are high since people’s lives and health are involved.
As such, medical practices are always caught up in competing for the best people to recruit into their businesses to fill the various posts. This makes it fairly hard to get quality employees who can be relied upon to deliver on their duties competently while working well as a team with other colleagues.
This calls for practice owners to always be ahead of the curve in identifying and recruiting potential workers who can help them achieve their objectives. Besides that, owners also have to provide adequate incentives for these employees to continue working in their practices so that they can avoid having to seek replacements often.
4) Employee dissatisfaction
Jobs in the field of medicine are very demanding. In extreme cases such as a pandemic, things can get very stressful for medical practitioners. And while it’s the physicians who carry the heaviest burden, the staff who work in medical practices also bear the brunt of having to handle many patients who are all in urgent need of attention.
Therefore, staff members are likely to become overworked and fatigued if the situation is not monitored. This can lead to job dissatisfaction and sunken motivation levels among employees, eventually causing a decline in productivity. In dire cases, employees may even resign as a result of the pressure.
To ensure that employees do not become overwhelmed and burn out, practice owners have to make work schedules flexible and worker-friendly. Even when times of crisis may call for longer working hours, ways of making the work bearable have to be devised. Additionally, a robust reward system for boosting employee morale should also be put in place.
Being understaffed is yet another staffing problem facing medical practices. This problem is especially likely to occur if the rate of your business’s growth outstrips the rate at which you recruit new staff.
This could be due to various reasons, such as trying to keep business overheads low or searching for employees with the right competencies to work at your practice. Regardless of the reason, being understaffed can have undesirable consequences, including lower quality of work, operational inefficiencies, and heavier workloads for existing employees.
If critical areas such as the front desk are understaffed, your practice stands to record significant losses in revenue. This is because the front desk is where patients first come into contact with your medical practice.
If your staff fails to pick their calls, puts them on hold for too long, or does not treat them well, they are likely to abandon your practice and search for another healthcare provider. Therefore, it is important to ensure that in cases where your staff cannot attend to patients, you have a remote backup front desk to attend to them.
Meet UPbook Concierge, Your Remote Backup Front Desk
When it comes to your practice’s front desk operations, nothing should ever be left to chance. The kind of experience patients get at the front desk determines to a large extent whether they will stick with you as their healthcare provider or if they will get an alternative.
By integrating a 5-Star backup front desk into your practice, you can streamline your front desk operations and make them much more efficient. UPbook Concierge ensures that no patient calls are missed or held for too long. Instead, calls from your patients will be picked up instantly by a live receptionist and they will be attended to cordially.
Once the live receptionist establishes the caller’s need, the call is relayed to the relevant staff who can offer support. UPbook also offers useful features such as conversational texting, employee performance stats, and automated rewards. It is also very affordable, as charges are only made on dialed calls or outgoing messages.
Ready for your 5-Star remote backup front desk
Are you seeking a reliable 5-star remote backup front desk? Choose UPbook today and transform your practice’s front desk operations to help you acquire and retain more patients for optimal profitability. Click here to learn how UPbook works or contact UPbook support staff directly to help you install this wonderful remote receptionist today.