The world of healthcare is increasingly competitive. With numerous clinics opening and patients discovering more options through referrals and Google searches, doctors find acquiring and retaining patients more difficult. What needs to happen in most practices is what is happening to the world around us – disruption.
Disruption requires breaking the status quo while doing things other doctors, clinics and hospitals aren’t. Disruption creates elimination of rote habits so that the number of patients, productivity and staff satisfaction increase. One of these disrupters is very simple. It is simply the art of service and support. Nurses need to be hired based on specific qualities so that the culture becomes more patient centered. Additionally, hiring based on certain innate skills also assists with staff productivity, morale and job satisfaction.
After years of research, I find there are 5 very specific qualities you should consider when hiring your nursing staff.
1. Patient centered
Patients are the lifeblood of the practice and all focus, energy and empathy revolves around them. Research for my book (with over 100 doctors, including clinics) illustrates that lack of patient-centered staff leads to higher patient attrition. This harms overall revenue.
With a myriad of paperwork, patients and sometimes even physicians to deal with, nurses must be expedient in determining the required information in a succinct timeframe.
Shy or introverted is nothing bad; however, physicians require communicative staff to help office flow and efficiency. Additionally, a communicative nurse empathizes with patients and services them by communicating with feedback and follow up to help improve the patient experience. The one area that facilitates a well-run practice is a communicative staff, which also includes the doctor.
Nurses should have the innate skills to aid in providing resolutions and solving issues.
If there is anything that ruins morale amongst staff, it is lack of commitment. In research from over 500 firms, I find that when staff is uncommitted to patients or even the physician, there is more dissatisfaction and internal fighting among staff.
Clearly, hiring takes time and in today’s competitive and overworked world there is not an easy solution. Yet, hiring must become proactive, rather than reactive. Taking the time, eliminating hurdles and hiring correctly might be the one item that disrupts your practice enough to create the results you seek.
Drew Stevens, PhD, is a practice management expert with 7 books including Practice Acceleration. Dr. Stevens can be reached at www.stevensconsultinggroup.com or 877-391-6821.