Though many people think of this time of year as being filled with parties and holiday cheer, the end of the year can be a very stress-filled time in many offices. To help you survive the end-of-the-year insanity, here are five simple steps you can use to keep your cool and survive the year-end craziness in your office:
#1 DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
For many people, the holidays are a time of sadness and reminders of loved ones lost. You never know what a co-worker is experiencing at any moment, and their terse response probably has nothing to do with you at all. Remember to give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt rather than instantly assuming a defensive posture. A little kindness and understanding goes a long way this time of year.
#2 NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE DONE NOW
A lot of year-end reports or projects feel as if they must be done before the holidays, but an honest assessment might show that they can actually wait until after the new year when things have calmed down. Assess the priority of each project that is causing you stress and determine what the actual timeline can be for it. You may find the pressure you’re feeling is mostly self-inflicted.
It can be tough for a small business to compete with major marketing efforts this time of year, but there are still some creative approaches your office can employ that remind your patients of your presence as well as building good will throughout the year. The following are some simple techniques you can use to capitalize on the spirit of the season while keeping your name in front of current and prospective patients:
#1 Sponsor a Food Drive
Of all the activities that go on during the holidays, a demonstration of goodwill perhaps is most influential. A food drive is easy to organize, and the donations are guaranteed to help those most in need. You can post flyers, send out email or text messages, and put signs in your windows to advertise your collection. Coordinate with your local food bank (many will deliver boxes for collection and then pick up your donations for you), and then promote your collection dates and times.
#2 The Cost of a Stamp
Greeting cards during the holiday season are a friendly reminder of your services for your patients, your vendors and suppliers. You can include a coupon for a discount or a card to refer friends or family to your office. Not only are you creating a personal connection at an important time of year, but you are keeping your office at the forefront of your patients’ minds. If the holidays are too chaotic, consider sending a New Year’s card to remind patients of their New Year’s resolutions to take better care of themselves. Of course you can also choose to send a holiday e-Newsletter to stay connected to your patients at this time of year instead.
Most healthcare professionals have a basic understanding of the communications cycle:
It seems simple enough, but we know from experience that the communications process is much more complex than this. For example, it is generally believed that up to 93 percent of communication is nonverbal (38 percent tone of voice, 55 percent body language), leaving only seven percent of communication being dependent on words.
Understanding these important statistics, it is crucially important for healthcare providers and staff to be aware of common situations and how their own communication might be interpreted by patients.
Sometime within the last ten years, someone advised you that you needed a blog for your business, right? All these years later, you may occasionally ask yourself why this was a good idea, especially on those days where your inspiration is lacking for more effective ways to engage patients. The truth is, now there may be a new reason for you to continue updating your blog, (or to begin blogging if you haven’t already,)...LEADS.
Today’s post is an extension of our previous post–5 Reasons Why You Need a Practice Blog. If you are new to blogging and we were able to convince you that it’s a smart marketing technique, you took action and now need a little guidance to keep moving forward, these suggestions will help.
If you are a seasoned blogger, but are looking for new ideas on how to use your blog to more effectively engage existing patients, reactivate those that have slipped through the cracks and even generate new patients, we might be able to inspire you.
Yup - your blog could be the solution to the above mentioned challenges you may be experiencing and even a tool for engaging new and potential clients in ways you may not have considered before. By making the focus of your blog lead generation as well as for providing information, you can begin to develop and expand your patient base. The five following techniques should help you to see an increase in leads all from simple changes or implementations to your blog:
We are all taught as youngsters that it’s polite to say thank you when someone does something kind for us. Unfortunately, that form of common courtesy often gets lost in the stress and chaos of the modern workplace. There are many excuses, and most of them even make sense in the moment, but surveys conducted by Globoforce and other workforce recognition companies discovered that almost a third of employees nationwide felt unappreciated and were considering other employment as a result - even at the risk of job security.
This level of dissatisfaction contributes to higher turnover rates which ultimately cost your practice money and time in terms of training and efficiency. Most employees aren’t looking for significant rewards (such as cash or gifts), but just the day-to-day acknowledgement and appreciation of a job well done. The simple but important truth is that EVERYONE wants to feel appreciated, and it’s very easy to show appreciation to patients and staff alike. Here are some of the simple and effective ways you can say “thank you” to those who matter:
#1 - Say Something Nice - How hard is that? Well, sometimes the easiest things are the easiest to overlook. And sometimes it’s an awkward or uncomfortable thing to do. So here are some easy guidelines to follow: be personal and specific; make the time to say “thank you” instead of making it an afterthought; stop, look, and truly listen to the other person so they know you are sincere.
#2 - Be Consistent - Offering thanks regularly shows patients and staff alike that you are sincere. You can use the Solutionreach Unlimited Messaging to send follow-up notices to patients as a means of showing your appreciation and asking for their feedback. By creating a climate of recognition and thanks, you demonstrate the value that staff and patients have to you.
When somebody says the word ‘blog’, do you find yourself begin to tune out because you know you should know what a blog is and why people or businesses use them…but you don’t? And even though you’re not sure why, you probably also realize that your practice should have one…but it doesn’t. Or maybe you still need a little convincing…
Yes, blogging has been a trend that has been around for quite awhile, however, if you are someone who is a bit lost about why practices are bothering to blog and what they are blogging about, you are not alone. How about if we answer a couple of basic questions that may help you understand the reason for this trend and encourage you to jump aboard the Blog Train?
Why Would a Healthcare Practice Need a Blog?
In an era that sees efficiency as the ultimate business practice, many healthcare providers are returning to old-school customer service techniques in their offices. Why? Because super-efficiency can sometimes have very negative consequences. Often times the price of efficiency is the loss of a quality patient experience. With the advent of rating programs such as Healthgrades, patients are able to look at patient experience information and determine if they believe an office will provide them with the quality care they want to receive. If an office rating says “highly efficient, very impersonal” that patient may look elsewhere for care.
Your office may have a very a successful operation - from reception desk to check out station, and everything in between - but if it’s lacking a human touch, you are jeopardizing existing patient relationships as well as potential new patients who are searching for the kind of care your office provides.
Efficiency often breeds the approach that everything is strictly routine, and that staff perform the same functions dozens of times each day. However, for the patient, this isn’t the case at all. To each patient, their health issue is neither routine nor common. From their point of view, their issue was serious enough to seek the assistance of your office, and they are seeking the advice of those who will care for them throughout the resolution process of the issue.
Whether you work for a small, private practice, or a large, multi-provider clinic, implementing a few simple guidelines and strategies can make your job much easier and can help your office runner smoother. Here are 10 tips for promoting professionalism, and improving productivity and teamwork:
Even with all of the technological advances in our modern healthcare offices, most of your customers’ or clients’ first experience with your office will be on the telephone. Because of this, it’s critical that front office staff use excellent etiquette when speaking to patients or potential patients on the phone. This level of professionalism can make an enormous difference in how you are seen by current or future patients.
Rules of Phone Etiquette
These are pretty simple, but being aware of them goes a long way toward providing excellent customer service.
Rule #1: Speak Loud and Clear
If you use a traditional phone and handset, be sure that you’re speaking directly into the mouthpiece. This ensures that your voice carries clearly through the line and ensures the person on the other end that you are paying attention and ready to assist them. If it’s important to have both hands free while answering the phone, consider purchasing a headset rather than propping the handset on your shoulder.
From homemade caramels and a pancake breakfast, to mouth-watering bake sales, Plinko, and even a pay-to-peg-the-management with water balloons event, Solutionaries went above and beyond to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the second year in a row in finding a cure for blood cancers.
Solutionaries divided into teams to compete in the epic Coin Wars in hopes of exceeding last year’s donation of over $31,000 to the LLS. After a month-long effort and engaging in healthy and somewhat (more like extremely) competitive activities, #MostlyForTheChildren #ButAlsoForTheBraggingRights, we managed to nearly double that number by raising more than $50,000! And Team #1 was not too proud to brag about being the victors of the 2015 Coin Wars.
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