Are you engaged (advertorial)

Do you have poor patient and staff engagement because you fail to give feedback? Wendy Coombs offers some suggestions.

Understanding what makes for a happy workplace is key to running a successful business.

A 2006 Gallup poll reported that 80 per cent of employees are more motivated to increase performance when they are recognised for their working contributions.

And 80 per cent of employees leave an organisation due to a perceived lack of recognition.

Turnover costs can be as high as 150 per cent of that person’s salary. By recognising staff you can help to save money and make your clinic a more fulfilling place to work.

Similarly, it’s important to recognise your patient’s achievements. Patients will adhere to treatment plans if they perceive that treatment will be effective.

You need to use your best communication skills to ensure they understand the seriousness of injury, the consequences of not undertaking prescribed care, and to ensure they are involved in goal-setting.

Failing to recognise your patient’s accomplishment in treatment can, rather like failure to recognise your staff, have costs.

Your patients, whether you work in the NHS or the private sector, are patrons of your services.

They will attend less often, miss appointments and may self-discharge prior to reaching all of the treatment goals.

For those of you in the private sector, this costs your business in lost revenue.

It costs the patient in poor clinical outcomes. And for the NHS, it may mean the patient returns at a later stage with exacerbation of the original injury placing an additional, and unnecessary, cost on a public service.

Recognising employees has many benefits. It increases engagement and retention, increases motivation and work ethic, enhances loyalty and commitment and improves job satisfaction.

Similarly, recognising your patients has many benefits.

It improves adherence to treatment plans that improves clinical outcomes, reassures them that they have made the right decision in coming to the clinic and ensures that the desired behaviour will continue.

Creative ideas as to how we can recognise people are endless and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Staff respond well to receiving spoken praise, especially in front of others.

Recognition always has more credibility when it is backed by evidence or specific examples. Saying: ‘You are doing a great job’ has much less impact than: ‘You showed such compassion when dealing with Mrs Smith.

The extra time you took to make sure that she really understood her diagnosis really demonstrated your commitment to patient care.

I’ve noticed that you often go “above and beyond” for your patients. You are a great role model in the clinic.’

The same approach can be helpful with your patients. If you’re running a private clinic you might consider schemes like attendance stamp cards with a gift, complete with the clinic’s logo at the end, or inspirational e-reminders.

Such gifts are not appropriate in the NHS, but why not show you appreciate a patient’s efforts? Tell them: ‘You are such a considerate person.

I’ve noticed that you always arrive on time for your appointments. I really appreciate it because it helps me to stay on schedule and means that other patients are not waiting.’

There are many things that can help to engage and motivate your staff team and grow your clinic’s reputation. But one thing is for sure, without reward and recognition it won’t happen.

An ebook this topic will be available shortly. Visit: http://clinicserver.com/free-resources/ebooks/patientstaffretention

Wendy Coombs BSc, PT is a physiotherapist and practice owner in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

She is the private practice consultant for ClinicServer. Email her at: ppc@clinicserver.com

Clinic Server, an international provider of clinic management software, has linked with the CSP in a long-term partnership programme. ClinicServer provides you with a better way to manage and grow your clinic. www.csp.org.uk/practicemanagement

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Wendy Coombs

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