By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief
JUNE 14, 2013 – Whether we like it or not, concierge medicine offices and direct primary care clinics are held to a higher standard of service and performance, not simply by our colleagues who are either pessimistic or optimistic and curious, but by patients who are now expecting something different from you, your facility and most of all, your staff. Performance standards for your employees inside your concierge medicine offices form the heart of the job description. They describe the whats, how-tos, and how-wells of a job for employees in this now, a service business.
Each of your performance standards should state three things about the employees job:
- What the employee is to do;
- How it is to be done; and
- To what extent it is to be done (how much, how well, how soon).
A business owner can use a good job description not only as a valuable aid in the recruiting and hiring process, but also as a list of the duties and responsibilities of what the employee is to do for patients and your each day while on the job. But, a job description using performance standards is much more useful than a simple explanation of duties or qualifications.
Anatomy of a Concierge Medical Staff Performance Standard
- Job classification: Front Office Manager
- Type of work: Scheduling, records updates, phone calls, and public relations with patients
- Performance Standard: The Front Office Manager will help patients when they arrive and answer questions with 100% accuracy using our internal standard of business procedures.
- How this looks on a day-to-day basis: The Front Office Manager may encounter the following and will …
Mary Massad, Director of HR Product Development for Administaff says “When it comes to job descriptions, flexibility is the key. It may be wise to create more generic job descriptions that emphasize expectations and accountabilities, rather than specific tasks, thereby encouraging employees to focus on results rather than job duties.”
Better work means better productivity, better customer service, more sales, higher profits and happy patients. Once workers know what to do and how to do it, they can concentrate on improving their skills. Improved skills and knowledge, coupled with goals to be met, encourage people to work more independently.
Morale in your practice is important. A performance standard system can reduce conflict and misunderstanding in your practice as well. Everybody knows who is responsible for what. They know what parts of the job are most important. They know the level of performance you expect in each job.
Consistent use of a performance standard system can reduce or eliminate low productivity and high turnover. When your concierge medical practice employees are told clearly what to do and you’ve set expectations early, they are taught how to do their job, on-paper. They now know how well they are doing on a daily, monthly or quarterly basis because there is a standard of measurement which you use as their employer to monitor their effectiveness in that position. As a physician, you can also help and support them with additional conferences, seminars, training or service coaching when standards are not being met as you’d like in the practice. All this makes for much better relationships between you and your co-workers.