How many team members will it take to support my business?


Identifying those that excel in certain areas is what it takes to get to the TOP!

A client I’m currently working with has just called upon me to assist him in finding an additional administrative team member.  Knowing the activity in his practice and the amount of team members he currently employs, I had to ask him “Why are you hiring another person? Are you sure you have enough additional work to bring another employee on board?”  His answer was “It’s not about workload, but more about the lack of a particular skill set.”

“A skill set?” I asked, “tell me more”.  He then proceeded to fill me in on the particulars and why he has come to a point where he feels it necessary to bring in another person.

Once I spoke with him and gathered information it became clearer as to the direction he was taking and why.  His wonderful 3-year tenured front office facilitator is just not comfortable to present treatment and discuss the financial arrangements that go along with this process.  She came from the hospitality industry and had worked with a major hotel chain for years prior to coming on board with him and his practice, and was perfect when it came to “servicing“his patients.

He shared that she is outstanding with patients, captured all the ins and outs of the insurance “game”, is a genius at scheduling, keeps the production and collection right on target, is never late, takes hardly any time off, and is the true perfect employee. “So if she handles it all, is not overloaded, keeps up beautifully and accomplishes all you have mentioned to the letter, then why another employee?”

He went on to tell me that the one main hurdle that has been her nemesis since day one is that she just can’t get past the point of one important area.  And what is it?  “She absolutely ‘freezes up’ when it comes to discussing recommended treatment and sitting face-to-face with the patient to review what I have prescribed as far as their care. It scares her so much that she literally begins to shake uncontrollably just seeing this appointed on the schedule. We have tried everything and finally realized she just can’t do it. She’s perfect in every way and probably one of the best employees that I’ve ever had. I don’t want to lose her, yet this is such an important part of running my practice and because she is the only one at the front desk, I feel I need to hire someone that can easily accomplish having these critical patient conversations.

So does he need to hire an additional person for this? “Well,” he said, “I can probably find some other things for them to do considering they have to be here fulltime since Patient Consults occur almost on a daily basis.”

So without taking a breath I said “Why must it be someone from the Business Office?  Is there no one else in the practice that might be able to handle this?”  His reply was “Doesn’t it have to be someone from the front desk?” My response was “Why?  Who’s to say that one of your assistants couldn’t be coached and trained to go over the treatment with the patients?  Where in the rule book does it state that only someone from the Business Team should be presenting treatment to patients?”

What a revelation we had the day we had this discussion–what a monumental eye opening moment! From this point on we re-crafted the system and protocols that his team had followed.  We identified the team member on the clinical team that possessed the appropriate behavioral makeup and background to comfortably and efficiently handle this patient interaction successfully, and if need be we would see that she receives all the additional coaching and training she desired.

This team member was not only delighted to take it over, but was excited to add an additional responsibility to her job description. Once things are orchestrated properly so that the “transition” moves naturally and seamlessly through the process, not only did they recapture this missing piece, but there was no need to hire an additional team member.

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