Hiring a new employee for your practice can be both expensive and time-consuming. In fact, hiring decisions in general have a significant impact on how your practice operates, including your ability to attract and retain patients and your profit margin.
At HENO, we often have clients ask us about how to create a new employee training plan that incorporates HENO training as well as general training.
As practice owners ourselves, we understand what goes into new employee training. Here are our tips for optimizing your practice with a new employee training plan.
Types of Training to Include in Your New Employee Training Plan
When a new employee begins work in your practice, it’s essential to train them as soon as possible. You want to ensure that they’re trained in every area where they might be expected to pitch in. Keep in mind that it’s far easier to teach someone a procedure early than to correct them if they’re doing it wrong later on.
Here are some of the areas you should cover in your new employee training plan:
- Basic on-boarding. Give your new employee a tour, assign their computer login and password, take a photo for their ID, and have them complete human resources paperwork as needed.
- Telephone training. How do you want your employees to answer the phone? Go beyond greetings and teach your employees how to optimize the patient’s experience.
- Internal policies. You should have a written employee handbook that explains your internal policies, including your dress code, sick time, paid leave, and sexual harassment.
- Compliance. All medical practices must comply with HIPAA and OSHA regulations. It’s your job to provide adequate training to protect your patients, and protect yourself from costly fines and penalties.
- Sales. Any employee who comes into contact with prospects or existing patients could be put into a sales role at any time. Training them on some of the basics, such as focusing on benefits instead of treatments, and explaining your expectations will increase the chances that they’ll be able to help your bottom line.
- Vendor-led technology training. Whether you’re using HENO or another practice management solution, you should have your new employees take a vendor-led class as soon as possible to ensure they know how to use your technology.
- Social media training. If you expect your employees to spread the word about your practice on social media, you’ll need to spell out your expectations. Even if staff social media marketing isn’t on the table, you should still make your expectations clear about how and when your employees can mention your practice on social media.
- Job-role training. It should go without saying that every new employee needs job-specific training to help them do the job they were hired to do.
That sounds like a lot, but we’ll give you some pointers on how to get it all done.
Tips to Optimize Your New Employee Training Plan
There’s a lot to do to get a new employee ready to interact with your patients and staff. Here are some pointers to help you create the optimal new employee training plan.
Create Written Training Documents
The first step is to put your training into writing. While you won’t ask your new employees to use only written materials for training, writing everything down will ensure that you have consistent procedures and training for all employees.
Here are some of the things you’ll need:
- An employee handbook.
- A compliance handbook for HIPAA, OSHA and any other regulations that apply.
- Written, step-by-step instructions for common procedures.
- A detailed job description for every role in your practice.
- A written internet and social media policy.
- A policy for BYOA and BYOD. (bring your own app and bring your own device)
- An employee checklist for all typical onboarding tasks. (HR paperwork, employee ID, computer login, etc.)
- Suggested scripts for telephone calls and patient interactions.
Putting everything in writing will minimize confusion and ensure that every employee receives the same training.
Cross Train Your Employees
In the first few weeks of employment, it makes sense to focus on job-specific training for each new hire. Once that’s completed, though, you should implement a cross-training program for all employees.
Cross-training is essential because it means you’ll have minimal disruption in the event that an employee is out on medical leave or quits unexpectedly. Every one of your practice employees should receive basic training on how to answer the phone and how to interact with patients.
From there, you can decide which cross-training makes the most sense. For example, it might make sense to have your receptionist cross-train on billing in case your billing expert is out. Or, you might decide to have your marketing person cross-train one of your assistants, so they can fill in on social media when needed.
Implement Ongoing Education and Training
Finally, any time a procedure changes, you should update your written instructions for it and have a quick refresher course for all employees.
Likewise, you should update training or require additional training when:
- A procedure changes.
- There’s an update to regulations.
- You get a new piece of office equipment.
- You decide to offer a new treatment or service.
- You’re running a special promotion or referral contest.
When training occurs on an ongoing basis, you can be sure your employees are up-to-date on your policies and procedures and that your patients will have the best possible experience when they call or visit your practice.
Putting a new employee training plan in place will ensure that your new hires have the information and training they need to perform well and provide your patients with the level of care they deserve.
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