Healthcare Employee Performance Management

A Guide to Managing Difficult Employees

Healthcare Employee Performance Management

A Guide to Managing Difficult Employees

We know how challenging it is to manage your medical office staff.

Patient satisfaction is one of the top priorities for every medical practice. But how do you ensure your employees are always held accountable to patients and deliver the highest quality patient experience?

The answer: using employee performance data.

Employee performance data keeps employees honest. It identifies your strengths and areas in need of improvement.

Is an employee failing to meet expectations?

When confronted, accused, or feeling attacked, workers have a natural tendency to be defensive.

For example, when you notice your check-in staff are not being friendly and engaging with patients, their immediate reaction may likely be “what do you mean, of course I’m being friendly!”

This is why it’s important to have specific and objective data from patients, supporting your observations.

Having data readily available makes a big difference in employee coaching as it can be used to improve behaviors.  If patients are consistently saying that a staff member is not being friendly, then the staff member’s has no choice but to improve.

Which approach below is more effective?

  • “I think you’re not being friendly.”
      1. This is one person’s observations and it may be subjective.
  • “Since February, we have received 12 different patient complaints. Here are their detailed comments…”
    1. There’s more data to support the need for the employee to improve. It’s also important to be as specific as possible and provide a timeframe.

Below are some actual comments from patients regarding a front desk staff member from one of our clients.

If this employee, after coaching and mentoring by her manager, does not change her attitude toward patients, then you have a full audit trail supporting terminating her employment.

It’s also important to outline your values and expectations for your employees so that performance feedback does not come as a surprise. These need to be explicitly communicated to the staff, ideally upon hire.

For example, for front desk staff, values and behavioral expectations might look like this:

Value: Warmth and Friendliness

Behaviors: Greets patients with a smile and friendly hello; makes eye contact with patient while talking to them

Value: Patient Communication

Behaviors: Provides patients with information about their visit e.g., who they will be seeing, unusual wait times, billing/insurance requirements, future visit scheduling

Value: Efficiency

Behaviors:  Promptly addresses patients without delay; processes patients check-in/out quickly

Value: Professionalism

Behaviors: Keeps communication with other staff members focused on work when in front of patients; acts as a practice ambassador and communicates with patients as valued customers

By outlining the values and expected behaviors, you can then measure staff performance against specific criteria.

rater8’s performance management module is unique in that it asks patients to rate and provide feedback for specific staff members. This process is fully automated via an interface with your practice management system.

Additionally, within the rater8 ecosystem, we offer benchmarking that allows you to easily compare one employee to another.

Employee performance data can be leveraged to more effectively improve operations and help ensure you’re always delivering the highest level of patient care possible.