Now that the new year has arrived, your healthcare organization probably feels much busier than usual. Maybe you’ve staffed up to serve more patients as the flu season nears its apex, or perhaps you’re dutifully collecting signatures for annual consents.
Granted, you’ve probably been preparing for the busy season for quite some time. But in the months ahead, you may find yourself contemplating the same big-picture questions as your peers in the industry: What should I do to retain my star staff? How can I boost patient acquisition and loyalty? Are there strategies I can employ to operate more efficiently?
Hopefully you’ve established some New Year’s resolutions to help your organization achieve those objectives. But if you forgot to set your goals for the new year, it’s not too late!
Here are four New Year’s resolutions your healthcare organization can implement today:
1. Foster a culture of appreciation
Every employee wants to feel acknowledged for their unique contributions to your organization. Why not demonstrate your appreciation with personalized recognition?
This year, spend some time writing thank-you notes to let your team know how much you value their hard work. Include specific, personalized examples of how each employee has supported the organization, their fellow colleagues or your patients. When your team members feel appreciated, their satisfaction increases—and according to one study, they may be less likely to leave for another job.
Of course, actions speak louder than words. That’s why it’s important to routinely solicit feedback from your team on how you could better support them. Then, let their insights inform the steps you take to build a better, more fulfilling work environment. By taking time to listen to your staff’s needs and perspectives, you can help them feel more connected to their work—and to your organization overall.
2. Alleviate administrative burdens
Your providers and staff are the heartbeat of your organization. But when they’re bogged down with manual tasks, they have less time to focus on what matters most—your patients.
Rather than hiring more people, commit to supporting your existing team by making their jobs easier. If you frequently see backlogs at the front desk, for instance, you could implement a patient intake solution to reduce administrative workloads. If your providers are constantly overwhelmed with after-hours calls, consider bringing in an automated platform to help them balance their day.
Administrative functions are costly, and manually completing them can erode staff morale. But by streamlining your operations, you can combat burnout and empower your team to perform at its best.
3. Improve the patient experience
Healthcare competition is fierce, and standing out can be challenging. Research shows that patients’ impressions of their healthcare provider are heavily influenced by avoidable frustrations such as long wait times, harried staff and poor communication.
So, what can you do to alleviate those frustrations and keep patients coming back? Invest in workflows and capabilities that improve the patient experience.
Offering tools such as self-scheduling, digital check-in and online payments can help make patient experience more convenient and streamlined—and in turn, improve patients’ satisfaction with their visit. Better yet, those patient-facing tools can help your staff accomplish more with fewer resources, driving higher efficiency across your organization.
Not sure where to start? Consider surveying patients to better understand how you could improve, and then use their feedback to determine where you should focus your efforts this year.
4. Make it easier for patients to find you
Brand-building is important to every organization. But in healthcare, it’s business-critical. These days, many patients are shopping for providers who match their unique needs—and when they need care, you want them to turn to you first.
Strengthening your online presence can help patients find and choose your organization when they’re seeking care. And while your approach may vary depending on your organization type and patient demographics, there are a few proven strategies that can help you get started:
- Regularly engage with prospective patients via email, text message and on social media
- Claim profiles for your physicians on health-related websites that patients already use
- Digitize referrals so you can quickly follow up with new patients seeking care
- Survey patients after their visit, and prompt satisfied patients to leave an online review
Today’s patients use technology for just about everything—and that includes finding a provider. So, lean into that shift this year. Commit to engaging potential patients through the channels they already use. In doing so, you can increase your providers’ visibility and position your organization to become patients’ go-to choice for care.
The new year can feel stressful, especially given the continued challenges facing the healthcare industry. But by establishing New Year’s resolutions to invest in your team, your culture and your resources, you can set up your organization for a smooth transition—and ensure its success for many years to come.
Want to make your New Year’s resolutions stick? Gift yourself a free Phreesia trial to learn how we can help.