It’s the holiday season! As much as you love the holiday cheer, you may be anxious about managing vacation requests from your employees. They certainly deserve the time off, but how are you going to keep your practice on track without several key employees?
Set your practice up for success during the busy holiday season with these six tips.
1. Establish a written policy.
You have an employment policy, but does it address holidays specifically? Or do you have a standardized leave policy written? If the answer is no, waste no time writing up a policy for how to apply for vacation and how it will be processed and managed. Share the resulting policy at your next staff meeting.
2. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Plan ahead. It will be a nightmare if, for example, all your lab people are on vacation at the same time at the same time. If you have a team of two managing a single workstation, encourage them to work together to make sure they don't take leave at the same time. If they have applied same time and followed all the rules mentioned in the policy, seek their help in strategizing coverage during their absence. Remember, with careful planning, you can make sure that no part of your workflow is held up at any given time.
3. Cross-train your staff.
All your staff should be aware of the basic functions of every task connected to their workstation. They don’t need any in-depth knowledge or training – just enough knowledge to perform their tasks smoothly in the absence of a coworker. If someone is leaving for a vacation, other staff members will share the work. You can offer an incentive or overtime pay for those who sacrifice their holidays to fill in, boosting their spirits and job satisfaction.
4. Clarify sick leave policy.
Did you have to deny leave for an important employee, and suddenly he or she falls desperately ill? You don't want to find yourself doubting your employee's word. The best policy is to ask your employees to bring a sick note from their physicians every time they are on sick leave. Include this ‘physician note required’ in your leave policy.
5. Show your appreciation to your remaining staff.
When the majority of the staff is on vacation, managing the office becomes much more challenging. Try consolidating the work week with half-day work shifts. Do you have a small, but dedicated team of employees? Try to do something special for them. Even small things like ordering coffee for everyone or giving out movie tickets goes a long way to show you appreciate their hard work.
6. Manage stress.
Make sure you manage staff schedules so that no on employee gets overworked to the point of burning out. Encourage them to take meal breaks and get fresh air in between shifts. Run the day-to-day operation smoothly and leave any major changes for after the holidays when you are fully staffed.
7. Outsource where you can.
Certain operations like billing can be outsourced. This makes your practice more efficient. You will never have to worry about your claims and revenue, even if you are staffed short at some point.
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Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties.