While implementing new services means expanding your practice, it also means expanding your staff. Staffing is one of the largest expenses for any medical practice -- it’s also a top priority when integrating ancillary services.
Your team must be well-equipped to provide excellent care and maintain patient satisfaction so you can ensure long-term benefits for your practice. Here is a couple of ways you can add staff while avoiding some of the up-front costs associated with offering new services.
Cross-training involves teaching an employee how to execute the functions of a different job. This process will require you to assess your current team members’ skills and identify how to exercise their unique talents.
Not only will cross-training strengthen your staff’s knowledge, but it will also encourage better team collaboration. Doing this will save you the time and money you would have invested in hiring someone new.
However, it’s important to note that cross-training may result in a team ruled by generalizations instead of expertise. In the healthcare setting, where the quality of treatment is most important, having the proper education is imperative.
Cross-training during downtime may not be the most effective method of sharing and digesting information. Of course, everyone wants to get the highest level of productivity out of their team, but putting too much pressure on employees can run the risk of burnout -- fast. Make sure you conduct an in-depth analysis of your practice before deciding which route to take.
Bringing on specialized staff will help you make the most of your resources with minimal investment. Experts can act as revenue generators rather than cost centers (such as entry- & mid-level employees) and allow providers to bill for services not currently delivered by the practice.
Using a third-party vendor to provide specialized staff is also an excellent solution -- these entities already have extensive experience helping physicians with ancillary services. Third parties can provide full-time staff members that will readily perform the necessary job duties under a physician’s supervision. They can also provide part-time staffing during peak times of the year (like back to school for pediatricians), letting physicians offload and reduce costs to zero during these periods.
Additional staff will offer a better workload balance and allow providers to spend more time with their patients. By the same token, using a third party will leave you with less control over your services. If the right decisions aren’t made, new staff members may disrupt the current workflow or reflect poorly upon your practice. Always do your research before choosing who to partner with.
Adding staff doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Consider all of your options before going out of your way to recruit and hire an entirely new team. Ancillary services are meant to help you increase revenue -- get creative and combat those setup costs to make the most of them.