Your medical staff is essential to your clinic’s success.
Just think about it:
Even if you have the most advanced medical equipment, your patients won’t be able to receive high-quality healthcare unless you have medical professionals who know how to operate it.
On the other hand, it is very unlikely that your patients will return to your clinic if they’re met by sour-faced medical staff, no matter how qualified they may be.
So, to make sure your biggest asset is your staff (as it should be!), you need to train your medical staff to the part.
In this article, we will cover all you need to know about medical staff training, including:
- 15 Benefits of Medical Staff Training
- 5 Types of Medical Staff Training
- 4 Medical Staff Training Tips
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
15 Benefits of Medical Staff Training
Here’s how medical staff training can be beneficial to your practice:
- Build staff morale. By investing in medical staff training, you’re showing your employees that you value them and support their success. Because of this, medical staff training can improve employee motivation and job satisfaction.
- Build team rapport. Medical staff training takes place outside of the typical working environment so it can help your employees to build better interpersonal relationships.
- Increase productivity and performance. Medical staff training teaches your employees new skills and techniques that can increase their efficiency as professionals. As such, medical staff training helps your employees to be more productive, which can bring more profit to your practice.
- Better risk management. Medical staff training can teach your employees how to recognize and successfully handle situations (e.g. discrimination, conflict, emergency situations, and sexual harassment) to reduce stress, chances of injury, and improve decision-making.
- Improve staff retention. Since medical staff training builds employee morale and makes them feel valued, they’re more likely to stay loyal to your medical practice. In turn, medical staff training can reduce employee turnover.
- Increase staff confidence and competence. By practicing and asking questions in a safe environment, your employees can improve their skills and competencies. As such, medical staff training can empower your employees to be more independent.
- Enable career progression. Medical staff training helps you notice and train the top talents in your team, which can further increase your staff motivation and performance. Even more - by training up your employees to managerial roles, you’ll eventually have successful leaders who know all the ins and outs of your medical practice.
- Build a better reputation. Medical staff training positively affects your medical practice’s overall performance, so you can improve your public image and attract more patients.
- Hire top talent. Medical staff training can help you hire the very best practitioners in your area. That’s because top talents value learning opportunities, so they’re more likely to work in an environment that enables their growth.
- Fill in employee skill gaps. Medical staff training allows you to note and address each employee’s weak points. This, in turn, can improve employee efficiency and professionalism, as well as patient satisfaction and the overall performance of your medical practice.
- Build consistency. Medical staff training helps less experienced employees to gain the skills and knowledge they need to ensure that your practice always delivers the best healthcare services to your patients.
- Improve patient care. Medical staff training is linked to better patient care, as it can also teach your employees the soft skills they need to provide high-quality care for your patients, including empathy and active listening skills.
- Improve patient satisfaction. Employee morale affects patient satisfaction, so medical staff training can improve patient satisfaction by building staff morale, as well as increasing their productivity and patient care.
- Avoid legal issues. Medical staff training in, for example, patient safety and patient data security, can minimize the chance of having to deal with legal issues.
- Competitive advantage. In general, medical staff training can give you an edge over your competitors by improving your clinic’s overall performance and reputation as well as by helping you acquire top talents and consistently provide top-quality services.
5 Types of Medical Staff Training
There is a wide range of medical staff training options - in fact, if you have a specific need, chances are there is a type of medical staff training that matches it.
To give you an idea of the different types of medical staff training, here are the 5 common types of medical staff training you can use to improve your medical practice:
#1. Composure Training
It is no secret that healthcare workers are prone to occupational stress.
Because of this, your employees could benefit from learning skills that help them effectively work under pressure and maintain their composure.
Here are some of the medical staff training options that can improve your employees’ effectiveness in dealing with stressful situations:
- Stress management. Medical staff training in stress management can teach your employees practical skills, tools, and coping strategies that can help them to stay in control of their emotions under stressful circumstances (e.g. patient overload).
- Emergency triage training. Medical staff training in emergency triage teaches your staff to quickly identify and prioritize patients that need urgent care, which can help your employees to be in control of emergency situations and reduce your patient mortality rate.
- Problem-solving. Medical staff training in problem-solving can help your employees to develop critical thinking skills, become more confident in working independently, and help them make better decisions under pressure.
- Conflict resolution. Medical staff training in conflict resolution can help your employees to prevent conflicts. In case a conflict arises, such training can teach your staff how to effectively deal with the conflict (e.g. by assessing the need for mediation)
#2. EHR and Technical Training
Technical training is essential to your medical practice as it ensures that all the operations are running smoothly.
Because of this, technical staff training can help to increase your medical practice’s efficiency and performance.
Here are some of the technical training options:
- Computer skills training
- Medical equipment training
- EHR training
With more medical practices switching from paper to electronic health records (EHR) each year, medical staff training in EHR becomes especially important, since it helps to make the transition easier and error-free.
What’s more important, medical staff training in EHR and technology can make your employees feel more confident in their roles, which can increase staff morale, efficiency, and reduce employee turnover.
Here are some tips that will help you make medical staff training in EHR more effective:
- Medical staff training plan. First, plan how you’re going to carry out the training. Most of the time, the best option is to pre-train one or two employees who can help teach and guide the rest of the staff.
- Focus on role-based training. This way, each employee learns the most important elements of using EHR for their specific job and can work more independently.
- Practice. Sure, theory is important, but your employees need to practice in a controlled environment to gain the skills and knowledge needed to successfully use EHR on a daily basis.
#3. Customer Service Training
Training your staff to provide excellent customer service is important to any medical practice and here’s why:
- Patient retention. If your patients aren’t satisfied with your employees’ behavior, there’s little chance they will be coming back. High-quality customer service, however, helps your medical practice to build long-term relationships with your patients.
- Patient satisfaction. Patients who are satisfied with their treatment are more likely to return to your clinic as well as recommend your practice to their friends and family
- Other problems. Poor customer service can be a symptom of deeper problems in your medical practice (for example, unmotivated staff or understaffing).
So, to ensure that your patients receive outstanding customer service, consider these medical staff training options:
- Communication. Medical staff training in communication can teach your employees how to address sensitive topics, provide support for your patients and their families, communicate in a clear manner (e.g. avoid medical jargon), and improve their body language to increase patients’ trust in the practitioner.
- Soft skills. Medical staff training can help your staff to improve soft skills, such as compassion, patience, or active listening, which can increase patient satisfaction.
- Patient engagement. Medical staff training in patient engagement teaches your employees how to encourage your patients to complete their treatment. This, in turn, can improve your patient retention and patient satisfaction rates, as engaged patients tend to perceive their treatment outcomes as more successful than disengaged patients.
#4. Legal Compliance Training
Medical staff training in legal matters is your key to making sure your medical practice runs in compliance with the law, which helps you to avoid legal issues that may damage your reputation (and, of course, hurt your wallet).
Here are some of the most common medical staff training options in legal compliance you should consider:
- HIPAA training. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patient privacy, so medical staff training in HIPAA ensures that all of your employees are trained to handle sensitive patient data in compliance with the law.
- OSHA training. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training focuses on workplace safety. There are multiple standards you can train your medical staff on depending on your practice (for example, if your medical practice uses an x-ray, medical staff training in ionizing radiation is a must to ensure safety in your clinic).
#5. Staff Efficiency Training
Training your staff to work more efficiently can help to improve your medical practice’s overall performance.
There are many medical staff training options that can make your employees more efficient, including:
- Teamwork. Medical staff training in teamwork is an important aspect of running your medical practice efficiently, as it improves your employees’ collaboration skills. This way, your employees can learn how and when to help each other, delegate tasks, etc.
- Sales training. Medical staff training in sales will teach your employees how to recommend your current and potential patients the most relevant services for their situation, so you can attract more patients to use your services.
- Overall case management. Such medical staff training can show your employees how to perform routine functions and better manage your patients. For example, your employees can learn how to effectively handle billing, insurance, and documentation.
4 Medical Staff Training Tips
Not sure how to handle medical staff training in your medical practice?
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of medical staff training:
#1. Create a Medical Staff Training Plan
To make sure that your medical staff training is effective and you don’t waste any resources, it’s vital to start with creating a medical staff training plan.
Your needs and requirements for the plan will likely depend on your medical practice.
However, here are a few steps that will help any medical practice ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of medical staff training:
- Evaluate current medical staff training needs. To make sure your medical staff training is targeted and tailored to your staff needs, you should first assess knowledge and skills gaps in your current medical staff.
- Choose a medical staff training format. Training formats include seminars, videos, e-learning, reading materials, experts, and internal employees teaching your medical staff. In most cases, combined training formats work best.
- Measure the medical staff training success. Make sure to assess your employees’ knowledge and skills before and after the training. This way, you can find out whether the training was successful and, if needed, make any adjustments.
- Train new employees. Medical staff training also concerns your fresh employees. Onboarding can help your new hires feel more at ease, understand your expectations, and keep them up-to-date with the latest procedures and requirements.
#2. Listen to What Your Staff Has to Say
Medical staff training is, by definition, staff-focused.
As such, you should allow your staff to openly share any challenges, training needs, and doubts they have about their work, skills, and knowledge.
This way, you will be sure you’re providing the exact type of medical staff training your employees need, which means they will be more motivated and eager to learn new skills and knowledge.
Not to mention, the ability to voice their opinions and concerns can make your employees feel more valued and appreciated, which can increase staff satisfaction and employee retention.
#3. Provide Ongoing Training for Their Needs
Healthcare standards are always changing, and so are the needs for medical staff training.
As such, you should view medical staff training as an integral part of your medical practice.
So, make sure to train and retrain your staff regularly, and reevaluate your medical staff training materials and formats to ensure they stay relevant for your medical practice.
#4. Cross-train Your Staff
To put it simply, cross-training is the practice of training one employee the skills needed in other roles (e.g. clinical training can train your front-desk receptionists to answer patients’ questions themselves).
Cross-training can help your medical practice to:
- Perform more efficiently
- Avoid issues if an employee isn’t available to work, so you don’t have to use temporary employees
- Have employees who are able to work independently and make correct decisions on their own
- Avoid legal issues and fines from documentation errors
- Create consistency and continuity within your medical practice
And that’s a wrap!
Now you know all there is about medical staff training, including its benefits, types, and useful medical staff training tips.
So, let’s just go over some of the key points mentioned in this article:
- Medical staff training has a positive effect on your employees - it helps to increase job satisfaction, staff motivation, competence, and productivity, which can help you retain employees.
- Among other benefits, medical staff training can also improve your clinic’s overall performance, which leads to increased patient satisfaction.
- Some of the most common types of medical training include composure training, EHR and technical training, customer service training, legal compliance training, and staff efficiency training.
- Medical staff training is an ongoing process, so it’s important to regularly provide it to your staff and adjust your training methods, needs, and materials as needed.
- To make the most out of medical staff training, train your employees based on their role as well as cross-train them so that your clinic runs more efficiently.