Latest Commentary

3 ways to get employees to do the right thing

Sometimes in my role as messenger, I relay practice management advice I don't entirely agree with. This week, I shared one physician's rather rigid stance on employee time theft, which essentially amounted to zero tolerance for staff members' personal use of the Internet or cell phones during work time. 

Customer service: Small gestures can make big impact

Often when we talk about customer service and patient satisfaction, we focus on high-level issues, such as overall politeness of staff and convenient parking. But while these elements certainly matter to patients, seemingly small gestures can also impact patients' impression of your practice.

Get stronger by thinking beyond yourself

During the past week or so, many of you reading likely dumped a bucket of ice water over your head, on camera, to help raise donations and awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). And chances are actor Robin Williams' death from apparent suicide stopped you in your tracks when the news broke Monday evening.

Communication tip: Write before you run your mouth

Have you ever walked away from a conversation, perhaps a sticky one, and wish you'd mentioned a certain point or used a better example to explain your message? Or maybe you found yourself regretting that you couldn't swallow a statement or two.

3 ways to serve as your own mystery shopper

If you host a party, chances are you miss most of the good stuff. After all, your hands are full, you're focused on not dropping the h'ordeurvres and making sure you interact with each and every guest. If something pulls your attention away from any one of these tasks, there could quite literally be a fire in the kitchen.

ACA reality: Expect the unexpected

Almost exactly a year ago, FiercePracticeManagement described key ways to prepare your office for healthcare reform, including steps to ready your practice for a predicted influx of new patients. Reality brought some surprises in that arena, however, and more. New patient visits actually declined slightly in the first five months of the Affordable Care Act, according to a report from AthenaHealth.

Practice tip: 5 ways to renew your morning huddle

To start your day right, practice management experts often recommend gathering your team for a five-minute morning huddle. This strategy can build morale and help the practice run more smoothly. However, as with any routine, this exercise runs the risk of growing stale. To make this time worthwhile, here are five ideas to freshen things up.

4 tools to help physicians, staff and patients manage stress

I'm planning a trip to an amusement park with my family this summer and I'm stressed. While the kids are with sheer joy counting down the days to roller coasters, swimming, exciting sights...

What are the secrets to physician satisfaction?

This week, FiercePracticeManagement reported on two surveys taking the pulse of what current challenges are most acute for medical practices and what differentiates the ways they handle the stress. As someone who's covered a lot of doom and gloom over the years, I found it refreshing to see Jackson Healthcare's analysis of what satisfied physicians have in common. A number of the happy-physician traits, however, such as being younger, female and inexperienced with private practice, are interesting to note, but not qualities physicians themselves can control. It makes sense that a physician who wasn't yet practicing in "the good old days" doesn't know what he or she is missing.

Practice report cards: What patients really look at

Summer is finally here! But in the midst of trading backpacks for beach bags, many of us engage in another late-June tradition: scrutinizing report cards. I don't know about you, but the items schools measure and "grades" to achieve changed a lot since I rode a yellow bus. My generation's "M" for "meritorious" is now a "4" for "independently applying skills with accuracy." Elementary student "citizenship" is now comprised of several elements, such as, "Contributes to a positive learning environment."