How to be a better manager, how to reduce training time for new employees

Get your questions answered on how to become a better manager, and how to cut down on training time for new employees.

Q: I feel like I don't have a good grip on the management of my staff. How do I improve that ability?

A: You likely will find that two very simple processes common with highly successful practices will significantly improve staff (and practice) management-and your confidence:1) Have a daily 1- to 5-minute "huddle" with your immediate staff every morning before seeing patients. The later you are arriving, the more important the huddle. Immediate staff members include your receptionist, medical assistant, and maybe the biller. Gather around the day's schedule and ask the following questions:

2) Have a weekly 1-hour meeting with all staff.


Q: Whenever we lose a staff person, we have to start all over training them. Is there an easier way?

A: A few techniques can significantly reduce training time for new staff, keep the practice from losing intellectual property when existing staff leave, and foster a culture of cross-training and continuous improvement.

From the two meetings mentioned in the answer to the above question, you can create an operations manual describing how various tasks are performed in your practice. This information transcends any one person's job description and memorializes procedures for training. This manual need not be an exhaustive list of all situations or circumstances that will be encountered in your practice, but it should provide a good sampling of how employees should proceed in the following areas:

Medical Economics Consultant Keith Borglum, CHBC (left), of Professional Management and Marketing, has been a licensed practice broker, appraiser, author, and management consultant to physicians for more than 25 years, is based in Santa Rosa, California, and practices nationally. Send your practice management questions to

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