Staff meetings: Two small ways to create a big impact

August 19, 2014

Using an agenda and keeping minutes will help to make your practice staff meetings more effective.

Judy BeeMedical practices get work done by the effort, cooperation and communication of the staff. While many physicians and staff members dread meetings, they are an essential part of the process. Conducting good, interactive meetings will help make them more productive, and they will engage your staff in finding solutions to daily practice problems.

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Staff members don’t resist attending meetings. They resist boring and pointless meetings. Practice managers should consider two management tools that can help produce better meetings: Agendas and minutes.

Work from an agenda

A good agenda, written and circulated in advance of the meeting, itemizes the issues and appoints a discussion leader.

While this task is primarily a manager’s duty, other team members should be given an opportunity to add to the agenda if there are issues that would benefit from group-think.

When circulating the agenda, attach documentation and/or reports that might help facilitate the discussion. This prevents the need for the entire staff to sit while the manager reads to the participants. 

If the meeting is focused on changing a process, it’s important for the manager to set up the issue and describe the desired outcome at the start of the meeting. This action helps the healthcare team see the big picture.

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When it comes to introducing a process change, it’s often useful to give staff a fair amount of latitude in crafting a plan for the implementation too. Not only can they offer valuable perspective, they can identify bottlenecks in the plan not readily transparent. Keep in mind that your team will be more committed to the success of a process if they had a hand in changing it.

Next: Record minutes to capture decisions

 

Record minutes to capture decisions

The practice of maintaining meeting minutes helps the team document action items. If there have been assignments or volunteers for projects, make certain to record the names of those who will do the work, the timeframe for completion, and a budget if appropriate.

Staff recommendations should be reviewed by physicians or other practice leaders before implementation. A good manager should know if a recommendation will fly.

The minutes should be copied to everyone at the meeting and to those absent who need to know what was done. Try filing minutes and memos in date order in a binder somewhere near the time clock or break room to make it easy for those who have been out or work part time to keep informed.

What if there are no items on the agenda? Don’t have the meeting! And, if you can’t list at least one action item for the minutes, ask why you held the meeting and whether a memo of announcements would have done the job.

Remember, every meeting should be helpful, productive and enjoyable for most on the healthcare team. And it’s a sign of respect to provide a forum for your workers to participate in the process.

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How to motivate and retain the top employees are your practice - See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/how-motivate-and-retain-top-employees-are-your-practice#sthash.mMNCmPYn.dpuf How to motivate and retain the top employees are your practice - See more at: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/how-motivate-and-retain-top-employees-are-your-practice#sthash.mMNCmPYn.dpuf