Ideas for Creating a Healthy Work Environment at your Rheumatology Office

Creating a Healthy Work Environment at your Rheumatology Office

Working in the medical field is extremely stressful, so burnout is typical. The work involved can be emotionally and physically draining, but employees always need to be performing at their best. In order for medical staff to provide the best care and patient experience possible, it’s important to make sure they are working in a healthy office environment. We’ll explore three ideas for keeping your team’s morale, and performance, high.

Promote A Positive Office Culture

Because the medical field can be such a demanding work environment, it’s important that your staff is there to help and support one another. That means cultivating a staff that is not only good at their job, but is also the right fit for your team. For a rheumatology practice to be successful, it is essential that there is a strong support system within the office. Be sure to utilize supportive employees and make sure they are able to lean on each other. Encourage employees to ask for help and to confide in the people that advocate for them the most. Co-workers are with each other more than their families most days, so they should feel supported by one another. If this doesn’t seem to be the case at your practice, start organizing some team bonding days to help build and nurture those key relationships.

Create An Efficient Layout

Smart medical office design minimizes employee workload and removes distractions. “We were inconveniencing our patients and creating unnecessary work for ourselves. Focusing on better wayfinding for patients and grouping like-services together in the clinic revealed incredible opportunities for us to better deliver a more efficient, patient-centered experience,” explains Morris Gagliardi, Associate Medical Director Gouverneur Health. Moving patients through the office in a circle keeps the hallways clear so medical staff can travel swiftly between exam rooms and workstations. Work areas should be close to exam rooms so staff won’t have to do as much walking, and they are close by in case they are needed by a patient or co-worker. To run a successful rheumatology practice, you must look for ways to improve practice processes, eliminate unnecessary steps and give patients the best possible care. Careful planning and attention to office design can help you achieve these goals.

Encourage A Healthy Balance

Working in healthcare often means long hours and irregular schedules for staff. To prevent burnout, it is essential that your staff is able to tend to their lives outside of the practice. Discuss different options with staff to understand what their ideal schedule may look like. Include things like how much sleep, recreational and family time they need to give optimal performance at work. From that, try to develop a work schedule for your employees that can support those needs. Finding the perfect schedule for each staff member will not always be possible. In those cases, try to be as flexible as you can with allowing time for personal tasks. As long as a request doesn’t interfere with practice function, allowing time off for personal matters should be accommodated.

Creating a healthy environment at your rheumatology practice does not have to be difficult or costly. A healthy workplace environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism and turnover. Start by following these three tips for creating a healthy work environment and remember that you cannot treat others if you do not take care of yourself and your practice first!

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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