New Year’s Resolutions for Your Rheumatology Staff

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Are you sticking with your goals, whether they’re personal or professional? We hope so, and to help you accomplish everything you’ve set out to do, we’re sharing this—our second post in our series about goals setting and goal getting. (Missed our first one? No worries—it’s never too late to set goals for your practice!)

Now that your practice’s goals are up and running, it’s time to set some resolutions for your staff. We can always do better and improve our performance, and the beginning of the year is a great time to hit the “reset” button. Plus, setting goals as a group is more fun and results in a higher rate of success. There’s nothing like a little accountability to keep people motivated!

Below are some goals you may want to present to your staff as suggestions, challenges, or resolutions. As always, every practice is different and not all these goals will make sense for you. Take what you need, leave what you don’t, and get ready to experience your rheumatology practice’s best year yet.

  1. Report to work on time, and keep breaks to the appropriate length.

    Let’s face it—mornings can be tough, and lunch breaks can last longer than intend. Encourage your staff to make punctuality a shared value. Keep it positive and fun—it’s better to reward your staff instead of punishing them. Offer fun prizes for whoever get to work first, and schedule an extended team lunch once a month to thank everyone for taking timeliness so seriously!

  2. Treat all patients with respect and compassion.

    This one is a given, but it’s always a good reminder. As health care professionals, our patients’ well-being is our number one priority. Don’t let other things cloud this, and keep it in the forefront at all times. Distribute patient satisfaction surveys to ensure you’re doing all you can for the people you serve, and follow through on any complaints or recommendations you receive.

  3. Keep your supervisor informed of any problems in the workplace.

    Your staff should feel comfortable coming to their supervisor with any issues or questions they may have. Institute an open door policy and respond to your staff members with honesty, respect, and a willingness to take their concerns into account. Every staff member should feel like they have an advocate and are supported—ensure that those in supervisory positions are doing just that.

  4. Be proactive. If you can’t be proactive, be positive.

    Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances. In those cases, the only thing we can control is our attitude. Encourage your staff to fix the things that can be fixed, and to approach the things that can’t with grace, positivity, and acceptance. A positive attitude can go a long way in making your work environment better for everyone.

  5. Keep shared spaces clean and tidy.

    Most rheumatology practices have some spaces that staff share, such as kitchens, lounges, or outdoor areas. Make sure your entire staff takes ownership of these spaces, keeping them clean and tidy so everyone can enjoy them. Hang up helpful signs with friendly reminders, and ensure the kitchen especially is always stocked with cleaning supplies, such as sponges and soap.

By taking on these small challenges, your staff will feel a big difference in the way they work, what they accomplish, and the kind of environment they come to every day. We hope you can make these goals your own, and look forward to hearing how they help you!

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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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