This article is a continuation of “Profitable Communication Systems.” If you have not yet done so, we recommend reading that article to have full context when reading this one.
In order to have a working, usable communication system, there are several elements that are key to establishing and maintaining it.
The following is a brief outline of establishing a communication system in a clinic.
First and foremost, you will need an organization chart. This chart does not have to be fancy or elaborate, but it does have to accurately and concisely show who does what in the practice, and it needs to be kept current.
A correctly done organizational chart is scalable. That is to say, it grows with the practice staffing needs and doesn’t have to be redone each time a new hire is made or new position is defined.
The key elements of this chart show, at a glance, which person holds what position in the clinic, which part(s) of the clinic they are responsible for, and at least a summary of functions for each position.
Having this organizational chart is the first key ingredient to establishing a working communication system.
The “Hey, you!” system of management will not work for long as it will create too much stress and confusion and will prevent the clinic from growing.
A copy of this organization chart should be included in each job description.
In each job description, there should also be procedures and policies that explain and govern the use of the clinic communication system. These procedures and policies need to be clear and concise.
These policies should include the form that interoffice communications need to take. For example, dispatch or memo, intercom, verbal, email, etc.
Included in the job description should also be procedures and policies that govern who in the clinic needs what information relayed to them, based on their function, and what information the person needs in order to do their job.
- Who needs what info (and in what form) when a new patient signs up?
- How do staff members get supplies or things that they need for their jobs?
- Who do they communicate to if they are having some difficulty with their job, etc.?
The physical aspect of a communication system is simply a series of baskets, files, etc., where dispatches and memos can be received and routed. Instructions for using this part should also be included in each job description.
Spending time and energy creating a communication and organizational system for the practice is time and energy well spent. A good, sound communication and organizational system is the foundation of every successful practice.