Patient care and client satisfaction doesn’t just “happen.” Well managed practices realize that in order to provide consistent delivery of excellent client and patient care, their team members must have the tools needed to reach their full potential.
Too often practices focus their attention on medical equipment and supplies, believing that having the latest medical devices and items will be all that is needed for excellent patient care. However, it is the practice team that is the greatest asset. Without excellent training, the practice team will not have all the tools and cannot provide the level of care envisioned. The time and resources invested into a solid team training program is one of the best financial decisions a practice can make.
Team training is not limited to veterinarians and credentialed technicians, nor should it be used only to meet the minimum requirements for licensing renewal. Each member of the practice is vital. A strong medical team in "the back" is less effective and sees less patients if the team "in the front" struggles to perform their tasks due to a lack of training.
It is crucial that the practice addresses the special training needs of a new team member and sets up an effective new hire training protocol. Practices often spend a very short time orienting the new hire and then it is "trial by fire." Leaving the new hire to stumble about trying to figure things out on his/her own actually costs the practice more than investing time and effort, and training the new team member.
The effect of a solid team training program cannot be overstated. Well trained team members are more satisfied, thus increasing employee retention and decreasing turnover costs. It is vital for every practice to understand the impact turnover has on the level of care provided to patients. Money spent on turnover decreases the funds available to update equipment or expand the practice. It is essential to develop and hone a team training program within the practice.
Developing or improving a team training program may seem a very large task, but like most other components of practice management, it starts with an overall understanding of the need for, and factors involved in, a great program. With this solid foundation, training protocols for every position in the practice can be developed.
Training For High Performance Teams, a 3-week course, is an great first step and will help provide the tools and guidance to continue the progress and create an environment that will help the practice realize its vision.