The importance of team meetings and team training

Do you and your team have regular team meetings to keep you motivated and focused?  I have heard many team members and doctors alike say that teams meetings are a waste of time because they get out of control and become “gripe” sessions.  Sound familiar?  In some cases that is true, but if you have an agenda and some structure to your meetings then this should not happen.  

Team meetings don’t always have to be about sitting around and discussing what is going right or wrong in the office, it can and should be a very productive time for you and the team to work on projects or even get some additional training on systems or equipment in your practice.  Having regular team meetings also helps to keep everyone on the same page.

If you are going to have a traditional team meeting, it should be run by the team and overseen by the doctor, there should be an agenda that everyone contributes to.  It is important to discuss what is going right as well as what needs to be worked on. If someone has a problem they would like addressed, they must also bring along a suggested solution. One employee should be taking notes and there should be an action plan with a “by-when” date along with the name of the employee(s) who are accountable for making sure the task is completed.  At the next month’s meeting, you review what tasks were supposed to be accomplished and move forward from there.  If something was unable to be completed, you’ll need to find out why and decide on a new plan of action.

Another option for your team meetings is to have team training. Have you recently taken a course on a new procedure or product, implemented some new computer software or equipment?  As important as it is for the doctor to understand how to use the material, do the procedure or utilize the equipment, it is just as important for the team to understand what needs to be done and for them to be properly trained.  Whether you train your team or you have a representative come in to do the training, this training is vital to the success of your practice. When you have a team that is uninformed and untrained on the procedures you are doing, it ultimately hurts your bottom line. It’s costing you more to not have your team properly trained than it will to actually bring in someone to train them to do it properly and effectively.

In short, a doctor can be the best clinician around, but without a highly skilled team to support him/her the practice will not be a success.  Take the time to invest in training your team in order to bring the best out of them!