High Staff Turn Over Adversely Affects Medical Practice

April 30, 2010 by  Filed under: Management 

These days it is very easy to see that the staff turn over rate is high in medical practice. It is very important to obtain staff that complements the practice. Yet, for this to happen, the values of the staff must align with those of the practice. However, such an alignment does not always happen and we find more and more people walking out the door to seek new jobs and pursue new avenues.

Staff turn over can affect practice in four critical areas. Let’s put the effects of staff turn over on practice under the microscope.

Productivity is seriously affected
When people leave their jobs they inadvertently and automatically place the burden of their previous responsibilities on the remainder of the staff. For example, if the receptionist abandons his job, a clinical staffer will have to cover the phones. By doing this, some work will definitely be omitted.

The staffer, therefore, is diverted from his usual chores to attend the phone. Depending on what the clinical staffer feels more important, either the chores or the phone will take priority. In this example, only one of these two jobs can be done well. The staff and the customers will be aware of this fact. Productivity therefore is affected one way or another.

Morale is lowered
One of the worst things that high staff turn-over breeds in a medical office is low work morale. This monster creeps into the work place and affects hard working staff members who are already burdened with their own tasks. Staff members who have a sense of duty and industry are more inclined to be negatively affected by the increased work load resulting from high staff turn over. These people like to complete a task thoroughly and effectively. However, this cannot happen because the former employee’s work has to be covered.

If the situation doesn’t change, the best staff members walk off. This is because they are the ones who are most depressed or angry about the vacuums that vacancies create.

Paperwork gets sloppy
Sloppy paperwork that is full of errors and omissions is another issue that plagues the remaining staff members. Again, the cause is attributed to the distraction and gloominess of covering multiple tasks while knowing that none of them are being done well. Such mistakes can be committed by the best employees if the distraction is strong enough. Like a rotting fish, this problem is only compounded in the course of weeks.

Income is reduced with reduced productivity
One of the most significant effects of reduced productivity stemming from high staff turn over rates is decreased income. There are lowered billed amounts and billing delays. These are attributed to vacancies that reduce the working speed of the physician, delay technical work and delay mailings because of inadequate information collection.

Putting it together, medical practice is seeing a high staff turn-over rate attributable to factors that need to be identified and examined with the perspective of the staff. This turn-over rate casts a shadow on the remaining working staff and, through various pathways, adversely affects the practice.

Rebecca Morehead helps Practice Managers implement simple and effective strategies to ensure smooth patient flow, increased collection rates and loyal staff. She has an extensive medical practice background and expertise in this area.

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Rebecca Morehead - EzineArticles Expert Author

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