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Do You Know How To Maintain Your Focus And Ensure Work Gets Done?
Everyone in the practice is very busy and has several things going on at one time. Certainly there is a need for open communication throughout the day to keep things moving and coordinated.
By: Larry Silver
"PUT IT IN WRITING"
Everyone in the practice is very busy and has several things going on at one time. Certainly there is a need for open communication throughout the day to keep things moving and coordinated. However, there are many things that come up during the course of the day that really don't need to be relayed verbally, but rather they could be put in writing.
Stop and think about it for a minute. Have you ever been right in the middle of something that has your full attention when all of a sudden a staff member asks you a question that actually didn't have to be asked right at that moment, but it pulled your attention completely off of what you were doing? Since you are trying to be a good friendly person, you put aside what you were thinking, doing, working on and answered the question. You then managed to get your mind back on what you were doing.
Have you ever had someone ask you out of the blue if you took care of something that they had "asked" you to do or "told" you to do, only to realize that it had totally slipped your mind since you didn't have anything in writing to remind you to take care of it?
There is not one person in the practice that doesn't have their mind on what they are working on at that time, along with the dozens of other things they need to take care of. It is a point of courtesy and efficiency not to disturb people when they are working. Many things can be put in writing and routed to the other staff member who, when their attention is free, will be able to place their full attention on your request, order or communication.
Judgment is called for here. As you are going through your day, stop to think for just a moment before you present yourself in front of another staff person with a request, a "reminder", an order, etc. Does it really have to be relayed right then? Is it a matter of importance that the person needs to address right at that moment? Or could it wait? Consider some of the circumstances involved. For example, the doctor is attentively treating a patient. You want to know if it will be okay for you to take next Friday off. Would it be appropriate to ask him/her that at that moment? Or, another example - a technician is taking inventory and you wanted to make sure she ordered a particular supply item. If you interrupt her verbally to mention this to her, what are the chances she is going to remember the item?
Put those things in writing.
If you need an answer to something as soon as possible, put it in writing with the time frame in which you need to receive a response, e.g. by the end of the day, by the end of the week, etc. Respect other peoples' time, attention and peace of mind. No one can take a bombardment of verbal relay throughout the day and be expected to maintain efficiency on their job.
The office manager often has information that she needs to convey to all of the staff members. It is not a good use of her time to try to remember to "tell" everyone. And she certainly could not then be assured that everyone would "remember." It is more efficient for her to put her staff communications in writing and route a memo to each individual staff person.
And, for this to work, the office manager must provide a place for each staff member to receive written communications and where they can relay written communications to others. Without such a "communication center", written communications will have nowhere effective to go. The communication center could simply be a centrally located administrative area with a stack of baskets with each staff members name on it. The written communications then get delivered to and picked up from there.
This system takes some getting used to, but you will find that it reduces unnecessary and interruptive activity throughout yours and others' day. It will increase efficiency and accurate relay of information.
There is no intention to cut off peoples' "live" communication between one another, but simply to unburden everyone of the bombardment of verbal communications where written would be more effective and courteous.
If a situation arises that you consider to be highly important but you can see that you are going to need to interrupt someone at their task, jot down the communication and write RUSH in red ink at top of the memo. Then simply either hand it to them or place it on their desk. You can then expect a fairly immediate response to the situation.
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Silkin Management Group is in the business of bringing the level of a doctor's management skills up to the level of his or her technical skills.