Every workplace has its fair share of stress, but why are medical practices more prone to it?
Caregiving is one of the most altruistic lines of work. With that comes great responsibility, challenge, and demand. Exhausting schedules, limited resources, overwhelming patient accommodation, and confusing policies are just a few common denominators that raise stress for this industry.
Even more, patients can feel the difference in their care when there’s visible stress in clinics. According to a recent survey of 2,000 American clinic patients, patients feel a negative impact on their experience when a healthcare professional appears stressed. Subsequently, this can ultimately impact your clinic’s credibility, reputation, and patient retention. But there are ways for clinics to minimize stress and even prevent it from escalating.
Read on to learn how to identify top stress signs in your clinic and uncover strategies to reduce stress.
Top signs of clinic stress
High staff turnover. Are more workers leaving the clinic? Is the clinic understaffed? Are there more patients than the clinic can accommodate?
Heightened apathy. Is there a loss of interest in inpatient care? Are workers showing less energy in work? Is there lower productivity with their tasks?
Patient retention. Are patients coming back? Is there a decline in bookings? Are more and more patients leaving negative reviews?
How to reduce stress in your clinic
Be open to innovation. Invite new changes that can benefit your clinic. Ensure workers feel heard and understood by talking about specific factors contributing to their stress. Take action by learning what processes can improve experiences for both your team and patients. Encourage moderations, big or small.
Create a healthy work-life balance for your staff. Your employees are the heart of the clinic so it’s critical their well-being is in good standing when they’re on and off the clock. If they maintain a good work-life balance, they’re more inclined to boost productivity and improve patient care at work. According to our Clinics Industry Report, healthcare staff reported burnout and quality of communication as top pain points in the workplace. Conduct regular check-ins with your staff to encourage open discussions and to ensure they're not burned out.
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Invest in the right tools. It’s imperative to invest in the right solutions that provide maximum visibility and efficiency. For clinic teams, scheduling is instrumental for both staff and patients. Invest in tools to help your clinic stay on top of staff management, work distribution, and patient bookings. Consider automated solutions like Deputy that can help ease workload and paperwork - one less item on the list can help alleviate stress levels.
Collect feedback from patients. Your patients can provide the most insightful feedback when it comes to how you can improve clinical care. Consider developing a patient satisfaction survey to ask patients the best and worst parts of their experience. Then, use the findings to understand their concerns, enhance care, and optimize staff operations.
How practice managers can utilize mindfulness to make mental health a priority
As a practice manager, you can play a crucial role in preventing and minimizing stress for your clinic — before it impacts patient care and business success.
When you reduce stress in the workplace, you’re helping your staff (and yourself) achieve a healthier work environment, boost productivity, and rediscover their passion for providing excellent care.
Want to see how mindfulness plays a significant part in helping you create a less stressed environment?
Download The Practice Manager’s Guide to Mindfulness to gain insights into providing a healthy atmosphere for both your staff and patients.