2018 is upon us and your graduates have started in your business.
Are you overwhelmed already or do you have a set plan and structure?
Structure and a clear plan of action is key to success with your graduate. Let's walk you through some of the steps you should be covering in the first month with your graduate:
Front Desk System
If your graduate is unsure how to go about writing their clinical notes, then this can have a huge impact on their time management within your business. Taking the time to sit down and navigate them around the features of your front desk system will give your graduate the tools for success when their caseload builds. I don't know how many graduates that tell us they were unaware of the 'copy note' or report/letter templates available until 6 months into their career. These features are designed to streamline the administration tasks in private practice. We are lucky that this new generation of graduates has grown up in an era of technology, so they will pick up this training very quickly. But you still need to give them the tour of the program you use, rather then telling them to 'have a play around' on the software and make yourself familiar with the program.
New Patient Process
Each new patient that presents to private practice wants the same questions answered in an initial consultation.
"What's my problem?"
"How long will it take to get better?
"How much treatment will I need?".
If a graduate can not commit to answering these questions for their patients then they will struggle to build a recurrent clientele. Streamlining your graduate in the early days by providing an initial consult form for your patients to fill out in the waiting room, will give your graduate a lot of information to streamline their initial consultation and subjective questioning.
After a new patient presents to the clinic, you may have a process of information they should be given after their consultation and makes your graduate commit to answering these questions for their patient, such as committing to a diagnosis, treatment plan and expected outcomes. Graduates have one chance to impress in an initial consultation, so set them up with a process and a standard of delivery of an exceptional initial consultation and then sit back and watch their caseload build.
Follow Up Patient Process
After a follow up consultation, what does your graduate need to do?
Clinical notes, a letter to the referrer, patient scheduling sheet. Layout the process for them to follow initially like a recipe then these tasks will get achieved and become automatic with practise.
Be sure to explain to your graduate that any information that leaves the clinic with a patient must have the clinic details on it and be professional. All material that leaves your practice is a reflection on the business, so hand drawn stick figures on blank pieces of paper are unacceptable.
Report/ Letter Templates
Most private practices have report and letter templates within their front desk software and it is matter of filling in the blanks with the information. Graduate training on appropriate report and letter writing etiquette is imperative considering this is the main contact your graduate will have with your loyal referrers or potential new referrers. Getting the language right in letters will stop your graduate rubbing your referrers up the wrong way.
The tone and depth of letters and reports is different depending on who the letter/ report is sent to. E.g. a letter to a specialist will be very different in the language used compared to a letter to a Work Cover case manager. Graduates have a hard time being concise in letters and reports and often want to write long winded essays, which will only put undue stress on their time management and frustration from the letter recipient based on the length of the letter (we are all time poor).
Graduate Resource Access
A graduate will always be searching for answers in their first year of their physiotherapy career. It is ideal to direct them to the correct resources that are graduate focused and at the correct level for their learning. Our Graduate Learning Portal is designed to assist your graduates in their first year from clinical topics to business topics. Our resource data base includes researched pre-made exercise sheets and rehabilitation protocols for common MSK conditions that they will encounter in private practice. Keep in mind that, graduates have had little exposure to many MSK conditions and often have no idea where to even start with a patient. Giving them a head start with some sheet music to follow, allows them to broaden their knowledge base very quickly and progress their clinical reasoning as a clinician.
Stay tuned for more.......