If you are managing a team of therapists, your aim will be to deliver top-class care to your patients while keeping costs under control. Management techniques from other industries can be adapted to help with managing a team of therapists. The following strategies have been proven to deliver great results.
1. Establish Goals
Goals can be individual goals as well as group and practice goals. Make your therapists aware of the practice’s goals, visions and strategies. Ask them for input on how the goals can be achieved. Ask them what their own personal goals are and how they think your practice can adapt to help them achieve their goals. Make sure goals are both measurable and attainable. Having goals helps individuals and teams focus on the important matters.1
2. Adopt an Investigative Culture
Everybody makes mistakes, but berating or criticizing people who err is not the best way to handle these issues and will do little to prevent the errors from recurring.2 Worse still, it may create a culture where people try to hide their mistakes.
When errors occur, take the time to find out the reasons why. The most serious errors are usually the result of a number of different factors falling into place. Identifying why errors occurred helps you and your therapists to introduce preventative measures to stop similar errors in the future.
Analysis of errors can also help to identify other potential areas where similar situations could lead to costly errors, and these can also be prevented. Whenever possible, draft a set of procedures to be followed to ensure errors are minimized. Encouraging openness and being willing to investigate systems and procedures helps to stop errors from recurring.
3. Other Aspects of Managing a Team of Therapists
Using tools that help your therapists perform their duties effectively and efficiently can be a big help when managing a team of therapists. Embracing modern technology is one way to achieve this. Your therapists have likely spent a lot of money and many years of dedicated study to get where they are. If they are bogged down in administrative tasks, their job satisfaction levels are likely to be low.
If you have not already done so, think about introducing an EHR system. If your practice is paid by Medicare, you will have to adopt an EHR system to continue doing so. This may seem like an imposition, but an EHR system can vastly improve the way your practice works. Additionally, it can deliver significant financial rewards.
When your therapists have access to an EHR system, they spend a lot less time dealing with administrative tasks. That means they can spend more time with patients, or they see more patients. Most importantly, they will be spending most of their time doing what they are trained to do.
Finally, when managing a team of therapists, recognize the importance of feedback. Practice managers will automatically provide feedback when things go wrong. Make sure you also provide feedback that is positive.