Private healthcare facilities are faced with countless challenges starting with keeping a steady stream of patients, improving their care and managing your costs. It is not easy to make a busy medical practice more productive, but once you start identifying your key problem areas you can start finding solutions one by one.
Your two best resources for pinpointing issues that are holding your practice back are the staff members and your patients. Start talking to them and you will find a myriad of ways where you can improve office efficiency.
Put Your People Where Their Strengths Are
One of the first things to look at is how you are utilizing your staff members. Are trained nurses and aides getting stuck behind the reception desk? That is taking them away from patient care, slowing down the flow of patients through the office. Make sure you have enough qualified people behind your front desk so that your medical support staff is able to utilize their special skills where they are needed the most.
Streamline Your Reception Area
There is a lot of time and energy being wasted in trying to reach out to patients over the phone. Invest in an automated appointment reminder system where you can send out appointment reminders, prescription information and the availability of test results via phone call or text message. This will avoid spending your time trying to reach them manually by phone and you know they received your automated message through the number(s) you have in their medical file.
Block Out Time For Administrative Work
One thing that is disrupting your patient flow is having to stop and talk with patients who call in on the phone. To eliminate this, make room in your daily schedule where you are available to take calls. Two blocks of time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, should be sufficient. This way, when you send an automated reminder, you can also "schedule" when the patient will call in for their prescription information or test results. This will eliminate the need to have to interrupt an exam to take phone calls.
Collect Patient Information Online
Your patients are wasting a lot of their own time sitting in your office filling out forms. If you set up a secure website, they can fill out the forms from home at their convenience. Now when they enter your office, the receiving nurse will already have the pertinent information on hand and can take them right away to prep for the exam.
Use an Assistant
There should be one qualified member of your staff who acts as your assistant. It will be there job to keep track of patients, make sure that they are triaged, and remind you of who is waiting to be seen. They should also be capable of transcribing your notes, giving you more time to see patients.
Your goal as a physician should be to see as many patients as possible while still providing quality health care. This can be accomplished, but you first need to put systems into practice that will make your office run more efficiently.
Cities are made up of diverse groups with various interests and preferences for how they obtain information. With busy schedules, community members have a greater appreciation for comfortable and convenient means of receiving news about what is going on in your city. They also desire being able to have their own views heard.
With modern technology you have more opportunities for fast and cost-effective ways to communicate with your citizens. Whether you are just attempting to reach out and provide information about an upcoming event, or have to share details about major road closures coming up, there are ways to stay in touch and keep people informed that are more reliable than methods of the past.
The Problems with the Community Wide Public Meeting
The community wide public meeting is still utilized by cities and towns across the United States. While effective in some areas it is important to make them comfortable for everyone. Some citizens are intimidated by the formality, because some meetings are being dominated by the same few who have grown comfortable with speaking publicly. Consider the format and make more room in the agenda for discussion, and consider a smaller, casual setting. You can learn a lot about what is happening in the community while standing around a dessert table and sipping on coffee.
Don't rely on having the meeting at the same day and time each month. This will get the city into a rut of the same faces. Not everyone is available or has the energy to make a Wednesday night meeting, but would love to chance to have their voice heard on a Sunday afternoon.
Restructuring your public meetings still does not address the issue of communication on a daily basis. Event planning and emergency information needs to have an effective and reliable means of being transmitted. A city website is invaluable for providing such information, as it can be read at the citizen's convenience. Consider using alerts that send emails to community members when a new item or update has been added.
Another alert system that has been steadily growing in popularity is an emergency notification system. With the greater portion of the population running their lives from a smartphone, it is easy to integrate automated alerts that are offered by companies such as DialMyCalls into your public works. For this type of system you only need to encourage the community to share their phone numbers with you. Anytime you need to share that a road is being temporarily closed or that your local high school is putting on a talent show, you can easilty send a quick message. Each person who shared their number with you will then receive an SMS text message or phone call providing them with the important details.
Pushing for Polling Devices
Feedback is an important part of keeping the city's citizens engaged in the community. The same emergency notification system mentioned above provides many opportunities for feedback either with polling messages or a vanity number where messages can be left for the city. With the polling feature you ask a question and provide a number of options as an answer. They just need to pick the corresponding number, then from your command system you can see which option got the most positive response. The vanity number provides a forum for those afraid to speak up at a public meeting to voice their opinion in a setting that is comfortable for them.
Integrating the traditional community communication methods with modern technology is a great way to encourage involvement from all of your citizens. You can easily make your city a more open and informed environment by updating your communication methods today.
The services provided by utility companies are vital for their customers. Whether it be water, gas or electricity, temporarily cutting the service is going to cause some inconvenience. In order to cut down on the amount of customers calling into the office asking why the service is disrupted and when it will be resumed, you can save everyone the headache by executing a plan for outages that has every customer involved in the communication loop.
Once you know there is work that needs to be done which requires a disruption, your engineers should start planning on how it can be accomplished most efficiently. As much preparation as possible should be done ahead of time, and practice sessions performed to ensure that are no surprises that will cost more time.
Have Your Plans Readily Available for Your Customer
When new customers sign on for your service, a small pamphlet should be sent that outlines your standard procedures for a planned outage. Make sure that it includes a phone number to call with any questions. You could use a vanity phone number to allow them to call in and leave messages with their concerns. Many of the questions will be the same, and with a mass notification system such as DialMyCalls, you can answer all of the customers at the same time with one message.
Notify Your Customers as Far in Advance as Possible and Continually
As soon as you know the date, time and estimated length of outage you can then send out a message to your customers who will be affected. Also have the details outlined on your website. Include the reasons why the work is being done, so they understand its importance. In the days leading up to the planned outage send out daily reminders using the same SMS text messaging feature that DialMyCalls offers. Up to the last hour you should be reminding customers so that they take the steps needed to prepare. This ensures that everyone who will be inconvenienced knows exactly what to expect.
Keep Customers in the Loop as the Work is Being Done
At around the halfway point, it would be appreciated by your customers if you send out a quick SMS text message that lets them know of the progress and about how much longer it is going to take. If something is taking longer than expected prepare them for this as well. Your service should also issue a message once the work is complete and service has been restored.
Ask For Feedback
In the weeks following a planned outage, ask your customers for feedback on how the procedure went, if they notice any improvement to service and what could be done better next time. DialMyCalls has telephone polling that allows for polling large numbers of people at a time. Use this to get an idea of what you need to start doing now to make future planned outages easier on your customers.
Running your business creates unique challenges as it is one that is relied on heavily to meet your customer's most basic needs. Understanding that, and taking the steps to keep them informed will go a long way towards making any planned outages run smoothly.
So you've decided to put your musical talents to good use and start teaching students the fundamentals of guitar, piano or any other instrument you have a special talent for. Being able to make a living doing something you love is a gift not to be taken lightly. The only problem you have now is getting students enrolled, and getting them as passionate about playing music as you are.
Follow these tips, and your music classes will be rocking and rolling in the dough in no time:
Promote Your Music Lessons
You are not going to get any students until you start letting them know about your classes. Ask your local schools if you can do quick presentations in classes to recruit interested students. Hang flyers at local churches, community centers, colleges, and even busy supermarkets. The more people hear of your classes the more sign-ups you will get.
Invest In A Professional Website
No one does anything without checking online first, so make sure that when they check on you, they like what they see. You should have your website listed on any flyer or business card you drop, so that potential musicians can find you online. On your site give a brief description of the classes you offer, available times and the pricing. Don't be shy about putting the price, most people who don't see one listed will assume it's too expensive and move on to someone else.
Volunteer Your Talents
Take an hour or two out of your week and offer afterschool lessons to groups of kids for free. Or ask about entertaining a child's book club meeting at the local library. Grab any opportunity you can to showcase your talent for music and let people know that you are available for hire.
Get A Vanity Number
Sign up for a mass notification system like DialMyCalls and get a vanity phone number for your students to call into and receive messages. You can leave them overviews of the previous class, and instructions on what to expect with the next one. This type of service also allows you to send all of your students an SMS text message at once, if you need to make schedule changes or update upcoming class or concert information. Handling your correspondence with students this way gives you more time to focus on your music lessons.
Create A Comfortable Space
Whether at a school, in a studio or at your home, where you hold your lessons needs to be comfortable for both you and the students. Make sure that there is plenty of light to see and space to move around in. Teaching someone to play an instrument like a piano or guitar is very hands on, and you will need a pleasant environment in order to get optimum results from your students.
For most musicians who choose to teach, the satisfaction comes from the success of the students just as much as any money that is earned. By taking a proactive approach to enrolling passionate students, keeping up with them and offering an encouraging environment, your music classes will bring you both.
You may think that you are effectively communicating with your employees, but ask them and you’re probably in for a big surprise. It seems easy enough on the surface, but communication in a work environment is complex and often confused with talking. If your employees are continually not getting your point, or even underperforming, it is probably time to take an inward look at the ways in which you can improve on your communication skills.
Do You Know Your Audience?
Not every business model is the same, and different employees will relate to your communication efforts in some ways better than others. For example, in a business where the majority of your staff is young, a mandatory, after hour, two hour staff meeting is not going to be well received. Consider other forms of communication such as small group meetings, emails and even SMS text messaging.
How Well is Your Command Center Structured?
For larger companies it is imperative that individual employees are able to easily identify who they are reporting to and who will be providing them with vital work information. This allows you to single out smaller groups quickly and always communicate information that is relevant to certain departments or positions. This could even save you time by allowing the supervisors of smaller teams to communicate your messages to their group.
Are You Providing Clear Direction?
Like you, your employees are goal oriented. Share your goals for the company with your employees in order to provide a clear direction for them to head in. This allows them to see what needs to be done and get excited about doing it.
Are Your Employees Empowered?
Along the way, many leaders lose the fundamental principle behind communication. That is, how does it differ from talking? Communication implies a two way conversation, where both parties are given equal audience. Ask what they think as you are working through your message, and make sure that you are listening and responding appropriately.
Do You Know Your Employee’s Concerns?
Members of your staff are not all necessarily leaders, and may not feel comfortable with face to face communications. Provide them with a way to voice concerns without confrontation. For example, you could take advantage of a mass notification company's anonymous inbound complaint line and use it like a digital suggestion box. An employee would only need to know your personalized vanity number to bring to your attention any of their concerns without revealing their identity. A voice broadcasting company such as DialMyCalls would also be a great asset when it comes to finding alternative communication methods, as they also provide SMS text message broadcasting.
Do You Know Your Employees as People?
You might have a firm grasp on who your audience is, but how well do you know your employees? Messages from superiors in the workplace are better received when the superior also takes time out once in a while to just say hello, or ask how their weekend was. Small talk is a communication method that helps to build trust, making the big talks better heard.
Effective communication in the workplace boils down to mutual respect. Speak to your employees like they are a vital part of your company, and they will rise in order to meet that expectation.
Nonprofit fundraising should be easy, considering you are working towards a noble cause. The problem is there are thousands of organizations like yours vying for funds whose cause is just as noble. In order to stand out from that crowd, start getting creative with your fundraising efforts and you will quickly see your goals being met.
Make Your Fundraising Events Competitive
It is very hard to resist participating in an event that highlights your skills or shows off secret talents. This could be a cooking challenge, talent show, karaoke, or any type of sporting event. If you are able to create the right amount of hype around the competition, plenty of people are going to come out to watch as it unfolds, making generous donations in the process.
Holiday Spirit and Generosity
This is the time of year when people are feeling most generous. You can organize a group of volunteers who will expertly wrap presents for a small donation. If you have the right number of motivated volunteers you can even offer holiday shopping services. Or put on a holiday production or talent show, requesting a small admission fee.
Look Beyond Dollars
Donations of goods and services are equally as valuable as money. Ask business owners for donations of their products that can then either be sold, raffled or used as an incentive in fundraising events. Services from professionals are another great incentive. This method is often used in auctions, where the highest bidders are rewarded with handy man services, in-home cooking and other unique and extravagant services.
Utilize Kids to Gather Donations
Nothing tugs at the heart string harder than children. Recruit child volunteers, empower them with the knowledge of what your fundraising cause is for and how it will help people, then set them loose. Children can be a part of team to collect and raise money, request participation from friends & family and can also be active participants in shows or competitions where you request a donation for admission.
Thank Your Donors
At the heart of any nonprofit fundraising is gratitude. As the person who is actively working on raising money, it is up to you to show appreciation to your donors. You can do this easily by using their contact information. Enlist the help of a mass notification service like DialMyCalls to send text messages to your donors, thanking them for participating and letting them know what your efforts were able to accomplish. This will make it easier to get them to participate again at your next charitable event.
Nonprofit fundraising can be a success once you begin to think creatively. Look at your target donor and come up with ideas that will both inspire and entertain them while encouraging donations to your organization.
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