4 Things to Consider When Staffing a New Medical Practice

Lea Chatham April 13th, 2015

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Register Now for webinar on best practices to start a new medical practiceAudrey Christie McLaughlin, RN

How many people does it take to run a medical practice? Sounds like the beginning of bad joke right? It can be, but in this case it is the beginning of how many new medical practices hemorrhage money. When it comes to a straight forward family practice, a few simple tweaks can really improve overhead.Tweet this Kareo story

So how many people does it take to run an office? Assuming the team is properly trained and motivated and the right systems are in place…surprisingly few. For a single physician clinic seeing an average of 30 patients per day (without any ancillary services), you should have three to four team members other than the physician in the entire clinic. Often, I see family practice clinics of this size trying to start with upwards of seven staff members (check in receptionist, check out receptionist, billing specialist, lab tech, two medical assistants and an office manager).

Here is what you need:

  1. Office Manager: In a practice that sees 30 patients per day or less, your office manager should be spending the majority of his or her time assisting with the billing. Your office manager should also back up the receptionist on the phones and check in/checkout. She/he should also be competent enough to fill in for the medical assistant when help is needed on the clinical side. The office manager should be the liaison between the physician and the staff for routine issues (i.e. vacation/sick days, tardiness, payroll, accounting, posting payments, etc.). Remember if you give your office manager the responsibilities, you must also give her the authority to handle issues when they arise without interrupting you several times per day. One great hire for an Office Manager position is an RN with a clinic background, often times they are well versed in the clinical side as well as the billing side of practices.
  2. Receptionist: Your receptionist should be responsible for answering the phone by the second ring (you may elect to have an automated system to answer your phones. I believe a live person is best, but automated will work in a pinch), transferring those phone calls, checking patients in and out, and initiating the billing process at the end of the day. The receptionist, believe it or not, should at a minimum be able to help room patients and understand the flow of the clinical side as well.
  3. Medical Assistant: Your medical assistant (MA) should be able to do his primary jobs quickly and accurately and utilize communication to move the patients through the clinic quickly while anticipating the needs of the patient and physician. MAs should take vitals, height and weight, get a brief description of the reason for the visit, and walk the patients to and from the front desk/waiting room. The physician should never be standing around waiting on the next patient. In addition, your MA should be the backup for the receptionist and have an understanding of the billing side so they can fill in there as well. (Those types of fill-ins may be necessary when the physician is out of town or in the case of one and a half MA’s on staff.)
  4. Billing Specialist OR Outsourced Billing: Depending on the rates and benefits you can negotiate from billing companies, it may be in your best interest to utilize a billing company rather than a live body in your office. The billing position is one of the few positions that I don’t believe should habitually dual-role. You want your biller focused on your billing and revenue. Consider outsourcing your billing and hiring an additional part-time Medical Assistant if you feel the drag with less than four staff members.

If you haven’t noticed the pattern already, I am going to spill the beans: Everyone in your clinic should be cross-trained and eager to jump in wherever and whenever it is needed. Tweet this Kareo story
This is critical to the success of a practice of any size, but especially important when you are conserving overhead and launching a new medical practice.

As you grow in patient volume or practitioners, it will become necessary to add additional staff members. Typically, that begins with an additional MA to help first, then additional reception help and finally (if you aren’t using a service) additional billing help.

To find out more about best practices to start a new medical practice, join me for my upcoming free webinar, 10 Step Plan to Launch a Successful Medical Practice, on April 22. Register Now!

About the Author

Audrey MAudrey “Christie” McLaughlin empowers physicians to grow their practices and better the lives of the patients they serve. Audrey is the CEO of McLaughlin Sales Group LLC, creator of the series Customer Service from the HEART, and creator of physicianspracticeexpert.com, a sales and consulting firm that specializes in the business of medicine. Audrey has more than 12 years of experience in helping physicians and hospitals provide the best medical care while growing revenue and keeping costs down. She is an expert, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and is active volunteer in her community.

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AAMC Releases New Data on Pending Provider Shortages

Lea Chatham April 7th, 2015

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It isn’t news that recent studies have projected a shortage of primary care providers over the next ten years. The latest report, released March 2015 by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), provides updated projections through 2025.

This study estimates a shortage of:

  • 12,500 to 31,100 primary care physicians
  • 28,200 to 63,700 non-primary care physicians

This is down a bit from earlier estimates but still significant. As baby boomers age, the need for primary care services is growing. Tweet this Kareo story
This compounds the problem of the physician shortage. “The doctor shortage is real—it’s significant—and it’s particularly serious for the kind of medical care that our aging population is going to need,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, M.D., said in a release. “The solution requires a multi-pronged approach.” He added that it would include, “continuing to innovate and be more efficient in the way care is delivered as well as increased federal support for graduate medical education to train at least 3,000 more doctors a year to meet the healthcare needs of our nation’s growing and aging population.”

Others have suggested that increasing the workforce of mid-level providers to meet the primary care shortage is a valuable alternative to consider as well. Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) can provide many of the basic primary care services patients need. They can also specialize. The study suggested surgical specialties are the specialty areas most likely to see shortages. NP and PAs who choose to specialize in an area like orthopedic surgery can help alleviate shortages by seeing patients for needed follow up or other non-surgical tasks. As a result, the physician can put his or her resources where they are most needed.

Technology can also play an important role, not by reducing the shortage, but by making providers more efficient and enabling them to see more patients without necessarily working more hours. As shown in this infographic, the right technology used in the right way can reduce administrative tasks for providers so they can focus on patient care.

Download Healthcare Demand Is Growing Infographic

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5 Medical Practice Front Desk Time Savers

Lea Chatham March 24th, 2015

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Tweet this Kareo StoryBy Adria Schmedthorst

You know the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”  Your front desk staff is the first to greet your patients, respond to their needs, and show what it will be like to be part of your practice.

A chaotic front desk leads to frustration and poor patient interactions while an efficient one can increase both patient satisfaction and practice revenues.

Here are five medical practice front-desk time savers all offices should consider implementing. Tweet this Kareo story

  1.  Pre-registration:  Whether by email or patient portal, all practices need to have new patients pre-registering and completing paperwork prior to their first visit. The front desk bottle-neck created by new patients filling out a stack of insurance and history forms can derail your day.
  2. Outsourcing appointment calls:  Outsourcing is now quite common. It is simple to set up a phone tree to direct all appointment calls to a line answered by a reputable call center. And, as a bonus, it is far less expensive than employing an extra staff member to field those calls.
  3. Take a hard look at your patient paperwork:  One of the easiest ways to save time at the front desk is to streamline patient paperwork. Does the patient history form make sense? Or, are you going to be asking all those questions again when you do your review of systems? Should they be filling out insurance card information when you will be making a copy of the card? Holding onto old paperwork standards can slow down your office flow, reduce number of patient visits, and decrease patient satisfaction.
  4. Automate your prescription refill system: Calls for prescription refills can be one of the biggest time sucks for your front desk staff. Fielding the call, getting all the information, and forwarding it to nurses is often just the beginning. Pharmacy follow-ups and second and even third calls from patients can be the standard. Instead, streamline the system by having your front desk forward patient calls for refills straight to the nurses’ voicemail, with a recording to inform patients that all requests will be handled by the end of the day. Pharmacy calls can be sent to a separate voicemail with instructions to send an electronic refill request or fax. These requests can be handled in one to two batches during the day to increase efficiency.
  5.  Patient Portals:  With a portal, patients can sign in to request appointments, print copies of records, pay bills, and ask questions…all things that your front desk would normally have to spend time on the phone handling. Not all patients will embrace the portal but the ones who do will drastically reduce the strain on your front desk staff.

More than any other area of your practice, your front desk has an impact on efficiency and patient flow. By implementing these five front desk time savers, you will reduce the burden on your front desk staff and increase both the performance and revenues of your practice.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

 

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Improve Your Language Skills and Improve Your Chances for Success

Lea Chatham March 4th, 2015

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Tweet This Kareo StoryBy Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW

Did you know you can set up your day to have a quick opportunity to improve yourself? One of the nicest things about the Internet is the opportunity to learn, and improving your language is going to make a difference in your career.

Here’s why language is important: the things you write online stay there. The impression you make with your speech and writing doesn’t fade too fast, either. If you are consistently using language the way that “everybody” uses language online, then you are automatically closing the street to opportunity.

I like Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips because they are funny, memorable, and short. You may prefer another source, and there are certainly plenty out there. I also use the Gregg’s Reference Manual. It’s the bible for grammar geeks. What you need is a regular reminder of common mistakes and how to avoid those mistakes that you will enjoy reading. I’m always surprised at the things I learn. Something new every day!

That small, daily dose of language skills is a regular reminder of the importance of language. It might not seem like much, but the proper use of language moves you past barriers that keep your career from flourishing. It might be true that a top executive dictates letters to a secretary instead of writing them personally, but it’s also true that the executive still has to use language competently.

Learning a little every day is part of being a leader. Looking for life-long learning opportunities keeps your brain active and your attitude flexible for the challenges of being an influence both today and in the future. If your language skills are inadequate, you may have the greatest ideas in the world, but you can’t communicate those ideas very well. Tweet this Kareo story

Adding something like a daily grammar feature takes less than five minutes to read and enables a lifetime of opportunity. It also improves how you are seen by your boss, your coworkers, and the patients you serve. It’s an easy way to improve your own prospects and improve patient satisfaction.

For more ideas on how to improve the patient experience, download 10 Ways to Engage Patients.

About the Author

Erin KennedyErin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 14+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. Erin and her team of executive resume writers have achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award and advanced certifications. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites.

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5 Tips for Effectively Managing Staff Conflict

Lea Chatham March 3rd, 2015

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Tweet this Kareo StoryBy Cheryl Bisera

When you experience conflict with an outside source like a patient, a payer, or the hospital you can turn to colleagues, physician owners, and even staff for support and to debrief with afterward. It may even feel like ‘us against the world’ sometimes; sharing small victories together can build a stronger team spirit. However, when the conflict comes from within the practice, it threatens to break down all that you’ve worked so hard to build. Practice leaders are often put in sticky situations trying to keep everyone on board and tempers from flaring.

Unresolved conflict can cause anxiety and angst in your practice; staff performance and cooperation is reduced, morale begins to plummet and the patient experience is compromised. To navigate through staff conflict successfully, remember these tried-and-true tips: Tweet this Kareo story

 

  1. Take a realistic lay of the land: This means accepting that there will likely be two-sided compromise in order to find a realistic solution. Help the opposition to understand your perspective as you seek to understand how they arrived at their position.
  2. Dig deep: Often some of the information you need to understand in order to propose creative and realistic solutions is not being presented. By asking open-ended questions and doing a lot of listening and probing you can find out what people really want, what’s really bugging them and what might be negotiable after all.
  3. Don’t lose sight of the facts: It can sometimes get tricky to stay impartial and business-minded while trying to balance being a great place to work. We all want a flexible, friendly and supportive work environment but when practice administrators are drawn into emotional stories they can make poor decisions with unforeseen consequences. Protect your practice and your emotions by being reasonable while keeping facts in the forefront. Seek comparable data from sources like Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Professional Association of Health Care Office Managers (PAHCOM), or local and specialty associations. Doing so will keep you objective and making wise decisions.
  4. Mission matters: To keep your practice on course, revisit your practice mission, goals and strategic plan. These tools will guide you in making decisions and finding solutions for opposing viewpoints by prioritizing overall goals. If you don’t have a practice mission or need to revise it so that it’s applicable, make this a priority for 2015 and call in an expert if needed.
  5. Remain Respectful: It’s not always easy to keep language and actions respectful but it’s crucial to making progress and remaining at the top of your practice game. This means no ‘silent treatment’, name calling, accusatory or inflammatory language. It also means leaders communicate clearly with staff about ‘next steps’. Take on a zero-tolerance policy for disrespect between any members of the practice and you’ll have an environment conducive to conflict resolution.

Acknowledging conflict is not solving it. As hard as it is to take the time and resources necessary to properly tackle an in-practice issue of this nature, ignoring it or over-reacting will only make it worse and cost you more in the end. It could cost you in turnover, a distrustful practice culture and a compromised patient service among other things.

If you find the situation to be unsolvable by those within the practice, you can call in an expert chosen by the nature of the conflict, accountant, conflict negotiator or practice management consultant. Don’t let a stalemate cause future damage, keep moving forward – you got this!

About the Author

Cheryl Bisera photoCheryl Bisera is a consultant, author and speaker with extensive experience in marketing and business promotion that spans more than ten years in which she worked with professionals to strengthen their position in the marketplace. She is the founder of Cheryl Bisera Consulting, a California-based image development and marketing company that focuses on the healthcare industry and author of the book, The Patient-Centered Payoff. Cheryl has spoken for regional medical management organizations, conducted customer-service workshops, and written numerous articles for publications such as KevinMD, Physician Magazine, and the Journal of Medical Practice Management.

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6 Steps to Building a Great Medical Practice Work Culture

Lea Chatham February 18th, 2015

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Tweet this Kareo StoryWe’ve all seen how a great office work culture can make a company not only fun to work for but draw more business too. Zappos did it. Google did it. But, they are huge, right.

Companies like that may have the advantage of a large budget, but even a small medical practice can create an office culture to rival the big boys, one where employees love to come to work and that enjoyment reflects in all of their patient interactions.

Just follow these 6 steps to build a great medical practice work culture. Tweet this Kareo story

  1.  Define your practice: First, decide what type of practice and work culture you want. Envision desired interactions between your staff and patients. How do you want your staff to view your practice and their jobs. Once you know what you want for your practice, have a group meeting. Explain your goals so that everyone can work toward the same objective.
  2. Hire people who complement the work culture you want to build: Yes, skills are important, but when hiring new staff members, you also have to look at how the person will fit into the overall culture you are trying to build. Will their attitude and personality bring other staff members together or create a division in your practice.
  3. Communicate: Always encourage open lines of communication with your staff. Take time to ask them what they do and don’t like about their jobs, and be responsive. Improve where you can, and if there is a problem area that can’t be changed, be open and clear about why. When there are things your staff likes, focus even more effort there to build on your success.
  4. Celebrate: To bring your staff closer together, celebrate! Birthdays, holidays, and goal achievements are all opportunities to make things fun and memorable. Don’t just do the same old cake and song routine. For a birthday, order balloons to be delivered with a singing telegram. Have a pumpkin carving contest for your Halloween party. Hide Easter eggs around the office with rewards like a massage or an extra day off for your staff to find. For Christmas, what about an ugly holiday sweater contest?
  5. Reward success but learn from failure: Praise successes, and say thank you as often as possible to your staff for keeping your practice running smoothly. And, just as important, treat any failures or bumps in the road as a learning experience. By accepting failure as part of the learning curve, you signal to your staff that you are open to new ideas, making them more likely to try new things to help improve your practice.
  6. Take it out of the office: Finally, remember that a great office work culture doesn’t end at work. Making time for your staff to get together outside of the office for things like a picnic, a Christmas party, or even a quick lunch promotes bonding and increases their ability to work through problems as a team.

Building a great medical practice work culture takes time, but it can be a fun experience and a way to increase employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately improving patient interactions and your bottom line. For other strategies to improve the patient experience, download 10 Powerful Ways to Engage Patients.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

 

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Do You Have the Skills to Be a Manager?

Lea Chatham February 3rd, 2015

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Tweet This Kareo StoryBy Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW

Most managers are regular employees who get promoted, but often that promotion comes with the realization that while you are great at your job you lack some managerial skills. It’s different being a manager, but there are some things you can work on now to help when that promotion comes.

These skills are actually good to learn no matter what your position is. For instance, a biller needs to “act with authority” when explaining a patient’s payment responsibility — Any hesitation or lack of confidence when you are explaining the amount, the due date, or your practice policies doesn’t have the same level of authority as, “Thank you for calling. I am looking at your account now. You currently owe a balance of $250 that was due on January 30. I can take a credit over the phone now to take care of this or send you a link to our online billpay.”

If you want to be ready to take on the role of billing manager or practice manager, start learning what you need to knowTweet this Kareo story

A Checklist of Skills to Learn

  • Learn how to be comfortable having difficult conversations — all managers have to be able to do this because sweeping problems under the rug doesn’t make them go away.
  • Learn how to give feedback the right way — tell people when they are doing a good job, and if something is wrong, say so clearly without hinting around while providing a few reasonable suggestions.
  • Learn how to clarify goals — work with the physicians and/or practice owners to establish what practical benchmarks are being looked for so everyone can be on the same page. If you can’t measure it, you can’t all reach it.
  • Learn how to act with authority — if the decision is based on policy, say so. If you want someone to do something, don’t make it sound like an option.
  • Learn how to separate relationships from work performance — sooner or later a manager has to confront a lousy employee and fire them even if that employee is a friend. This is one of the hardest things managers face.

One of the things that will be examined closely when your name comes up as a potential manager is your resume. If you aren’t confident your resume is ready for that examination, seek out professional feedback and concrete suggestions for making sure you are ready for the next step in your career.

About the Author

Erin KennedyErin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 14+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. Erin and her team of executive resume writers have achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award and advanced certifications. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites.

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7 Experts Offer Tips to Set and Keep Your 2015 Resolutions

Lea Chatham December 31st, 2014

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Tweet this Kareo storyEveryone makes New Year’s resolutions, and everyone finds it hard to keep them as the months wear on. It doesn’t really matter if they are goals you set for your business or for yourself, change is challenging. So, seven practice management and healthcare experts offer their best tips for setting and keeping your medical practice resolutions to make 2015 a successful year. Tweet this Kareo story

  1. Mary Pat Whaley: Help staff understand the change and then use scripts and role play to help staff prepare. For example, if you resolve to get a handle on your front-end patient collections, make patient collections an agenda topic at every staff meeting, and help staff to understand how critical patient collections are to the survival of the practice. Have staff write down what patients say about not wanting to pay at time of service and develop a script for replies, then have staff role play the objections and answers.
  2. Judy Capko: Set monthly milestones and review them at the monthly meetings. It builds in reasonable accountability.
  3. Rochelle Glassman: Goals should have been set and agreed to during the last quarter of 2014 so that everybody is on board. Bonus structures should have been developed and put in writing linked to key performance indicators (KPI’s) that relate to the goals. Staff and management should have signed off and agreed to goals and bonuses. Then, the manager or owner should meet with staff regularly to check in on goals and KPIs and keep everyone accountable and on track.
  4. Cheryl Bisera:  Use hard data to inform your goals, then set dates and build accountability into your calendar. In other words, pull data from your practice so you have a baseline to grow from. Say for instance that you want to collect more over-the-counter patient portions—you have to know your baseline, like an average daily percent of patient portion that’s being collected. Set goals from there.
  5. Audrey McLaughlin: Have the physicians or management make the goals (with staff input) and then post them, maybe in a break room, so they are easily seen and people feel accountable for progress.
  6. Kathy Young: When I create my resolutions or my new year goals I do two things:  set up a deadline with personal rewards or penalties and I get an accountability person to help me stay accountable to my goal.
  7. Lisa Eramo: When establishing any type of goal, you need to identify clear and manageable steps that will help you attain that goal. Simply establishing the goal without thinking about how you will achieve it will likely set you up for failure. Write down the steps that will help you succeed. Include deadlines by which you hope to achieve each of these steps. Identifying—and surpassing—each of the steps and ‘mini-goals’ along the way will also make you feel as though you are accomplishing something. For example, if you want to reduce its denials by 50%, this won’t happen overnight. Identify the factors that affect denials (e.g., insufficient documentation, incorrect coding, lack of medical necessity, etc.). Set goals each month. One goal might be to identify your top 5 reasons for denials. Another might be to ensure you have updated contact information for each payer and a specific individual to whom you can pose questions.

Last but not least, to achieve your goals, you might need to make some changes like upgrading or integrating your current medical practice technology. Be sure to give yourself the time you need to find the right solutions and implement them effectively.

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How to Handle Not Getting a Raise

Lea Chatham November 25th, 2014

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6000911_57260_1_14087535_300-300x200By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW

OK first off…even though the economy is improving, many businesses are still wary, and a lot of people aren’t getting raises, so it’s not just you. In healthcare, specifically, practices have concerns about changes in reimbursement, the cost of ICD-10, and coming penalties from CMS in 2015. The one thing you should absolutely NOT do is get in a snit and go storming out of your boss’s office. That will do nothing for your next evaluation, your next shot at a raise, or your standing at the practice.

You do, however, have the right to know why your raise was turned down, and there might be a number of different reasons:

  1. Company finances. With things being what they are in healthcare, there’s a real good chance that this is going to be the case. And if they tell you that, there’s a real good chance that they are being honest with you, especially if nobody else in the practice is seeing a raise. If that’s the case, there’s not much that you can do but accept it, get over it, and move on. As the economy continues to improve so will your chances of you raise down the road.
  2. Poor timing. Some healthcare businesses are more seasonal that others. It may not be the right time. Or, it may be that a recent large investment in the practice makes it difficult to invest in raises today. If that’s the case, once again, there’s not much you can do about it. Of course, that doesn’t do you much good if your own expenses are going up, your spouse lost a job or your kids need braces. Discuss the possibility of overtime or incentive pay. Some practices are offering incentives to staff who increase appointments through recall programs or increase patient collections. Unfortunately, if the practice is feeling the pinch (as in the above scenario) they may also be cutting back on bonuses, overtime, and incentives to scale back on payroll expenses. So…if you’re going to have to wait until the next quarter, next year, or next evaluation (and overtime isn’t an option) your best move is going to be to keep the nose to the grindstone and do the absolute best job you can manage so that when the time comes, you’ll get that raise after all!
  3. Poor performance. If your raise was declined due to performance issues, this is when you need to be proactive, stand on your own two feet and find out the specifics. Chances are you’re going to find this out when it’s evaluation time anyway, but regardless, ask your manager what areas need to be improved. Find out where your weak points are, and do your dead level best to improve on them. Or, your alternative might be to start looking for another job elsewhere, with better pay and better opportunities. But a word to the wise here: if you’re moving in that direction, keep it to yourself. Nothing can sabotage your future quicker than making it known that you’re thinking about moving on.

It can be hard when you don’t get a raise you expected, but the reasons may be valid.Tweet this Kareo story
It may also be an opportunity for you to bring new ideas and challenge yourself. Suggesting incentives for employees based on certain performance measures like increasing appointments is one way. Another way is to take advantage of educational opportunities to grow in your field. There are many free programs out there than can help you excel at your work.

About the Author

Erin KennedyErin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 14+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. Erin and her team of executive resume writers have achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award and advanced certifications. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites.

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3 Ways Clutter Can Affect Your Success

Lea Chatham October 29th, 2014

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1950409800_01d5a2e270_zBy Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW

Clutter really does affect your success: there have been studies that prove it impacts the way employers and coworkers view your ability to do your job. Forbes ran an article called “The Dangers Of A Messy Desk” where a study clearly showed that co-workers judge other’s work habits by their cleanliness, and Office Max did a similar study with similar results.

 

Here are three ways that those piles on your desk bring your professional success to a halt:Tweet this Kareo story

  1. You lose important information. The argument that it has to be in your view in order for you to remember to do it loses its power when you stop seeing the item that is in front of you. Honestly, what important piece of paper have you frantically looked for in the past few months?
  2. You get overwhelmed. How many times have you said, “I can’t deal with that right now, I’ll get to it later”? How many times did you actually get to it and do it the way you should have?
  3. You look inefficient. People assume that you are just like your work area: overwhelmed by piles of papers and stuff while you stop seeing what’s in front of you and lose important information.

This isn’t just a workplace problem. UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families came out with a book on our clutter culture in America that is kind of fascinating, appalling, and convicting all at the same time. But we don’t have to be handcuffed by our clutter habits!

Get real and start small. Take ten or fifteen minutes (set the timer) and work on one pile…and stop at the end of that time. Do this every day and you will begin to see a big difference. There’s all sorts of decluttering advice out there, but the big thing is doing it; if you wait until you have time to do it all, you probably never will.

Take a picture of your desk, cubicle, office, or work area, and look at it. Be honest, now. What would you think if that were a coworker’s space? If you were the boss, would you want that person working for you? If you like the way it looks, then maintain it. If you don’t like the way it looks, you have the ability to change it – a little at a time.

About the Author

Erin KennedyErin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CERW, CEMC, CPRW is a Certified Master & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc., home to some of the best resume writers on the planet. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 14+ best-selling career books and has written hundreds of career-related articles. Erin and her team of executive resume writers have achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award and advanced certifications. She also is a featured blogger on several popular career sites.

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Welcome to Getting Paid, a weblog by Kareo offering ideas, news and opinions about medical billing and practice management with the goal of making medical billing easier and yes, getting you paid. Visit the Product Blog for more information on our products.

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Practice Management

Simplify the daily essential tasks of your medical office from patient records, to scheduling and more.

Electronic Medical Records

Improve patient care with electronic charting, electronic prescribing and medical labs interfaces.

Medical Billing & Collections

Streamline your entire medical billing and collections process from charge entry to reporting.

Clearinghouse Services

Integrated electronic claims, electronic remittance advice and insurance eligibility services.

Analytics & Data

Store and access data with insightful reports, document management and faxing, and an integration