Steps to Effective Feedback for Practice Staff

November 16, 2023

Feedback is one the most essential components of healthcare practice success, with channels of communication between staff and physician or patient and provider requiring feedback in order to remain healthy. Feedback should be valued for the contribution it makes to increasing confidence, improving specific skills, or creating a more harmonious work environment.

The challenges of feedback in the medical office

Too little feedback about performance could lead to the perception that the work or efforts being made have little value, or it could lead to the perception that is there is no need for improvement. Conversely, too much feedback could be demoralizing when the nature of the conversations remains negative and critical. Though it is important for medical professionals to grow and improve in the delivery of patient services and hone their personal skills, constructive feedback should follow a few simple strategies.

1. Choose the right words

Feedback is an opportunity for personal growth but only when it is phrased in language that develops the idea of learning. Rather than presenting information with words such as never, wrong, only, cannot, or stop, select words that create a learning mode. Use phrases that incorporate words like try out, progress, develop, grow, or learn. Maintain a balance between compliments and suggestions for improvement. Allude to the strengths of an individual and align the areas of weaknesses with a similar desire for exceptionalism.

2. Be conscious of the timing

Difficult conversations should not be held after a hectic day with too many appointments and a full waiting room of unhappy patients. Even positive affirmation can be taken in the wrong way when the medical office environment is teeming with negative energy. Sprinkle positive encouragement and feedback throughout daily activities. Positive feedback should be a natural occurrence through your practice, and it can set a more approachable tone when having to deliver a serious concern. Open difficult conversations with clear intentions on what the conversation should accomplish rather than simply attacking the individual.

3. Strategically use mistakes

Trial and error can be an effective way to learn quickly. Avoid the idea that mistakes are failures but use these moments to highlight a learning opportunity. Your staff member may already feel terrible about the situation, so keep the feedback more positive by asking what could be done differently the next time the situation happens.

4. Present a consistent message during feedback

Keep times of feedback, whether positive or negative, goal-oriented. Start with a recap of the situation, move into the behaviors and the resulting impact, and ask for input from the staff member you are speaking with. Feedback should be a two-party conversation, and following this model can keep the feedback focused on developing the personal interest of your staff member to move forward.

The support needed in the medical office

The busy pace of healthcare can make it difficult to share feedback, but it needs to be a priority. To help streamline your office practices and reduce some of the operational stress you experience, turn to Doctor Genius. As industry experts, we bring solid healthcare practice advice to our customized plans for the growth and success of your medical practice. Give us a call today at 877-477-2311 to find out more.

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