Dec 6, 2017 1:23:23 PM Practice EHR

The Medical Practice Holiday Checklist: Three Steps for a Happy Holiday Season

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The holiday season is here! From managing last minute appointments, to updating office hours, to planning holiday celebrations, there’s much to be done as a solo provider or medical practice owner. The holiday is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also notorious for being the most stressful.

To ensure a stress-free holiday, it’s important for medical practices to plan ahead and clearly communicate to patients and staff. Follow our three-step checklist to ensure you embraceand enjoythe holiday season! Happy holidays from all of us at Practice EHR!

  • Step 1: Create a holiday policy. Nothing dampers holiday cheer more than a frustrated staff. Finalizing holiday office hours and setting clear expectations well in advance of the holidays can help avoid unfair situations and a disgruntled team. Have a holiday policy in place that clearly outlines holiday pay, hours, early office closings and define how additional time off requests are handled. We recommend evaluating this policy annually and creating a holiday rotation that’s fair for your entire team. For further details on how to create a strong holiday policy, read Creating a Medical Practice Holiday Policy: What to Include, from Physicians Practice.

  • Step 2: Make your holiday hours known. Communicating your holiday hours to your patients should be a top priority of the season! Inform patients a month in advance of holiday hours and provide a protocol for emergency situations. Social media, email and office posters, are all great mediums for communicating your holiday hours to patients. Most importantly, remember to update office hours on your website, voicemail and in your electronic health record (EHR) scheduling system to eliminate confusion and scheduling errors.

  • Step 3: Embrace the holiday season and give back. The holidays are a perfect time to show your appreciation to staff and patients, give back to the community and leverage holiday marketing opportunities. We’ve included below a few fun ways you can spread holiday cheer, while simultaneously marketing your practice. Why not get a jump start on building momentum for the new year? Remember to review your patient population and consider your staff’s religious background to determine what celebrations and happenings make most sense for your medical practice.
    • For the staff:
      • Host a holiday dinner or team potluck.
      • Coordinate a gift exchange or an office decorating party.
      • Plan a team volunteer outing for a few hours at a local nonprofit organization.
    • For the patients:
      • Send a cheery email to patients and include a photo of your staff.
      • Send long-time patients a personalized holiday card or small gift. 
      • Offer holiday-themed goodies in office, like a christmas mug imprinted with your information, cookies and hot chocolate or a candy cane.
    • For the community, and for all:
      • Serving your community is a fun, memorable and simple way to engage patients and staff. Host a food or toy drive in office and invite them to donate.
      • Select a day to provide discounted or free flu vaccinations at your office, at a community center, elderly home or homeless shelter.
      • Winter-related illnesses like the flu or cold provide many opportunities for sharing valuable medical advice to the community. Write a blog post on tips for the flu season or reach out to your local news organization to pitch a winter, health-related news segment. Landing a media interview is a great way to get your medical practice known.

The holidays are a great time to plan ahead and reevaluate many aspects of your medical practice, including technology. Are you confident the technology you have in place can support your medical practice for a successful year ahead? Speak with one of our clinical specialists today about how our software can help you.

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Topics: Healthcare Office Management, Small Practice, EHR Solution

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