August 2012
In This Issue
Boost the morale of your care team!
In Best Practices...
Q&A: Providing staff with an informative and budget-friendly training
Staff Feature: Anya Moberly
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Hello again and welcome to the August 2012 edition of our BENCHMARK newsletter! In this issue we'll discuss strategies for increasing your morale among your care team; suggest ways that staff members can improve the patient experience; increase patient satisfaction with budget-friendly staff training; and introduce our newest team member, Anya Moberly.  


Please feel free to forward this letter to your friends and colleagues.   






More than a year ago we raised the issue of employee "engagement" in our Benchmark newsletter, citing research to the effect that, while "satisfied" people perform well under supervision, truly "engaged" employees perform well without having to be supervised.


It's still true. Folks who are engaged in their jobs exceed patients' service expectations; they create positive experiences that promote loyalty and referrals. They're the ones who account for your high scores on patient surveys.


Disengaged employees are often the source of your biggest challenges. Physicians fret - and you perspire! - when your staff opinion survey shows low scores on morale, or teamwork, or job satisfaction. 


Industry research tells us that the two most important factors affecting how people approach their jobs are their relationship with fellow employees and with their immediate boss.


How can you promote morale among your staff? Here are two good ideas that emerged from recent Manager Effectiveness seminars conducted at practices like yours:


1. Pats on the back at staff meetings

Next time you have your staff together, single out one employee and ask each person to say "something nice" about that person. And don't worry - unless you pick the least-likeable person on your team, everyone will have fun with this exercise, and nobody will be embarrassed.


2. Holiday tree envelopes

Toward year's end, put a decorated tree in the reception area, and hang an envelope for each of your employees.  Encourage anyone who has "something nice" to say about a person to drop a short note into that employee's envelope.  Just before the holidays, have a lunchtime party at which everyone gets to open their envelope and read the comments.


3. A few thoughts about you

Turns out that the most important part of your relationship with your staff isn't popularity - it's respect. People want to know what you stand for...and what you won't stand for.


Here are few thoughts on how top-performing bosses build respect:


1.  Be consistent. If you treat everyone the same, you'll escape the too-frequent accusation that "my boss plays favorites."


2.  Be generous with compliments. But only when they're deserved; people resent it when someone's performance does not merit the accolades.


3.  Be assertive. As the boss, you're entitled to make decisions for your own reasons, whether or not your employees agree.


4.  Be there. Rounding on your employees is a smart strategy for showing your availability, you willingness to listen, and your interest in what they have to say.


In Best Practices...
Ensuring that patients recall their post-procedure instructions and leave your office with the right meds and supplies can be challenging for some busy practices.  


At Arch Health Partners, Poway, CA, they've broken the code. In the Dermatology practice of Dr. Anne Truitt, Medical Assistant, Mandy writes the after-visit instructions on a bag into which go the bandages and other supplies the patient will need. To personalize the "take-away," Mandy prints the patient's name at the top of the bag.

Q:  We'll have three new office members by the end of summer and our orientation is focused primarily on policies, procedures and benefits. I tell new staffers that customer service is important, but I have nothing formal to give or show them. Are there any options for practices who don't want on-site trainers and have small budgets?


A: Thank you for asking a question that hits right in our "wheel house!" The Spotlight on Service DVD series will fit your needs perfectly. The four-part series is humorous and entertaining. The format is a TV talk-show, where the hosts take the viewer to SuperCare Medical Group to watch as patients experience the highs and lows of customer service, and they "go live" to patients and employees to talk over what happened. 


The episodes are designed to boost performance through Service Protocols that produce patient loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals. The four 13-minute segments include:

  • "Make a Great First Impression"  
  • "Make the Service Connection" 
  • "Be a Telephone Superstar" 
  • "Handling Complaints with H.E.A.R.T."


If you'd like more information about our Spotlight on Service DVD for your care team, click here or contact us at (619) 283-8988.


STAFF FEATURE : Anya Moberly


Shortly after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in Media Studies, Anya began her career as an Account Executive with a local public relations agency. There, she honed her communication and coordination skills, building relationships with clients and media organizations. After more than two years (and many early morning television interviews), Anya has joined our team as a Project/Administrative Coordinator. 


Anya has an eye for detail and brings excellent communication and problem-solving skills to every project.  She has a natural talent for project coordination and is highly organized, innovative and optimistic.


Outside of work, Anya enjoys cooking with her fiancÚ, getting out in the beautiful San Diego sun, going to see music shows and spending time with friends and family.  


Have a question you'd like our team to answer? Contact us!

SullivanLuallinGroup specializes in patient satisfaction services, 

and is the premier healthcare customer service consulting firm in 

the nation.


For more than 25 years, we've helped physician practices implement Customer Service Initiatives that produce immediate improvement and ongoing results. Clients come to us for on-site and web-based Customer Service training, Shadow Coaching for 

low-scoring physicians, Mystery Patient/Mystery Caller 

assessments, and Patient Satisfaction surveys.