Magazine article Medical Economics

How to Keep Your Staff Superstars Happy

Magazine article Medical Economics

How to Keep Your Staff Superstars Happy

Article excerpt

Challenge 14 Staff retention

Ask any consultant, and they will tell you that a practice is only as good as its employees.

As more payers gravitate toward value-based payment models and increased emphasis is placed on effective teambased medicine, maintaining staff will be critical to practice success. Yet, recruiting and retaining top talent continues to be a challenge for many medical practices.

Staff turnover can be a significant drain on both practice revenue and resources. The Center for American Progress estimates that for workers earning less than $50,000 annually, it will cost employers approximately 20% of that employee's salary to find a replacement As some practices face shrinking revenue under fee-for-service models, Deborah Walker Keegan, PhD,FACMPE, a healthcare consultant for Medical Practice Dimensions and Woodcock & Walker Consulting, says they may look at reducing their staffing size. "At some point unless other changes are made to recognize these staff in terms of both tangible and intangible rewards, staff feel overworked and underpaid," she says.

"These practices recognize that each member of the care team is vital to the success of the whole," Keegan says. "They expect high engagement and performance, while at the same time creating a practice where staff feel their work is valued and makes a difference in patients' lives."

Complexity is impacting practices both clinically and administratively, she says. When staff members are faced with additional workload, often it is without first being provided with the necessary tools and education. Also, uncertainty has some staffers feeling insecure in their employment as healthcare continues to change, Keegan says.

"Faced with this challenge, some staff go about their day racing from one task to another, feeling increasing stress as they try to accomplish multiple, often competing demands," Keegan says. "They feel they cannot get out from under the weight of the work and are not able to do their very best work. …

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