It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the only constant is change. For health professionals, this has never been more accurate. If it isn’t a technological advance that requires you to adjust, it’s a new staff member that expands the team’s capacity to serve clients.
That’s why it’s essential to create a resource that details Key Contacts and Practice Information, and it needs to be easily accessible to all team members. You can use this resource to document everything from the values and history of the practice to what to do when there’s a power outage.
When team members can access information as soon as it’s needed, your practice can run like a well-oiled machine.
There are 6 major elements that make up a well-rounded Key Contact and Practice Information document. Let’s take a look.
1. Vision and Values
Practices of all sizes should have a vision and values statement in place. These statements detail the internal beliefs that underpin everything the practice does, from strategic planning to employee working practices and quality control. When all team members understand the vision and values of the practice, it’s much easier to work together and present a united, professional front.
What’s a Vision Statement?
In simple terms, a practice vision statement defines the goals and objectives the business wants to achieve in the future.
What Are Practice Values?
Practice values are a few guiding beliefs or principles that a business holds and follows. These guide how those working within the practice are expected to conduct themselves or perform their respective roles.
Why Vision and Values Are Important
There are several reasons why it’s invaluable to establish the practice’s vision and values statement.
- It reassures staff that the business has thought about and planned for the future.
- It sets an expectation of the quality of service the practice wants to deliver to clients.
- It simplifies the decision-making process for those who must plan ahead.
- It accelerates the integration of new team members into the business.
- It enables the team to focus their efforts, which saves time and money in the long run.
2. Practice Background Information (History)
Whether you’re in the early stages of a startup or have been in practice for decades, you always have an advantage: the unique history of the practice. At first, the story of how your practice evolved may seem trivial, but it can guide your future success when it’s well told.
What’s the Background of Your Practice?
Did you start as a contractor and are now running your own practice? Or were you a teacher that identified a need for a unique service to children? Your practice’s background is a record of pivotal moments that carried the business from its origins to the present day. It weaves milestones, accomplishments, and the work of staff and practitioners into a cohesive narrative.
Where Is Practice Background Information Used?
The background of the practice can be tailored to a variety of audiences and formats. It’s a powerful tool to build credibility and trust with staff, clients, potential investors, and other stakeholders.
Most practice websites have a page that provides an overview of their business, and it’s useful to provide a detailed practice history for those who want more comprehensive information. You can combine elements such as text, photographs, timelines, and audiovisual content to paint a compelling picture of how your business evolved.
Use your practice history to provide important background in business plans and proposals. Potential lenders, investors, and partners benefit from knowing how the practice has grown and changed over the years, especially when considering any future expansion plans.
Employee Handbooks and Policy Manuals
New staff and practitioners should know the legacy of the practice they work for. Add the practice’s history to an employee handbook or policy manual to give an overview of how the business has developed. This helps staff understand the mission and values of the company.
3. Contact Details
You need to document and list the key contact details of the practice, from the manager’s name to the postal address.
For ease of reference, it’s best to put these in a table format. Consider maintaining a directory of the following:
Practice Contact Details
Include basic information like telephone numbers, the address of the practice with the link to a pin on Google Maps, as well as the website URL.
Make sure that the list of staff currently working at the practice contains updated information. Include telephone numbers and email addresses to facilitate communication. This information is also useful when a staff member is off sick.
Who should be contacted if there’s a break-in, a breakdown, or a power outage? And where can they be reached? Having this information available will reduce stress if an emergency occurs and can play a pivotal role in limiting any damage done.
This table should contain details of businesses used for professional advice, such as your professional indemnity, practice insurance, and accountants.
List your landlord, any security and alarm contacts, whom to contact regarding internet or IT issues, contacts for building repairs, and the servicing of equipment. Keep this list updated to save yourself and your staff confusion, time, and money.
Include contacts for ordering administrative or any other supplies. List all suppliers and include the details, including account numbers, representatives, payment details, and payment terms. You want to make sure you have everything important and know where or how to order a replacement.
In this table, list the practices that you professionally refer to, such as pathology or radiology groups.
Who else may staff and practitioners need to know contact details for? Put together a list of additional Support Services that may be useful when working with clients.
4. Hours of Operation
What days of the week is the practice open? Do you have any late nights or weekends, and do you close for a break during the day? Specify it all in this section.
What are the practice fees, and how do you take payment? Does the practice accept cash, cheques, credit cards, or electronic funds transfers? Are there any health fund rebates available? This information will allow staff to inform clients of the cost of the services within the practice, there’s no point in keeping it a secret!
Which services do you provide, and is there anything the practice does that may need an additional explanation? Often practitioners with different specialities work side by side. Also, sometimes there are different services offered within the scope of the same profession. Make a list of the services provided in your practice so that your staff can advise potential clients about what they can expect from the practice.
You can’t be everywhere to guide employees, but your operations manual can be. It walks staff and practitioners through the basics of your practice and the “how-to” of daily operations, and it allows staff to work independently without running to and fro for clarity from other team members. This way, they can do full justice to the job they’ve been assigned.
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