Do You and Your Team Communicate on the Same Planet?
Dr. Barry Bronson – Case Study #216
Dr. Bronson, a general family practictioner was constantly annoyed every day by his team. Not surprising, his team struggled with the same challenges – how to communicate with one another!
What annoys Dr. Bronson:
What annoys the team about Dr. Bronson:
These lists could go on indefinitely from both parties. It was organized chaos in Dr. Bronson’s office. Temperament types indicated that his employees liked organization, following the same protocols daily without unnecessary changes, and a little recognition from him. He was spontaneous, ambitious and always planning ahead for the next move. Different planet, different universe! These annoyances were not “earth-shattering” issues. However, sometimes it is the little things that cause doctors to call and say “Help! My office is out of control.”
Morning meetings should include but not be limited to the following:
In conjunction with the morning meeting, the hygienists and assistants should have access to their patients’ records for the next day by lunch time in order to have time to review the information prior to the morning meeting the next day.
“Walkie Talkies” could be used by all team members and doctors to improve inter-office communication. Team members were running around the office trying to find other team members to ask questions or share information with. Team members were constantly playing hide and seek with the doctor or each other.
Questions for the Doctor – Many times the team doesn’t realize that the doctor has a lot of clinical concerns rolling around in his mind when he is moving from one patient to another. Catching him in the hall between hygiene patients is NOT a good time to approach him about any management issues, let alone a personal issue. Unless the building is on fire, wait until the end of the day or before lunch to approach him. Doctor, in order to avoid answering yes or no to a question without giving it any thought, I give you permission to respond with, “Susie, I need to think about that. Come to me in the morning and I will have an answer for you.”
Sick! You can’t be sick! – A system was implemented for the team to use when they were ill. The doctor was notified by phone as soon as the team member recognized that they were not going to be able to work. Dr. Bronson’s response was to be, “Susie, I am sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself and unless I hear from you, I will see you tomorrow.” The team member that is sick also contacts her working “partner” to inform them of her condition and fills her in on anything that she might need to know regarding the day.
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