The summers are often a slower period for specialty clinics, which means there’s a higher percentage of staff requesting time off. It’s essential to have staff submit their requests in advance to avoid too many employees being gone at once, but there are other procedures you should have in place.
Make it clear how much in advance time off should be requested.
If it’s not already, make sure employees know the requirements for requesting time off. Asking them to do it in advance helps the team prepare for when they’re gone so they can continue to serve their patients expertly. The patient journey relies on everyone in the office, whether that’s directly when communicating through front staff or having their appointments processed by the billing department, and every employee counts.
Ask employees to train others on their tasks.
Whether the employee on vacation is a part of a department or not, it’s essential that another staff member is aware of their tasks. The front staff all have similar tasks, for example, but some will delegate more than others. Going over this will help ensure nothing slips through the cracks during their absence. For small billing teams, this step is especially important.
Have them set up an away message for their email and delegate to another.
Ask that employees set up an automatic email response when they are out of office. Then, if there is an immediate need, they can be directed to another employee that can handle it while they’re away. Then the issue will still be resolved in a timely manner, and the worker won’t come back to an abundance of high-priority, short timeline needs.
Invest in process documents.
Having process documents on hand is one of the easiest ways to train in new employees or cover tasks when someone takes a vacation. If your clinic has a small billing team of only one or two people, these are essential. If billing gets behind by even a week, that can put a strain on the clinic’s revenue cycle. Other staff members will most likely be trained in temporarily, which also means there will be the risk of more mistakes on coding and procedures. The process documents will help answer a lot of questions so it will go as smoothly as possible.
If your billing team has gotten overwhelmed, then it may be time to partner with an outsourcing company. Outsource Receivables Inc. has a guarantee of saving clinics 15% overall when they partner with our experts.