Bringing a new physician into your practice often starts long before his or her first day at work. First you had to actively recruit for the position. After compiling the initial pool of candidates, you then had to take time to conduct interviews and attend meetups before making the final selection. Then came salary negotiations, the final employment agreement and believe it or not, that was just the beginning. The onboarding of a new physician is often a multi-week process that includes verification of credentials, acquisition of ID numbers for items such as his or her medical license, DEA license, NPI, Medicare, etc. Then comes the process of applying for and obtaining necessary privileges and credentials for the practice’s accepted insurance plans as well as any relevant hospitals or ambulatory service centers.
Only after all of this can a new physician begin that highly anticipated first day of seeing actual patients. Considering all the paperwork and planning that goes into getting a new physician in the door, you would think that a similar amount of effort would go into making sure that first day of seeing patients runs as smoothly as possible. However, without a plan, the day can turn into a chaotic nightmare that starts everyone off on the wrong foot.
To avoid this, it is highly recommended that practices create a welcome document or packet, to be given to the newly hired physician during their initial orientation or tour, that provides some of the basic information he/she will need to complete daily tasks. This document or packet should include a number of important items.
Setup & Access Info
The first item for the welcome packet should be a list of provider setup information. This list should begin with the password to both the secure and unsecure wi-fi networks. It should also include all necessary login credentials, passwords and preferences for the practice’s EHR and practice management software. Last but not least on this list should be accessibility signatures and instructions for using the eRx system.
In addition to the setup list, the packet should also include instructions for the daily schedule dashboard. First, provide instructions related to how the practice’s schedule functions, including a key (if there are color-coded items) and a breakdown of the schedule’s grid or arrangement. Next should be instructions for how to review and sign off on labs, pathology and pending prescriptions.
The welcome packet should also provide your newly hired physician with a list of best practices for documenting patient encounters. In addition to issuing new doctors a welcome packet, it is common practice to provide them with hands-on training a couple of weeks prior to going live. This should help prepare the new provider for a better clinic flow. The training should encompass critical information such as documenting MIPS quality measures, documenting exam and diagnostic findings, building an impression and plan, and coding for services rendered.
Preparation is Key
While this welcome packet is meant to include information for your new physician’s first day at the office, it should not be issued on the first day. In fact, the best approach is to provide the packet a few weeks prior to their go-live. Hands-on training on the use of the practice’s EMR system and equipment is highly advisable. Therefore, you should contact various companies with which your practice operates to inquire about training that new physicians can undergo in advance of their start date, so they are able to hit the ground running on day one.
The onboarding of a new physician can be a troublesome process, if poorly executed. However, putting some effort into advance planning and preparation can take the chaos out of a new physician’s first day and ensure the best possible experience for not only the new physician, but staff and patients as well.
At Nextech, the team of experts come with software and clinical expertise to streamline the onboarding process.
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