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You are probably already great at consistently saying “thank you” around your office. After all, you know your staff does a lot of things for which you are grateful. While it is certainly nice to hear the words, sometimes in the midst of the daily grind, a more personal gesture can add a beautiful exclamation point to the sentiment.

Here are 20 unique and personal ways you can express your gratitude for your staff:

1. Pass out simple, handwritten notes about something specific to each person.

2. Make a sign with your own hands that greets patients as they walk in the office. (I think our staff rocks! Dr. Kenkare)

3. Catch people helping out their peers and acknowledge them by giving them a small goody. This lets them know their kindness/teamwork did not go unnoticed.

4. Tell your patients something you appreciate about the nurse or staff member they are speaking with as you walk by or are with them in a patient room. (“Hi, Joe. You may not know this, but not only does Conor work here full-time, but he’s also a really good musician. Sometimes he plays at the wine bar on 12th and Farnam. It’s worth a listen!”)

5. Friday Happy Hour, anyone? Don’t schedule patients the last hour of the day. Bring in a hummus and veggie tray, a cheese board and some crackers and some wine and cider. Give your staff a happy hour kicked off with a special toast of gratitude. Knowing this is from you will make it very special.

Figure 1. The LovelySkin and Skin Specialists teams go all out for the 2015 Halloween potluck and costume contest.

Figure 2. Employees give back to staff-favorite non-profits, like Open Door Mission, with quarterly volunteer service days.

6. Place decorative pieces of paper (one for each staff member) on the walls of the break room. On the paper, write three things you appreciate about each person. Invite the rest of the staff to add to your work. (Joe: Always goes the extra mile. Detail oriented. Kind.)

7. Buy a new Keurig machine for the office and a stash of delicious coffee fixings. Add a shiny bow and a handwritten thank you note.

8. Offer to help complete a task that may be a bit tedious for your staff. Spend 20 minutes prepping instrument trays for the next day, wiping down patient beds, counting inventory, or folding the laundry.

9. Make homemade goodies!

10. Send flowers—a beautiful bouquet of flowers (whether hand cut or purchased) and a note of gratitude will brighten up both the day and the office.

11. Write a poem and post it in a high-traffic area. Don’t worry, poet laureate status not required . . .
Roses are red, violets are blue, you guys are awesome –
I appreciate you!

12. Actively listen. Invite a staff member to join you for a coffee break and ask about how things are going for him/her.

13. Give your time or resources to a cause your staff cares about. Volunteer your time, then send a photo with a note about what you gained from the experience and thank particpants for sharing their passion.

14. Gift some learning. Offer financial reimbursement to anyone who chooses to enroll in a community education course of their choosing. Then ask them about what they are learning—you’ll probably learn something, too!

15. Hire an instructor (yoga, kickboxing, spin, Zumba, etc.) to do a series of three private classes for you and your staff. They say the staff that plays together stays together!

16. Adjust your clinic schedule so everyone gets 15 minutes a day outside of their lunch to breathe, read a book, put their feet up, or grab an apple…whatever recharges their battery!

17. Make a “thank you” video; Email it to your staff as a surprise when they dig into their inboxes in the morning.

18. Ask your staff if there is an item that might make their jobs easier and then provide it for them: A specific training, new photocopier, or new stylus pens for the iPads. You might not be able to offer them a new laser, but hearing the feedback and searching for reasonable solutions is really the point.

19. Keep a running list of things that happen during the workday for which you are grateful—large or small. At the end of the week, share your list with your staff.

20. Plan a fun outing on company time. Rock climbing or a group cooking or painting class are good ideas. If you have staffers who are all into pedicures, go nuts! There are plenty of options!

Natasha Mohr is Conference Event Producer for Cosmetic Surgery Forum (CosmeticSurgeryForum.com). She is also Marketing and Special Events Coordinator for LovelySkin.com.

We Asked, You Answered!

PD Readers Sound Off On ICD-10 Conversion

There was much ado about International Classification of Diseases, Revision 10 (ICD-10) before it officially rolled out in October 2015, including multiple delays and many a pundit poking fun at the plentiful and colorful diagnostic codes. (ICD-10 comprises 68,000 codes, compared with 13,000 under ICD-9.)

Many health plans have called the implementation a success, so Practical Dermatology® magazine reached out to readers to see if they agree. More than 39 percent of readers who responded to an online poll said their experience with ICD-10 thus far has been “not so good.” Slightly more than 12 percent said they have had no problems with the new classification system, and nine percent defined their experience as “horrible.” While about one quarter said the transition was actually worse than they expected, slightly more than 26 percent said it was better than expected.

The top resources consumed by ICD-10 implementation included physician time, followed by staff time, software upgrades, decreased reimbursement, and hardware updates. “I have had to slow the clinic down to accommodate time to look up codes,” writes one reader. “We have had to hire a whole extra person to compare the computer code (which isn’t accurate until the note is complete, which is after the patient leaves) to the paper bill, which has to be ready at checkout,” writes another. “In the old system the 20 most common codes were able to be memorized. Now there are soooooo many codes, no one could memorize them enough to do that at check out in real time.”

Despite the uber specificity of ICD-10 codes (stabbed while crocheting; walked into a lamppost, subsequent encounter), 72 percent of survey respondents struggled to find an appropriate code for various patient encounters, namely “patient fell asleep while using an ice brick for back pain; developed frost bite.” Another respondent remarked that you can easily need 10 codes for patients who have insect bites on their fingers, hands, trunk, and legs and another pointed out that dermatology codes are lacking in general.

“Some things are still coded incorrectly. Example: lipodermatosclerosis is a type of panniculitis, which ICD-10 codes under venous disease rather than panniculitis. The History of melanoma code is much more vague than when it was in ICD-9. Open wound from a surgery is also much more vague. ICD-10 does not think an open wound is anything other than traumatic,” the reader writes.

Another reader points out that the specific details required for coding are often irrelevant for patient care. “Inline roller skater collides with stationary object. Why does it matter what type of object was involved?”

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