When people first think of healthcare, their mind often jumps to physicians and nurses. But without allied health professionals, it would be impossible to provide well-rounded patient care in many specialty areas. What’s a dentist’s office without its dental hygienists and assistants? How can hospitals provide diagnostic X-rays without radiologic technologists and technicians to take them? How can patients rehabilitate after an injury without seeing a physical therapist?
Perhaps it’s because “allied health” itself is a catchall term for a diverse group of careers that are not always well known outside of the healthcare community. As the National Academy of Sciences outlines, the term allied health only appeared in two stories in U.S. newspapers in 1987, compared to 443 references to nursing and over 500 for physicians.
But allied health workers play a crucial role in the overall healthcare landscape—from dental hygienists to occupational therapists, dieticians, medical records personnel, physical therapists, medical technologists and many more. And if you run a medical practice, chances are you’ll be hiring one or more in the near future.
To stay competitive, any medical organization needs a highly qualified support staff, plus business insurance for allied health to support this workforce. Here are a few tips on what to look for in your next allied staff hire (beyond the required degree and licensure, of course).
Healthcare is always about people. First and foremost, your practice needs to evaluate how they can best serve the needs of their clientele. Hiring allied health professionals with excellent interpersonal skills is a great place to start. Think about it: The clearer and more compassionate the communication, the more likely patients are to actually listen and retain important information regarding their care plan.
Your next allied health hire should also display empathy. One study published by the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges confirmed a positive relationship between healthcare providers’ empathy levels and patients’ clinical outcomes. It’s a win-win to hire staff members with impeccable communication and empathy.
Time is money, and that’s never more apparent than when your schedule is packed with appointments day after day. Any successful medical organization must find a way to respect their patients’ time by sticking to schedule while still providing comprehensive care.
While an allied health professional with solid time management skills can take it all in stride and balance thoroughness and attention to detail with efficiency, an employee with poor time management skills can negatively impact everyone else’s day—including the patients sitting in the waiting room wondering what’s taking so long.
Knowledge of Field
When you’re interviewing your next potential allied health hire, obviously the educational credentials at the top of their resume are important. But what about their previous experience? Do they have an intense interest in their chosen field? Have the pursued continuing education over time? Are they up to date on the latest industry innovations?
Put it this way: If a patient receives a diagnosis from your clinic, they’re not going to ask where each professional involved in their care went to school. Instead, they’ll want to know if the professionals have and treated seen cases like it before. They’ll want to know how to move forward. An allied healthcare worker with confidence and prior knowledge will go a long way in providing peace of mind to patients, not to mention helping figure out the best course of action.
So, what do you need to run a successful healthcare operation? Start with business insurance for allied health and a staff you can count on. How you hire your next health professional is up to you. Luckily, CoverHound can help with the rest. Compare policy options today!