ON Chiropractic Fall 2014 | Page 6

Human Resources T HE " CH A EF FEC T" B etty Molitor began her award-winning career as a Chiropractic Health Assistant (CHA) 62 years ago this summer. In that time she has witnessed a great deal of change in the profession. What has not changed is the positive impact of this dedicated staff member on the practice that has employed her for over six decades. When asked about the CHA role and how it can benefit a practice, Betty spoke about the importance of developing deep connections between a practice and its patients. Those relationships are forged or broken at each moment of a patient’s experience in your practice. Dr. Jim Fogarty could not agree with Betty more. He understands her value as an ambassador for his practice. Betty has been an asset to Dr. Fogarty in many ways, most significantly by helping him to come to fully understand how to build a team that helps a practice not only succeed, but thrive. This is what we have coined the “CHA Effect”. The CHA Effect refers to the way your practice can run more efficiently and provide truly exceptional patient experiences when your staff is fully engaged and committed to the success of your practice. As Dr. Fogarty described his own experience with CHAs in his Sarnia practice, it became clear that his story is not unique. Chiropractors across the province experience the CHA Effect every day. The purpose of this article is to outline some of the necessary preconditions to experiencing it in your office. Choose Your CHAs Wisely Betty Molitor has successfully trained 6 FALL 2014 dozens of CHAs in her 62-year career. In that time, Betty can only think of a couple of individuals that were hired onto her team that turned out not to be suited to the role. That’s because Betty’s highly sensitive radar is superb at identifying candidates who will succeed in a busy chiropractic office. What does Betty look for? Loyalty and commitment to the chiropractors in the office are first on her list. Betty understands that the patients who walk through her clinic’s doors are there to receive important health care. It’s her job to enhance that experience and facilitate the chiropractors’ ability to provide that care. Betty spends a great deal of her time at work interacting with patients and ensuring that the time they spend in the clinic before and after their treatments is as beneficial and fulfilling as possible. Dr. Fogarty echoed that value of finding CHAs who can convey the tone of the chiropractor and the clinic effectively. In his practice that means a warm and welcoming tone. Other chiropractors may seek a CHA who can convey a complementary tone to their own interpersonal style. Betty also looks for signs of a strong work ethic. A CHA who is not completing their share of the work or is not showing up to work consistently is unlikely to be successful. Work ethic can sometimes be gauged in interviews and other times reference checks provide the best opportunity to ask those questions. Invest in Your Staff’s Development In many businesses, professional development is becoming a highly selfguided endeavour. Organizations that take the time to understand and encourage staff professional development set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. The potential benefit of investing time and resources into your team is enhanced by the reality that no formal CHA training program is currently being offered in the college or university system in Canada. Creating a professional development plan for your CHAs does not have to be onerous or costly. It can be as simple as periodic meetings to talk about how you and your team members would like to develop their own capacity and track their progress. You can also encourage your CHAs to look for free, online resources. The OCA’s online resource centre includes a CHA Toolkit. Your staff can progress through the Toolkit at their own pace while learning about topics like new patient procedures, the fundamentals of chiropractic and time management.