By Cheryl G. Murphy, OD
Springtime is here again. Besides green grass, fragrant flowers and warm weather, spring also brings the opportunity to make sure our offices are clean, well-organized and revitalized. Breath new life and energy into your workday and that of your staff by ensuring the aesthetics of your office are everything they should be.
Medical offices are usually very good about keeping their exam rooms clean, but every room could use an extra thorough cleaning every now and again to make sure nothing has been overlooked, and spring is the perfect time to do so. Dust and vacuum tops of shelves and corners that may normally be neglected as well as window treatments and sills. Clean all glass, windows and mirrors. Wipe down all surfaces with the cleaner of your choice and do not forget to sanitize door knobs and cabinet pulls.
The waiting room is another area that you have to be certain looks clean, comfortable and inviting. Make sure chairs are clean and spot treat any stains on cloth furniture. Give the plants in the waiting room some love, trim off brown leaves and consider re-potting them in fresh soil. Decide which magazines and pamphlets to keep and which to toss. Consider having all carpets professionally cleaned once or twice a year if you don’t already.
The front desk should also be cleaned properly and organized. Clear the clutter and make sure everything has its place. Purge inactive records. Look through drawers and toss unnecessary items. Dust and sanitize keyboards and telephones. Also consider running a computer clean up. Get rid of old files, apps and software that you don’t need or use. Consider de-fragmenting the hard drives if you feel comfortable doing so, and if you do not, contact an IT professional whom you trust to do a computer clean up for you. Back up files if necessary.
Repair and Replace
Now is the time to get out the Allen wrenches and screwdrivers to perform those little repairs that you have been putting off. Make sure all equipment is functioning properly. Replace anything worn out or in disrepair. Consider doing some touch-up painting to walls that may have gotten splashed with hand sanitizer or where the paint looks chipped, worn out or dull.
Spring is all about new beginnings, fresh ideas and newfound inspiration. Why not throw your staff a spring party especially after they have helped you with all of that cleaning and organizing. Treat them to lunch, thank them for their efforts over this past year and ask each person to bring with them a list of three fresh ideas on how to make the practice better. Be positive and encourage them when they share their input. Their lists of fresh ideas could consist of anything from ways to improve patient flow to cool, fun contests, promotions or charity fundraisers that your office could run in the upcoming year. Think about ways to develop the feeling of unity and teamwork among your staff by doing something good for the community together like participating in a charity walk or having a food drive for a local shelter.
All of this freshening up will help to fill your office with new energy and give you a fresh start. It may also put a little spring in your step and make your practice a place where your staff can be proud to work. Patients will also see that your office has it together and they will know they made the right choice by trusting you with their health and the health of their families.
Do you do your own cleaning or do you hire a professional cleaning service? If you have your office professionally cleaned, does the service offer a more thorough cleaning treatment? What strategies do you use to keep organized? What methods do you use to get suggestions and fresh ideas for improvement from your staff?