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The Importance of the Less ‘Sexy’ Part of a Medical Business: Human Resource Policies and Processes

I’ve never understood some people’s predilection for describing new and innovative business products, tools or systems as sexy. In fact, I loathe the term sexy when people talk about business. It makes my lips curl up into a sneer and my eye roll with exasperation. Really people, you need to get out more.

It's the easiest thing in the world to bring people on board in your new medical or health practice, especially if you’ve gathered a network of great colleagues, friends and family around you to staff the practice. However without a set of strong Human Resource policies, procedures and employment contracts in place your workplace nirvana can quickly turn into a quagmire of purgatory. I know that contracts, systems, policies and processes are not considered ‘sexy’, but they are imperative…just like paying customers and cash flow.

It is essential to have your human resource systems in place before you bring people on board so you can outline from the very beginning what type of workplace you are establishing, what the boundaries are when problems arise and processes in place to resolve said problems. Everyone thinks they know how to effectively recruit a staff member, until they find themselves in a situation they never expected and can’t resolve.

The book Medical Business Management outlines a typically problematic situation that could have been prevented via engaging with an HR professional:

A GP starts his own practise and invites his previous supervisor, and now good friend, to work part-time for him. In this new environment, the GP owner notices his former supervisor is not adhering to the documentation policy of the practice and a few patient complaints have been received in regards to his manner.

The afore mentioned problems could have been prevented if the GP had:

  1. developed an accurate position description for the friend including thinking through task responsibilities,

  2. provided a legally compliant employment contract that is crystal clear on both the employee’s and employers obligations to each other and

  3. Had policies and procedures in place to help people understand what is and isn’t acceptable within the workplace (including clear identification of Practice standards in regards to patient communication and management).

Great human resource management goes hand in hand with business best practice.


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