Toxic Mindsets in Outpatient Medicine: „If I don’t say anything, everything is ok!“

Data, facts and instruments on the German health system

What it’s all about

Only about 10% (!!!) of doctors and dentists give their staff professional feedback on their performance. At the same time, however, most staff want exactly this reflection of their work.

The wrong view

Feedback is a process by which a practice owner communicates information, both positive and critical, to his or her medical or dental staff about their performance, behaviour and/or the results of their work. Most doctors are of the opinion that it is quite sufficient to limit this procedure to errors, misconduct and undesirable events, since this makes it clear almost by itself that the absence of corrective evaluations means exactly the opposite, i.e. recognition, approval and praise. The problem is that the expectations of the staff are quite different and that this form of feedback leads to a negatively charged working atmosphere, which is quickly perceived by employees as a „grumbling culture“.

Why it is so important that doctors give their staff feedback

In addition, there are many other reasons not to do without professional feedback management. When reviewing the following overview, it becomes apparent that the listed effects are mutually dependent and interrelated in such a way that a synergistic effect is created overall. Synergy of effects means that two or more effects or actions in combination can produce a stronger or different effect than if they were considered individually. Synergy makes it possible to achieve better results with fewer resources or effort. Feedback…

…improves performance

Feedback helps employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses, to understand tasks and responsibilities more clearly and thus to improve their overall performance. This also has a direct impact on external relations, for example in the form of higher patient satisfaction.

…supports development

By making their staff aware of the positive and negative aspects of their work, doctors are able to develop their skills and knowledge as well as their roles in a targeted way.

…strengthens motivation

When doctors show their staff that they value and recognise their work, the addressees receive confirmation that their work is meaningful and that they are making an important contribution to the overall goal.

…improves relationships

Feedback is an important part of successful internal communication. When implemented regularly, it creates an open dialogue and supports the development and expansion of an intensive quality of relationship. In this function, feedback also acts as active dismissal prevention.

…creates a clear understanding of expectations

Through feedback, medical and dental assistants understand in detail and precisely what the practice owners expect of them and what they need to do in order to do their work effectively, efficiently and productively according to the requirements.

…increases self-confidence

Feedback helps to increase staff confidence and help them to better assess and use their skills.

…reduces errors

Medical evaluations guide staff to continuously review their work and in this way noticeably reduce errors.

…intensifies trust

The feeling of being able to rely on each other is strengthened and a conducive, mutually satisfying working relationship is created.

…improves communication

Feedback promotes an open and honest exchange of information and opinions.

…increases satisfaction

Staff feel valued and experience directly that their work is recognised.

…increases commitment

Commitment intensifies as team members feel more integrated into the work and practice. Feedback encourages everyone to do their work to a high standard.

…increases efficiency and productivity

Feedback eliminates potential work mistakes but also reinforces positive actions, helping staff to improve the way they work. This leads to optimised work processes that have a direct beneficial impact on the work result.

…expands the capacity for innovation

Feedback also helps employees to develop their creativity and innovative capacity and to generate new ideas.

…reduces conflicts

Feedback reduces the likelihood of potential disputes between doctors and their staff as well as within the staff, as problems can be addressed openly and resolved directly.

…leads to self-reflection

Knowing the doctors‘ points of view supports the individual staff member to reflect on his or her work and behaviour in comparison and to improve himself or herself as a result.

…intensifies teamwork

Feedback is also a way of promoting team spirit and strengthening cooperation between team members.

…strengthens loyalty

Professional feedback promotes staff loyalty to the practice and to the practice owner.

Are you giving your staff the right dose of feedback?

GPs and specialists can examine their feedback culture and its impact, as well as all other aspects of business management, with the help of the Practice Management Business Comparison© with regard to previously untapped opportunities for improvement.