The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time for medical offices and facilities–and that's compounded by holiday closings.
Because emotions can run high during the holidays, it’s important to effectively communicate the days your medical office will be closed. That way your employees and patients can plan for these closings accordingly. With a recent survey showing that 35% of employees feel an increase in work-related pressure during the holidays, the sooner you inform your stakeholders of holiday closing protocols, the better.
Follow these best practices for preparing your medical office for holiday closings.
Decide when the office will be closed.
In general, you should establish when the holiday closings will be before each new year. Most U.S. medical offices close for major holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. At the beginning of each year, you should go through the new calendar and reschedule any meetings (such as weekly staff meetings) that fall on a holiday.
Establish an office policy for holiday closure.
You should communicate a formal holiday policy to all employees. Your office policy should address holiday closings, holiday pay, and whether staff will be compensated if they work during a holiday. Also state any requirements or restrictions for employee time-off requests. Additionally, the policy should outline any holiday-specific administrative tasks, like turning off equipment, notifying vendors who regularly schedule shipments to your office, and changing voice mail messages.
Communicate holiday closures to patients.
Be sure to inform all patients about holiday closures at least a month before each holiday. You can communicate this notice with patients via email, social media, your practice’s website, and signs in the waiting room. By being proactive in notifying patients about holiday closures, you’ll reduce the likelihood of scheduling conflicts and confusion.
Failing to properly establish and communicate holiday closing protocols can cause problems and misunderstandings. By being proactive and implementing effective closure procedures, you can reduce stress levels for employees and patients during the holiday season.