Author: Marcia Googe, Consultant, Verity, A HealthStream Company
Picture yourself sitting around a table with 10 other people and there is a flurry of conversation. The conversation is all about how you and your team do daily work.
“Well, if you just ask the provider to give you this when their application comes in how hard is that?”
“I think there’s no issue with us asking the Medical Staff Office to take this on.”
“My department is going to need to have this added to the reports you’re sending to Marketing, I don’t understand why this is such a big deal!”
The last statement was right – they don’t understand. Our Vice President of Client Success Services and Consulting Vicki Searcy likes to remind us, “When you’ve seen a Medical Staff Office/CVO, you’ve seen exactly one Medical Staff Office/CVO.” This helps ground the Verity staff in knowing that every office has its own unique processes and complex infrastructures.
With the dialog and scenario above, did you shiver just a little? With projects and advancement comes change and with change comes a need for a very deep understanding of the environment this will affect. Some environments have remained unchanged for decades.
A first reaction to proposed alterations from groups that don’t have the same depth of knowledge as you do may be to retract and not accept any forward movement. However, if you do this you could be missing out on great automation or reporting opportunities that can save you time and worry. One way to approach change is to start taking a critical eye at your current processes. This can be tough as these long term organic processes are like fishing tackle boxes, you pull out one thing and the rest all comes with it.
A step in the right direction is to write down all of the steps you currently have and take a very critical look at it asking yourself if this is truly needed. Or perhaps, if it is needed do you need to be doing it as frequently, with as much detail, and in the same way. Can you simplify a current work flow by not making redundant copies but having a central documentation storage site? Have you checked with all of the people you send your reports to and asked if these are being used or if you can discontinue them?
Those are pretty easy, some of the more difficult scenarios take place around bylaws and regulations. There is a common reaction to say, ‘That’s how it has to be.’ Does your organization have a review of government and industry regulations so you can identify if what you are doing is still required? Are there bylaws that no longer make sense to continue that you can take to your bylaws committee for alteration? Most importantly, are you getting out there and networking with your peers in the industry to see if what you are doing can be done more efficiently? Pull out each piece of work you do and ask yourself “Why am I doing this and why am I doing it this way? Is there a better way I could leverage our system?”
The Verity Regional User Group Meetings and Verity National Conference are our client only events, which offer great opportunities for you to discuss the items you are struggling with. You will have access to peers you wouldn’t normally have a chance to speak with and compare notes. Your peers are doing amazing work and have knowledge you can glean from. If you are considering making changes the Verity team is a resource to bounce your ideas off of and use their experience to help confirm your plans are sound.