MU Live! is a 30 minute talk radio style web and audio cast hosted by the folks at HITECH Answers. Experts discuss breaking news and issues on meaningful use as well as other health IT topics.
From HITECH Answers:
February 28, 2 pm EST: Our guest this week is leading practice management consultant and Health IT blogger of the year Mary Pat Whaley. We’ll discuss cloud-based EHRs and other practice implementation strategies with Mary Pat, a former practice administrator with lots of experience managing EHR implementations.
Two recent Medicare announcements made a sound in healthcare, one a roar and the other, barely a sigh.
Becoming more productive is almost a lifestyle for some people.
If physician practices are not currently hard at work creating a strategy for the future, focusing on service expansion, technology, and affiliations, they should get started. Pronto!
As part of President Obamas commitment to reducing regulatory burden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G Sebelius today announced that HHS will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10).
Mary Pat recently sat down with Peter Polack, MD of Medical Practice Trends for another podcast to talk about one of the most important parts of any practice: The Bottom Line. In this two-part podcast series, Dr. Polack and MP discuss ideas for cutting costs and raising revenue to strengthen any group’s financial position.
Prior to CLIA ’88 (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988) only laboratories participating in interstate commerce underwent inspections. Since the enactment of CLIA ’88, all laboratories are subject to inspection, and all non-waived laboratories are inspected. CLIA has the right to appear at any point in time to inspect a lab.
There are two types of inspections for non-waived labs: routine and non-routine
Routine inspections take place every two years as mandated by CLIA, regardless of which agency is responsible for the inspection. If a lab has a Certificate of Compliance, CLIA will be the inspecting agency. If the laboratory has opted for a Certificate of Accreditation from one of the approved accrediting agencies, that agency will perform the inspection. Either way, the inspections are set on a two year cycle and the renewal of the laboratory’s certificate is dependent upon successful completion of the inspection. If no deficiencies are cited, the certificate will be renewed very soon after the inspection is completed. If deficiencies are cited during the inspection, the laboratory will receive a deficiency report and will be given a timeline to submit a plan of correction. Once the plan of correction is accepted by the inspecting agency, the certificate will be renewed. Failure to achieve a successful conclusion to the inspection process will result in the cancellation of the lab’s certificate, and therefore loss of privileges to do lab testing and to bill for lab testing.
The inspection cycle differs slightly for a newly set-up laboratory. CLIA or the accrediting agency will come in to do an inspection after the lab has been in operation for 3 – 6 months to ensure everything required is in place and all regulations are being followed. CLIA and the accrediting agencies do not inspect prior to the lab starting testing operations because they want the lab to generate data for them to review upon their inspection.
Who Is Press Ganey and why are they measuring patient satisfaction?
In 1979, Irwin Press, PhD focused his interest on the modern patient experience, the study of which would lead him to become known as a patient satisfaction expert. In 1984, Dr. Press introduced the importance of survey methodology when establishing a patient satisfaction program and by early 1985, he had developed a survey that would measure patient satisfaction as a means to improve performance. To address the need for statistical analysis and survey methodology, he collaborated with Rod Ganey, PhD and together, the two formed Press Ganey Associates in 1985.
According to their website, today Press Ganey “partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide to create and sustain high performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall health care experience. Press Ganey works with clients from across the continuum of care hospitals, medical practices, home care agencies and other providers including 50% of all U.S. hospitals.”
The Press Ganey Pulse Report is an annual report which collates research and analysis of public and proprietary data and the perspectives of patients, employees and physicians to uncover trends in healthcare. The 2011 report reveals:
“The top priority item for medical practices is sensitivity to patient needs, indicating a need for medical practices to personalize their interactions with every patient.”
The remaining top-priority items for medical practices all reference patient satisfaction with the care provider, and include:
- Physicians and medical practices need to serve the whole patient.
- Physicians and medical practices need to understand a patients culture, the relationship with a patients family or caregivers, and the unique communication needs of individual patients.
- Physicians and medical practices need to validate patient concerns and confirm comprehension, which are critical to ensuring compliance with treatment protocols, and also increases the likelihood for better outcomes and greater patient satisfaction.
The report also has some pretty fascinating information on the Overall Satisfaction in Top 25 Medical Practice Specialties (!) and Medical Practice Satisfaction by Waiting Times. Press Ganey outpatient questions are answered by over 3 million people annually over the course of 12 months. You can download the 2011 Press Ganey Pulse Report here.
Press Ganey also has other free resources available on their site:
For Medical Practices and Outpatient Facilities – case studies, recorded webinars, ROI resources and White Papers here
For Hospitals – case studies, Pulse Reports, Emergency Department resources, recorded webinars, ROI resources and White Papers here
For Home Care -case studies, recorded webinars, ROI resources and White Papers here
Government Initiatives for Public Reporting – includingthe Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS) survey, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey, and Meaningful Use and Value-based Purchasing here
Have you ever regretted a hiring decision?
You thought the individual would be a self-starter, but you found yourself having to give constant direction. Perhaps you needed someone with excellent customer service skills, and received complaints about the individual’s attitude and behavior.
One explanation for this dilemma can be found in the book “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Buckingham and Clifton. The authors differentiate between knowledge, skills, and talents. Talents are innate, whereas skills and knowledge can be acquired through learning and practice. You don’t teach someone to be a self-starter, no more than you teach someone to have a talent for empathy. This is why even after providing training on assertiveness skills, or how to provide excellent customer service, we don’t see much improvement or any at all.
I learned this lesson many years ago from a mentor named Bill. Bill was Vice President of Distribution and an excellent talent scout. During an off-site management retreat, Bill introduced his new warehouse supervisor. Bill explained that what he needed for this position was someone who has excellent communication skills, is decisive, and assumes accountability. Bill explained that he found the new warehouse supervisor in his health club. He had observed over several months how this individual communicated with others, the respect he was shown, and how he thought about resolving problems. Some of you might be thinking – “He found a manager while working out?” The point Bill was making is that he knew that he can provide the knowledge and skills required to be a warehouse supervisor, but he needed the talent to lead. I remember the day Bill asked me to move from the position of Quality Circle Facilitator (a staff position) to Customer Service Manager (with 30 direct reports). I said “Bill, I don’t know this operation, and I have never held a management position – why did you select me?” He looked me in the eye and said “Bob, people believe in you, and will follow you. You will learn the departmental functions, I can’t teach what you have.”
The point in sharing these stories from Bill is this – you must think about your hiring and promotional decisions very carefully. If you focus primarily on knowledge and skills which can be taught, and overlook an individuals talent, you can find yourself regretting the decision.
How do you find talent?
One strategy is to use behavioral-based interviews to assess whether or not this person has the talent you need. For example, if you require someone who is decisive, you might tailor your questions toward asking the candidate to discuss difficult decisions they had to make, and how they went about it. You might need to follow-up by asking for specifics. If empathy is an important talent, you might ask the individual to describe specific situations where a customer was very upset, and how they handled the situation. Pay close attention to how they describe the situation, and whether you get a sense that they fully connect with the importance of empathy. Although this is not an exact science, it puts the focus of your interview on the most important area – talent. We often make the mistake of looking at a resume and being overly impressed with the individual’s accomplishments. The real question is – how did they go about getting the job done? Are they consensus builders? Do they build strong teams? How did they overcome obstacles? Did they develop a successor? With an internal candidate, don’t make the mistake of promoting someone who has good technical skills and poor interpersonal skills, with the hope that they will learn to deal more effectively with others. Identify the talents needed for the role, and determine if this individual “owns” this or not. Don’t try to train them to be strategic, or nice, or anything else. They are who they are, and that’s OK. Select individuals who demonstrate on an ongoing basis the talents needed for success.
You might not find your next manager in a health club, but leaders should always pay attention to an individual’s talents.
Our role as leaders is to build on people’s strengths, not placing too much attention on improving weaknesses. Place individuals in jobs that allow them to leverage their strengths. If someone loves dealing with customers, and has a natural ability to do so, don’t put them in the back office. If someone doesn’t deal well with others, don’t force them into a position where they need to build consensus, and then be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
I encourage you to use peer-interviewing as a strategy to find a good fit for a position. The person being hired will need to work well with colleagues, so why not engage the colleagues in the selection process. Teach your staff to also be talent scouts.
An organization is only as good as its people. Being a good talent scout is a competitive advantage. You build customer and staff loyalty, reduce turnover and the associated recruitment expenses, and build a winning team for the future.
Always be on the look out for talent, it’s always around you.
For a complete listing of our services, please visit us at www.rlcooperassoc.com
RL Cooper Associates
Innovations in Organizational Management