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The New Rules: Working Well with Administration

By Deb McClanahan Principal, BroadBand HR Consulting

It used to be that you were the master of your domain as a surgeon. You got to make all of the decisions about how, why, what, and where surgery was practiced. Now, there are lots of new rules implemented that impact the how and why – and nobody asked you. Welcome to the new age of health care in 2016 and beyond.

You became a minimally invasive surgeon to help patients. That’s still Goal Number 1. The process of how you get there is what has changed.:
• Are you feeling like everyone gets a vote but you on how services are delivered today?
• Do you have a non-surgeon telling you how to do your job?
• Are you impacted by the Healthcare Accountable Organization regulations?

What all these changes mean is that you need to develop new skills to work effectively and efficiently within the new model. In this and further blogs, we’ll emphasize lessons from corporate organizational change professionals that will help you adapt to this new world.

Yes, this is not why you went to medical school, and why you continue to develop your skills through additional training and certification. But this stuff is important today …

Lesson #1: Influencing Skills

Your vote used to count more than everyone else when it came to purchasing and using the newest and best equipment available. Now it is incumbent on you to develop influencing skills regarding new equipment or facilities.

There will be a lot of information available from the equipment vendor or manufacturer about the features and benefits of the latest and greatest advances for your specialty. You can talk to those specialists about whether the product or service reduces the time involved in a procedure or if it improves surgical outcomes or reduces side effects or improves recovery time. This is important information to share with that person who is now the decision maker. Rather than argue that it should still be your decision, bring that person the detail on why the new thing is critical to improving the practice.

Align your values with the decision maker, even if it is a CFO or administrator. This is corporate management 101 – manage up, down, and across. Share information that will help with an informed decision.

Follow up: let the person know that you’ll be calling or emailing to check back, and include when that will happen. Talk to others who may get a vote – lobby for support of your idea with other department heads or those who can influence. This is a standard process in most organizations – build support for your idea.

If it isn’t approved on the 1st submission, ask how soon you can have another review . Again, standard management practice on issues like this are often reviewed every 6 months or in some alignment before the annual budget is set. Items that are not within the budget cycle often require some other process- ask the decision maker if that is possible and who else needs to be involved.

In further episodes, we’ll discuss other Management 101 issues for your consideration.

Deb McClanahan, Principal of BroadBand HR Consulting, helps companies with Executive Search and HR Consulting. She can be reached at (650) 520-7589 or through email,

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