A key component of the healthcare reform begun under President Barack Obama is approaching healthcare from a team mindset. In other words, patients should be treated by an entire medical team rather than just a single doctor with the help of a nurse or two. The team mindset incorporates a number of doctors along with advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, therapists, patient advocates, etc.
The thinking is that team-based care relieves some of the stress now faced by medical professionals while simultaneously improving the quality of care. The team mindset also includes patients and their family members, giving them the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.
Knowing what we know about the medical team concept, would it be possible to apply the same thinking to facility administration? Can we get beyond the traditional model of administrators and managers all concentrating on separate tasks and get them to work as a team instead? It is intriguing to think about.
One Person Can’t Do It All
A recent commentary published by the Annals of Family Medicine journal addresses the need for more healthcare facilities to adopt the medical team model. In their commentary, the authors explained a number of misconceptions that have thus far prohibited adoption of the team concept. One of those misconceptions is rooted in the way doctors tend to think: “If I don’t do what needs to be done, it’s not going to get done.”
Not only is that thinking terribly flawed, it is not realistic either. One person can do it all. It’s true in patient care, but it’s also true in administration. Consider those facilities that routinely use locum tenens providers. Can a single administrator manage all of the locums adequately? Can a single administrator handle scheduling, contracts, credentialing, and so forth? Of course not.
Just like a doctor needs the help of other medical professionals, administrators need some sort of managed services program to keep track of their staffing. Whether the help is made available through a contracted MSP services provider or by enlisting other administrators to form a team is not as important as actually getting it done.
Managed Services Change Everything
Managed services in a healthcare setting are not limited just to staffing. However, let’s stick with this example for the purposes of continuity. When it comes to managing permanent and temporary staffing needs, managed services change everything.
A managed services provider program creates a partnership between facility administrators and staffing agencies in order to make sure that no stone is left unturned. Administrators look ahead to see where staffing holes might be. They communicate with their staffing agencies to make their needs known.
Meanwhile, staffing agencies start looking around for locum tenens providers who meet facility requirements. They match qualified providers with clients and then assist with paperwork, credentialing, and other administrative tasks.
An ideal relationship would include a comprehensive software package that ties everything together. Both facility and staffing agency work in the same cloud environment, thus keeping everyone on the same page. Customizable dashboards make it easy to present only the data each person in the system needs to see. All the while a suite of administrative and accounting tools keep track of all the fine details.
It is clear that the evolution of modern medicine now calls for healthcare teams to provide the best possible care and improve patient outcomes. But that same team mentality needs to be applied to facility administration as well. Modern medicine now requires administrative teams that may include external partners. After all, no one person can do it all.