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QUESTION: Our Medical Staff year ends this month, so we have new officers and department chairs coming on board. Every year we struggle with getting these individuals up to speed, since they typically have little to no leadership experience. What are our options to offer training to the uninitiated?
ANSWER: We hear this time and time again wherever we go. Physicians are elected or appointed to key roles that impact credentialing, peer review, and, most importantly, patient safety, yet they are given no guidance or training on how to perform these important functions. Fortunately, you have a number of options available.
Many organizations have taken it upon themselves to develop internal leadership training opportunities. This could range from holding quarterly “retreats” supplemented by external experts in the field (an option we have been very honored to partner with a number of hospitals and systems on) to developing “in house” training modules that are provided to new leaders as a part of their onboarding process. One of our favorites was an outgoing Chief of Staff who wanted to pass on her experiences and lessons learned by developing a “Cup of Coffee” training course for tips on how to hold a productive collegial intervention.
Others have simply created a Medical Staff leader handbook that passes along important information about responsibilities, the importance of confidentiality, the legal protections that are available to Medical Staff leaders, etc.
Of course, we feel that one of the best ways to provide education to your new leaders is to send them to one of our national seminars. Horty Springer has been offering seminars for physician leaders for more than 40 years, covering a range of topics related to credentialing and peer review. We just released our seminar schedule for 2019/2020, so consider joining us in Las Vegas, Naples, Savannah, or Chicago. We’d love to see you and your new leaders there!