2016 Is Closing... Did You Accomplish Last Year’s New Year’s Resolution?

Whether it’s personal goals or career goals, we’ve all been there – setting aggressive and ambitious resolutions, chasing after it, hitting setbacks, and eventually become unmotivated to continue.

It is important to set goals, but if you measure success only by achieving your next goal, you probably have not accomplished as much as you would like. Willpower alone is usually not strong enough to overcome setbacks which ultimately result in failure.

Change of Focus, Change of Heart

Scott Adams, the creator of the immensely successful Dilbert Cartoons, reiterates a Wiederhold & Associates approach to finding success. He states, “When you approach life as a sequence of milestones to be achieved, you exist in a state of near-continuous failure. A system, by contrast, is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of success in the long run, regardless of the immediate outcome. People succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do.”

A simple shift in focus from goals to systems will ultimately help you find the success you have been longing to realize. The sense of accomplishment that comes from working the system each day creates a momentum that will carry you to the next goal. You may find yourself achieving goals faster than ever before with a new found personal invigoration.

As you plan your New Year’s Resolution, set your sights on implementing new systems for success instead of a milestone to be achieved. If you would like to discuss what systems could propel you the furthest fastest, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will put you in prime position to achieve your 2017 personal and career goals.

Here's to your success,

Jim

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Where's me money?!?

What your boss, Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob Squarepants, and Rod Tidwell from Jerry Maguire have in common and why you should care.

“Where’s me money?!” as Mr. Krabs would say. That is exactly what your boss is thinking but won’t ask given today’s decorum. As we learned in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, “it’s not about the money… it’s about the money”. Yet no one wants to talk about money- it’s uncomfortable. Try and ask people about their bank account, salary, or taxes and you will get some awkward reactions. Likewise your boss and the company you work for don’t want to look bad by overemphasizing finances. Don’t let this fool you as your company lives or dies by its profitable growth. That means your boss is counting on you to drive profits and make more money.

A system CEO once told me, “You know it’s very hard to get fired when you’re making budget.” I got it - message delivered. How can you deliver? First, cover your own costs. You better produce enough revenue to cover your salary or else you are vulnerable. Next, if you manage a budget you want to grow revenue at a rate faster than expense growth (positive spread ratio).

Finally, make sure you communicate to your boss the actions you will take to drive profitability. This builds trust as your actions turn into results. Remember- the bottom line is the bottom line. Pay attention to it and it will pay dividends for your career.

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Executive job seekers- why your Master’s degree and years of experience aren’t good enough

If you think your Master’s degree and experience alone will translate into landing that great executive job, you will likely find disappointment. Why? Simple - everyone else in the candidate pool has a Master’s degree and experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. How does one do this? By communicating your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your brand? What is your calling card? What measurable results are you known to achieve? These are the questions you must answer and clearly communicate in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of executives.

Don’t make recruiters and hiring managers figure things out on their own - it is up to you to communicate your brand, value, and worth. Don’t assume people read every word of your resume - they likely do not. You must stand out by communicating why you are valuable to an employer

How do you identify your value proposition? Ask others. Read your prior evaluations. Look at results in the following areas: service, quality, people, community, growth, finance. Identify themes in your resume.

Remember- organizations have problems and executives have solutions. Communicate your brand by communicating the types of solutions you’ve solved for your employers.

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Prepare for an A+ Interview

I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. If I were to grade my clients' beginning interview skills, most people would have a starting grade somewhere below average. This is by no fault of their own. It is common to not do well on things that are not practiced.

Working with my clients, I can raise the interview grade from a 'C' to an 'A' by practicing these basic principals before, during and after the interview.

Pre-interview, you must focus on tactics that will brand you in the most positive way. The goal is to have those who interviewed you to say these three things about you:

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills
  2. Is results oriented
  3. Aligns well with the position

Creating this perception starts with preparation. Begin by understanding the five top critical elements of the opportunity so that you are able to address them with current experience and success. Also, develop an effective two-minute presentation which includes humanization, elevator, and your differentiation/value statement.
[ Click here to learn how to develop your 2-minute presentation.]

As you enter the interview, introduce yourself with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, can set a positive perception from the beginning. As you engage in the interview, pay close attention to the person speaking and begin to mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter. Also, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. By demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.

When the interviewer engages with you, take your time to understand what is being said before you respond. Generally, people are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview and keep you in a positive position.

Post interview, review how you did with the goal of improving for the next one. In order to lock in your follow up you need to ask yourself these following questions.

  • Did the interview go well? If so, specifically why?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What did they focus on?
  • What did I learn about them on a personal level?
  • What value did I bring to the interview?
  • What and when is my next step?

Imagine what would happen if you took the time to practice and prepare a well-executed interview. It could be a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!

If you would like more in-depth coaching to help you make the most out of your next interview, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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Drive the C.A.R.

Circumstances. Actions. Results. (C.A.R.) Recruiters want to hear that story.

When a recruiter asks you about your tenure or a specific challenge you’ve faced, remember to drive the C.A.R. Too many people wax on about their experiences as just that - experiences filled with activity. Recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about results, not just activity.

A good response looks like this, “When I arrived at XYZ Health System our operating margin was -6%. Over three years we implemented two new service lines, recruited 24 physicians, implemented productivity standards for all departments and closed an unprofitable service that wasn’t meeting community need. As a result our operating margin is now 7%.

If you are not clearly communicating the circumstances, actions and results you are not fully demonstrating your value.

Look for examples in the following areas:

  • Service
  • Quality
  • Growth
  • Finance
  • People and Community

The C.A.R needs to be driven on your resume and when speaking with recruiters and hiring managers- make it a part of your lexicon. The root of the word executive is to execute. We must achieve results as that is why we are hired.

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Regain Momentum in Your Career

Though desiring to advance, many healthcare professionals have plateaued in their career and are unsure how to regain momentum. Obviously, they had an idea of where they were going when they started, but never took the time to actively and consistently plan and manage their careers which have resulted in advancement delays.

It is also not uncommon for well-meaning professionals to overlook particular skills that create the opportunity for advancement. Healthcare professionals can progress in their careers, but only if they position themselves for success.

I describe career planning like building a straight fence. You define where you want to go and then identify the points and steps it takes to get there. Each step moves you closer to the next one not farther away.

Here are some "fence post identifiers" that you will need to define as you are planning your career advancement:

  • Why do I want to be successful?
  • What is my definition of success?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What leadership or technical experience do I need to achieve those goals?
  • What leadership or technical skills do I need to move to the next fencepost?

It is logical to think that improving your abilities will automatically advance you to the next fence post. Unfortunately, most executives often focus on mastering hard/technical skills and overlook developing soft/leadership skills. This critical misstep can delay career success considerably. Mastering soft/leadership skills like communications, conflict management, effective messaging, emotional intelligence, relationship building, etc., can be a highly effective way to move your career forward.

Career advancement requires a plan that includes the development of both hard/technical and soft/leadership skills to be successful. If you would like help honing in on these skills, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will help you regain your momentum and put you in a position to achieve your goals.

Heres to your success!

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Can your resume be understood in less than 10 seconds?

I advise executive clients for Wiederhold & Associates and I don’t read every word of every resume. Do you think every recruiter and hiring manager does? Chances are they are not. One recruiter told me he takes about 10 seconds to size up a resume. A good resume first and foremost needs to stand out. Many executives have the same tired, basic resume format they’ve been using for fifteen years. Many people think it’s safe to have a resume like everyone else’s- that is certainly true. However, if you want to stand out, your resume first has to stand out.

What makes a good resume? One that the reader can paint a clear picture for the reader within 10 seconds. Stand out. Clear value proposition. Numerical accomplishments that hit as many pillars as possible. As an executive I bring in expertise to the organization when called for, so why don’t more people hire professional resume writers? They, like I used to believe, think they can write their resume on their own. For a nominal investment you can have an expert market your most valuable money-making machine - you. Resumes change every 2-3 years and you and I are not experts in that field. Make it easy on yourself and hire a great resume writer to make your candidacy stand out and clarify your value proposition.

If you want your resume to stand out, contact Jim Wiederhold for professional guidance on crafting your own brand and value proposition.

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7 Steps to Effective Crisis Management

If you have worked in healthcare for more than a few years, you have probably seen at least one crisis develop in your facility. Although every incident can become a crisis, there are some that happen that can have lasting effects for the facility and everyone it touches. Crises can be from a natural disaster, human error, regulatory non-compliance, to equipment failure. All have the consequences of affecting human lives to negatively impacting the institution both financially and its reputation. What is common to all of these situations are how you and your team react to them. I have found common steps to ensure that you can react quickly, efficiently, and minimize the negative effects.

  • Policies and Procedures – All too often, leadership recognizes that a crisis can happen, but few believe it can happen to them. Because of this denial, many leaders may read the administrative policies and procedures when they first come on board, and never review or update them at least annually. It is extremely important to know your crisis plans and review them annually. The time to become familiar with you plan is not in the middle of a crisis.
  • Drill, drill, drill – The old saying, practice makes perfect is critical in the middle of a crisis. Practicing not only a disaster drill such as a fire or bomb threat, but also when JCAHO or the State comes in for an unannounced visit will go a long way to putting calm in the chaos. When everyone knows their role in the plan, everything goes much smoother. In addition, outsiders, such as inspectors or even the public, will gain a sense of calm and confidence in your team if everyone reacts according to the plan.
  • Be the leader – If you are the one responsible for leading the institution, everyone will be looking to you for clues on how to react. If you seem rattled or unsure, your staff will also be rattled and unsure. If you present confidence and surety, the actions of your team will also demonstrate the same. If you are familiar with the plan and follow it, the crisis will play out more favorably than if you are unsure of your and your team’s role.
  • Trust your team – They are there for a reason and should be experts in their roles. If you have practiced drills and ensured competence during a time of crisis, your team needs the space to do their job. Let them. It will go a long way to resolving the issue and building trust for the future.
  • Communicate openly and honestly – There is a time and place to communicate what is going on in the facility, but when you do, and I recommend the leader of the facility being the spokesperson, being as open and transparent as possible can help stop rumors and defuse a potential media frenzy. The same message must be transmitted through all channels whether that is media, memos, or social media. Different messages will create confusion and distrust.
  • Update often – If the crisis is one day, one week, or ongoing, keep everyone updated. A lack of communication will be filled with rumor and innuendo.
  • Finally, debrief – When the crisis has passed, perform a thorough analysis of what happened and institute corrective measures.

You will experience a crisis in your institution. How you prepare and act during the crisis will define you as much as your success or failures as a leader.

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The Secret Source of Great Leadership

When I picture a great leader, I picture someone who never lets their temper get out of control, no matter what problems they are facing. I think of someone who has the complete trust of their staff, listens to their team, is easy to talk to, and always makes carefully informed decisions.

What I have described is an emotionally intelligent leader.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be keenly aware of your own emotions, and the emotions of those around you. These individuals are aware of the root cause of their emotions and how their emotions affect those around them.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize Emotional Intelligence (EI),
there are five main elements of emotional intelligence:

Self-awareness --- Self-regulation --- Motivation
Empathy --- Social skills

The more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence.

To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be. The good news is, Emotional intelligence can intentionally be developed.

We are facing a critical era of transformation in healthcare and success is entirely dependent upon strong leadership. As you rise through the leadership ranks you must master Emotional Intelligence as a key component if you hope to become a great leader.

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Physician Alignment and the Triple Aim

I was recently attending a hospital association breakout session listening to two reputable healthcare systems present how they aligned their respective medical staffs to achieve quality outcomes. They demonstrated how they achieved reduced unnecessary admissions, reduced lengths of stay and the reduction of clinical testing and procedures. They specifically portrayed how they worked with their medical staffs to strive for best practice outcomes. Clearly the outcomes were impressive, but they neglected a key component of the Triple Aim: Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.

Never once did they present actual cost reductions that their efforts rendered. When I posed the question about cost savings, the response I received from the two presenters was like it was the proverbial elephant in the room. They told me that they didn’t discuss cost to align their physicians “unless it was absolutely necessary”. They implied that they avoid it at all costs.

I disagree. My experience is that the cost of healthcare, or namely the waste in healthcare, needs to be shared with this key group of decision makers – our medical staff. Estimates of the money wasted on overuse each year range from around $200 billion to over $800 billion – between 10 percent and 30 percent of US health care spending. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that waste accounted for thirty per cent of health-care spending, or some seven hundred and fifty billion dollars a year. The report found that higher prices, administrative expenses, and fraud accounted for almost half of this waste. Bigger than any of those, however, was the amount spent on tests that are overused, unnecessary or potentially harmful to patients.

Although it’s the “right thing to do”, I guess I can understand the presenters’ obvious trepidation to relate the cost savings to their physician partners. Sometimes it can be potentially career ending. For instance, I had a pulmonologist on staff that was a nightmare for our Case Management department. By himself, he accounted for 29% of all Medicare admissions and had a variance of the geometric mean length of stay for his patients of 2.5 days. His estimated uncompensated cost to the hospital was $1,818,300. Furthermore, we haven’t even touched on the cost of bad outcomes and malpractice cases, but I also had another surgeon on staff that was on the “watch list” for our Medical Malpractice carrier.

Sadly, both of these physicians were on the hospital’s Board of Directors and I paid the ultimate price for “doing the right thing”. They continue their ways unaddressed and I moved on.

Working with physician partners isn’t always negative, though. In the same institution the price being paid for physician preference items by my stand-alone hospital I had just become the CEO at was shockingly high. When I insisted that this egregious price difference for such things as cardiac stents and orthopedic implants be shared with the respective interventional cardiologists and orthopedic surgeons, the alignment towards the hospital point of view was overwhelming. Despite the fact that these physicians had close ties and relationships to the individual companies and/or the representatives, since they were astounded at the price difference they worked with the hospital to leverage an $8M annual savings for the same implants! It was the “right thing to do”.

My message is that reducing the cost of healthcare goes hand-in-glove with the other two prongs of the Triple Aim: improving the patient experience and improving the health of populations. You can be selective in how you share the cost information, but it must be shared with all decision makers in order to achieve the ultimate value.

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A Tribute to the American Worker

Labor Day means more than great BBQ and spending time with friends and family. For me, it is a celebration of American leadership, strength, and ingenuity.

In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."

Wiederhold & Associates joins in the national tribute to the American workers who have made contributions and achievements to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and the world. Happy Labor Day!

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Improving Trust Through Conversational Intelligence

It is my passion to equip people with the tools it takes to be successful. With that in mind, I have assembled a team of leaders that will help you gain the competitive edge you are looking for. One of the members of my coaching team is Joy Goldman.

Joy is an accomplished professional in leadership, physician development, coaching, and enhancing organizational effectiveness. I feel that you will find her insights useful and helpful.

-Jim

By Joy W. Goldman, RN, MS, PCC, Professionally Certified Leadership Coach

Research shows that 9 in 10 conversations miss the mark. Sometimes people may say to you, “I don’t have time to spend in deep conversations – they take too long.” By mastering Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ), what normally could take months or even years, can happen instantaneously. Below are three significant ways that Conversational Intelligence can impact your leadership success:

  • Enables quicker, deeper connections. We see higher levels of trust, of partnering, and of teamwork. Our world is moving from an I-centric world (focused on self and independent leader) to a WE-centric world (focused on teams and collaboration).
  • Provides frameworks for building TRUST. Trust is the human platform from which great conversations emerge. Patrick Lencioni identifies trust as the foundation for all effective teams. C-­IQ provides a new innovative framework for understanding how conversations shape our relationships, partnerships, our culture and our reality. C-­IQ introduces tools for creating higher levels of trust and higher levels of engagement, which strengthens partnerships, teams, and cultures.
  • A scientifically proven method for improving engagement. Based on Neuroscience Research- specifically the Neuroscience of Conversations, C-IQ facilitates the accomplishment of results, while also fostering enjoyment with the process.

C-­IQ provides us with deep understanding about how every conversation has an impact ­on our brain. With this understanding, we can prime our conversations for impact and learn how to develop trusted relationships. Building trust comes from practicing inquiry. Click here to read an article on applying self-inquiry to achieve your goals.

Would you like to learn how to master conversational intelligence or other enhanced communication skills? Contact Joy today.

Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Passion For Success: Expanding Your Network

Every journey starts with the right attitude, passion, and confidence.

Many people find networking to be challenging. Most people find a way to do the things they are passionate about. If you're not passionate about networking, it is possible that you simply do not see the wealth of value that comes from developing a healthy network.

I've interviewed over 1500 people in the last 23 years. Not just a surface interview, but an in-depth interview. I always ask the question, "Where did you find your current job?" In 70% to 80% of the cases regardless of level, people found their next opportunity through their network, a relationship built over years.

The Value of a Healthy Network:

  • Competitive Edge: A large and deep network will give you information, you could never reach in isolation. Too many of us become trapped within the four walls we work in.
  • Resources: Tap into subject matter experts, fill positions, and gain valuable Industry information from known, credible sources.
  • Reputation Management: Being attacked on the internet can tarnish your reputation. A large and deep network that supports and believes in you can minimize that situation.
  • our Next Opportunity: I can't tell you how many times an opportunity was offered to a particular person because they were known within their network and "believed it would be a good fit." You can secure your next opportunity and your career with little competition through networking.
  • Time in transition: It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between the size and depth of your network as it relates to the time you are between jobs. The better your network is, the shorter your transition will be.

Now that you understand why it is important to have a solid network, it should be easy to get passionate about expanding it. If you are unsure about where to begin, below are a few ideas to get you started

Keys to Expanding Your Network:

  • Be intentional: Dedicate yourself to at least two calls a week.
  • Choose wisely: Reach out to both people you already know but are not in regular contact with and new people you would like to connect based on your next career step, resources, influence, and information.
  • Plan your call: Do your homework- there is so much information out there that you shouldn't have any problem knowing with confidence your opening line or question.
  • Be Reciprocal: Give your audience as much value as they give you.

Enjoy the Journey

Not everyone will want to join your network, and that is ok! Keep trying. Expanding your network is a learned skill that will improve with practice. Develop a system that will help you recall information from past interactions and keep you on track to follow up in the future. As long as you are moving relationships forward, YOUR EFFORTS WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.

If you would like more tips of how to add value to your network including in-depth training on what makes a great network call, then let me know. I am ready to share my secrets to success!

Jim

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Putting the Execute Back into Executive

Say the word “executive” to some people and it conjures up images of leather chairs and mahogany desks. In reality an executive’s job is to execute, or achieve results. At times we all get caught up in the storms that surround us- meetings, urgent issues, committees, etc. Just remember, never confuse activity with results. Like what? In healthcare we must achieve results in: service, patient safety, quality, growth, market share, service line development, cost containment, productivity, community benefit, employee/physician engagement, turnover, etc.

When executing, know where you are going. In order to execute you must have a X-Y goal in mind. For example, create a goal to grow market share from 22% to 50% in two years. If you are not clear where you want to go, how will others be clear? Relentlessly pursue your goal as that’s why we were hired- to execute and achieve results.

At the conclusion of your tenure with a given organization, know what you’ve executed. What was your X-Y in HCAHPs, profitability, turnover, market share, etc.? Clearly communicating these results to recruiters and hiring managers is the key to honing your value proposition. Remember- execution and results are the reason we get paid.

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Character Creates Leadership Success

Leadership is such a broad subject with many important subcategories.

We are in a time of great challenge to our leaders both inside and outside of healthcare. Great challenge creates great stress. Our leaders live and work in a fishbowl and must realize that every move they make whether it's verbal or nonverbal will be noticed and analyzed.

Good leadership, as with anything else, starts with character. Everybody wants it, but it has so many definitions. Everybody sees a lack of it in others but not in themselves.

I'm in the process of reading the book, "Louder than Words," by Andy Stanley. I'm not finished with the book but I'm enthralled with the subject matter. It focuses on the definition of character. Because I'm faith-based, I will adhere to Andy's following definition:

Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.

So easily stated, it's so difficult to achieve. Perhaps it's like mastery, we strive for it, but never get there. For others who are not faith oriented, I would suggest defining what the right thing is but not changing the second half of the definition.

Leadership Starts Here: Doing the Right Thing

Secondarily, leaders did not get to where they are today without utilizing strengths that have made them successful. But under stress, those same strengths can become weaknesses. Beyond that, everyone has certain "derailers" that can be triggered by stress as well as other influencers. By giving into these triggers, the ability to keep good character intact becomes difficult.

Recognition, or awareness, of the "derailers" is not always present within the leader. Leaders should develop feedback mechanisms that they can rely on and will accept. Gaining awareness of these triggers/influencers is a highly valuable personal investment. Once these triggers are identified, passionately pursue how to change them.

In stressful challenging times, these two components are essential to successful long-term leadership.

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Fourth of July

>
As we celebrate our nation's Freedom
we honor the courageous men and women
who are dedicated to preserving it.

Wishing you and your loved
ones a Happy 4th of July!

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Throw Darts Not Hand Grenades

When interviewing, please keep in mind one simple rule- answer the question. An amazing number of people think that when they have the microphone (answering an interview question) they can talk as long as they want about whatever they want in an interview. This is understandable as candidates are excited and want to sell, however it’s a turn off to the interviewer.

Throw darts when interviewing- be concise, brief and use facts/numbers to support your answers. If they want more information, they will ask. Remember- the interviewer has a list of questions they want to get through. They can’t get through the interview if the candidate takes five minutes to answer every question. This is a major turnoff and it signals the candidate isn’t in tune with the employer’s needs.

To answer the question is to be a good listener. If someone asks you a yes/no question- answer with a yes or no answer. Listen intently to the words they are using and ask for clarification if need be. Don’t forget to mirror the interviewer- if s/he is a fast talker, then talk faster. If s/he is a slow talker, then slow down. The goal is to make a connection by listening and answering the question. Finally, only practice makes perfect when interviewing so practice with family, friends and colleagues and remember to throw darts, not hand grenades!

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Opportunities in Urgent Care

Healthcare expenditures in the U.S. exceed $2.9 trillion each year, representing more than 17.4% of the GNP(1). It should be noted that 80% of this expenditure is associated with chronic disease and, therefore, it is no surprise that Population Health is addressing the identification of at-risk populations and patients with early stage chronic conditions, not to mention the growth of our aging population. With Healthcare Reform driving the shift from volume to value, Urgent Care Centers (UCCs) represent a key care component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as well as the IHI Triple Aim that directly impacts access/convenience and reduced costs.

Between UCCs and retail medical clinics that are in stores like Walgreens, CVS and Target, convenient care is approaching 10,000 sites throughout the U.S. The Urgent Care concept originated in the late ‘70s and has proliferated in recent years, fueled by a shortage of primary care physicians and overbooked primary care offices, long emergency room wait times and the high cost of emergency room care. This leaves patients frustrated and feeling like they have no place to turn when they have an immediate need for medical attention but their condition is not an emergency. In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2012 that nearly 80% of visits to emergency departments were due to a lack of access to other healthcare providers(2). The niche market of urgent care therefore has a huge opportunity to make an impact.

To the credit of many physicians, they saw and are trying to meet the community need of access at lower cost by starting and owning a majority of the UCCs. These UCCs are designed to function for the convenience of the consumer on a walk-in, no appointment basis and be open for extended hours.

Health Plans, large Medical Groups, Hospitals and Health Systems are realizing the importance of establishing this type of convenient care model and have different strategies for providing Urgent Care such as building their own or affiliating with existing urgent care operators as strategic partners in providing quality outcomes at a lower cost with greater satisfaction.

For Hospitals and Health Systems, UCC affiliations are mutually beneficial. They can relieve excess volume in the hospitals’ overcrowded emergency departments and, by virtue of having a lower volume it will result in a reduction of the hospital write-offs. These relationships will generate downstream referrals for the hospitals when there is a need by the UCCs for a higher level of diagnostics, when specialist referrals are required and when patients with conditions requiring emergency care show up first at the UCCs and need to be directed to emergency departments. UCCs can also assist hospitals by functioning in the capacity of discharge clinics to reduce the hospitals’ readmission rates.

For Primary Care physicians and Medical Groups, there can be a delay of weeks or months for patients getting appointments. The number of aging patients with chronic diseases is increasing as well, making the timely delivery of care challenging. These physician groups can look to UCCs for arrangements to cover after-hours or for vacations as well as for more patient-convenient certified laboratory collections and testing, imaging, suturing, in-house medication dispensing and durable medical equipment.

For Health Plans, UCCs pose a more cost-effective alternative than emergency rooms. Additionally, as it pertains to population health, it is crucial that the respective electronic health records interface so that at-risk patients can be identified and treated for early stage chronic conditions. An EHR would allow a seamless connection with an ACO or a Medical Group as well.

In conclusion, UCCs that are appropriately integrated in the healthcare delivery system will effectively meet the intent of the ACA and Triple Aim by providing greater convenience, satisfaction, reducing cost and be integral in achieving Population Health.

(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/03/heres-exactly-how-the-united-states-spends-2-9-trillion-on-health-care
(2) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/emergency_room_use_january-june_2011.pdf

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Harness the Power of Your Network

The perception of networking is generally thought of as something only needed when in transition.

Many don't realize that deepening and growing your current network consistently, even when gainfully employed, provides resources as well as some insurance for the future.

There is a direct correlation between the depth of your network and the length of your transition.

Individuals with strong networks don't seem to be in transition very long. These individuals realize a couple of things:

  • A large network is not enough, it must have depth. Depth refers to relationships that are more than business or transactional. Deeper relationships are developed by consistency, sincerity and making deposits. A deep network can provide resources, new ideas, and a potential competitive edge.
  • It's much easier to make connections when you are gainfully employed. There isn't any pressure so the relationship can develop at its own speed.
  • Networks need to be diverse. Connecting with people from various niches, age groups, genders, and ethnic groups within a targeted industry provides the best opportunity for success.
  • Making networking a part of your daily or weekly schedule keeps those skills at peak performance. Frequent connecting in small increments is better than larger increments infrequently utilized.

    Harness the power of your network and your career will progress further and more effectively.

    Jim

    Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Interview Advice; It's Not About You

I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?

When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.

Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.

Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.

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