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    Running a perfect clinic

    A lesson from the sports world: Sometimes good for all is better than perfect for one

     

    Then we begin to see the branching-out phase. This is where staff members—feeling comfortable with their new roles—begin flexing their wings.

    An example of this occurred as I was trying to make a staffing change on the fly—literally, I was at the airport running between gates to connect with my next flight—because we had a last-minute sick call in the clinic.

    Tears and drama not included: How to restructure clinic staff

    Shawn, my new “right-hand” lead, informed me of this spur-of-the-moment sick call. Using this as a teaching moment for Shawn, we began reviewing the situation and what it meant throughout the system:

    1. We needed to look at four other clinics and the dynamics of those clinics, and also the clinic that was now short . . . as well as the lead running that clinic.
    2. We looked at the dynamics/demeanor of the physicians at the short clinic.

    I decreed that one of the technicians, Sara, needed to leave Shawn’s clinic and go to the clinic that was now short. Shawn was to inform Sara, and the case was closed. Or so I thought.

    Fifteen minutes later, Shawn called to tell me that instead of sending Sara, she had sent Peggy.

    I was angry for a number of reasons, but tried to temper this so I could try and help Shawn understand the many errors of her ways. She felt she had made an educated decision. While it was educated—it was also ill timed, slightly ulterior, and poorly executed.

    Peggy is a sweet-tempered and patient technician, but she is newer and still slow with her skills. Going into that fast-paced, crazy clinic was not what I had envisioned. Basically, it was a very poor move and it set Sara up for a pretty scary morning.

    Next: What went wrong?

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