This blog post is modified from an article that appeared in Radiation Oncology News for Administrators Vol 32 No 3.
I have always been an organizer and a planner. As a radiation therapist I used a notebook agenda for professional daily goals and activities. Now I use my Outlook calendar for organizing work meetings and notes. Outlook offers a good high-level view of my day.
Barbara Khozam gave the first general session presentation on Day 3 of SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting. Khozam explained that organizations can achieve exceptional Customer Service using G.I.F.T.
Barbara Khozam is an expert speaker in customer service, leadership, motivation, and communication. She wrote How Organizations Deliver BAD Customer Service (and Strategies that Turn it Around).
Ann Miner and Stephen Miller presented on the outcomes of accreditation.
Employee engagement is at the forefront of administrators’ minds. Engaging staff in quality improvement is important. Engaged team members impact outcomes, and the entire continuum of care. Quality improvement presents an opportunity to rediscover the fun and enjoyment in work; enables staff to connect in multidisciplinary teams, rediscovering what motivates them, and taking ownership of how they respond to the changing healthcare landscape; and prepare for challenges face in delivering best and safe practice.
SROA members began Day 2 of SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting with a general session called, “Centering Diversity in Radiation Oncology: The What, The Why, and The How.” Dr. Parul Berry, Dr. Jerry Jaboin and Dr. Ivy Franco provided historical context about diversity and shared some of the personal challenges they have encountered as radiation oncologists from underrepresented minority groups. They offered numerous concrete suggestions on how radiation oncology departments and centers can diversify their radiation oncologist staff and improve their retention. Some suggestions include: giving less weight to test scores; exploring more deeply the reasons for lower test scores (for example, due to lack of financial resources to take test prep courses); and having standardized questions for all interviewees. The panelists also talked about ways to improve retention such as ensuring that the HR partners have the appropriate expertise for specific circumstances.
Tim David gave SROA’s keynote presentation on the principles of human connection at SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting. He said every organization has at least one person they don’t feel connected to. While people may be frustrating or challenging, we can make some tweaks to make them less so. Connection can create consistency and reliability and make our interactions more joyful.
In her workshop at SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting, Michele Krohn advocated for a back-to-basics approach ensuring front desk teams provide optimal customer service.
Somebody will make a judgment about your practice in the first seven seconds. Common sense is key, but it seems to be a lost art. The patient is the customer, but people like family, caregivers, representatives and the general public also take account.
Dr. Ruth Gotian spoke about mentorship at SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting. She said we need four roles in our life:
Managing a radiation oncology department is complex and requires managing many tasks in parallel: overseeing staff, implementing new technologies or treatment options, accreditation, inspections, financial reports, etc. How do radiation oncology administrators keep their departments running smoothly?
Automation is key. Quickly becoming a clinical staple, automation enables departments to do more in less time, transforming workflows for better quality, safety, and efficiency. Providing staff members with the necessary automation tools is an easy way to ensure top-quality patient care.
Leader Standard Work (LSW) is a tool that is being used more often in health care. LSW is one of the tools within Lean’s management system. It’s an effective tool for organizing one’s schedule, setting priorities and managing one’s time. The LSW concept is based on processes and achieving goals, supporting stainability and, to some degree, succession planning.
Patty Saponaro, Associate Chair for Administration at UNC Radiation Oncology, presented on mentoring and being mentored.
The leader’s role is to be curious, to keep learning, and to teach others, she said. You have to start with the work (what work needs to be done) and knowing what you have to offer and what the person wants. In doing so, you’re asking the person to be self-reflective about why they’re seeking mentorship.