The Administrator calls a meeting; “we must increase our Medicare numbers”. The Admission Director schedules an Admission Team meeting; “we must make our admission decisions more quickly”. The Director of Nursing calls a clinical staff meeting; “we are going to be caring for more complex patients”. The Marketing Manager asks for a weekly report; “we must make in-roads into our hospitals”. The Regional Director is called into the Vice President`s office; “we didn`t make budget this month”.
Effective, professionally developed marketing collateral will help drive your business. But how do you know if your materials are working for you…or against you?
The words may be different but the message is the same; we must improve our bottom line. While everyone is truly working toward the same goal, they each approach the task differently. But, are there universal solutions for improving your bottom line?
1. It takes a team – Make certain that everyone is a part of the inner circle. Marketing attends clinical discussions and clinical is involved in critical marketing meetings. No one is exempt. They may not see the need for their involvement but you, as the leader see the importance of cross-communication and showing that all departments bring the same level of value to the organization.
2. See and hear 360 – One of the most difficult but most essential skills for the healthcare leader is to be in the moment. Listen; don`t jump to conclusions. Hear and see what is happening around you. Ask questions of many and often. Build a mosaic before you make sentinel decisions.
3. Patients first – You are the visionary. What you believe and what you say and do sets the culture of your organization. In healthcare, the message must be,”Patients First”. It must be reflected in your words, your messages and your actions.
4. Attention to detail – Every detail; nothing should get past you. Periodic, systematic and comprehensive reviews should be the norm for your team. Monthly P&L reviews should be drilled down to minuet details with explanations expected. Periodic field visits should have clear expectations with constructive feedback expected and appreciated.
5. Trust but verify – Hire the right people, give them clear direction and get out of their way. Stay out of the minutia and trust that you have the right person in the position. Verify progress through observation and course-correct when needed.
6. Accountability – An improving bottom line is the result of the right team following clear directions from a great leader who holds them accountable for failure and rewards them for success.