Do you think it's possible for a non-clinical manager to comprehend the clinical side? Here is an example of a Pediatrician's Office Manager, from a clinical person’s perspective. In the...

 Do you think it's possible for a non-clinical manager to comprehend the clinical side? Here is an example of a Pediatrician's Office Manager, from a clinical person’s perspective. In the pediatric office I work in, the office manager was non-clinical and it seemed like she just didn't get it. She was concerned about productivity and numbers and money, which are all great things to oversee, but we needed a person who could stand up for us and say why it takes 1/2 hour to do a checkup on a screaming 5 year old who needs to get shots. They seem to do great with managing the business side of things, but there seems to be a lack of support with clinical issues. There were situations in which she would want to turn patients away because it was 4:30 and the cashiers had already gone for the day, but we needed to see the child with 104 fever and not send them away. Granted, they could have gone to the ER, but likely we could save them the trouble in a few minutes and worry about billing them later or next time they come in. She always seemed to side more with all of the other departments versus the nurses and physicians. There are a couple things we can discuss. First, did the organization have a mission and Values Statement? In that sense, what aspects of that was the manager not following and what was the impact on the team? The other thing you mentioned was that she "sided" with the non-clinical areas. This sounds like favoritism to me. Favoritism is something that is unethical in any leadership setting and has a huge impact on team moral. What other aspects can you (Class), think of pertaining to this organizational example? What are the management's responsibilities in this situation? 

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wherever there is good and effective leadership all groups can learn to coexist.

The scenario that you present in your question lacks the most essential factors for organizational success precisely because there is no good leadership evident.

1. Vision- the vision is the key to it all: it is the ongoing mantra that defines you as a group. It is your trademark; what you tell each other as you compete or meet a challenge against something. Think football "Roll Tide!","War Eagle". Those are mottoes that may not mean a thing to us, but to the organization it drives the motivation forward. Your vision as a healthcare organization should define you and what you do: for example, or "Whatever it Takes to Heal". Those are good examples of a vision to which you all will address. However, the entire body of workers, healers and administrators, should decide this motto because it involves all of them. You are all in the same organization, you should develop a culture of support and not divisiveness. That will be addressed in a separate point.

2. Mission- The mission is the willingness that your organization has to comply with their vision. How are you going to do "whatever it takes to heal". The mission is expressed in ACTION words to show that the organization is equally active in becoming the best it can be. For example, the mission statement of Wilbur, North Carolina's The Pediatric Center is:

to build the best possible pediatric practice, which serves its patients in important ways with a personal approach, while reflecting the practical application of biblical values.

Going by the mission means that EVERYBODY is willing to do these actions as part of the organization's main focus.

3. Protocols- You mentioned a very scary scenario that could have made someone sue this clinic: you refused service to a child patient who was running a 104 fever. Establish procedures to be followed for every single activity: testing, inoculating, checking for abuse patterns, treating males, treating children, treating drug addicts...everything needs a set of rules inherent to the situation. If those rules are not followed, someone will have to be held liable. But the rules must be there. In the case of the child, there must have been an alternative protocol where another clinic should have been contacted to expect the patient if you could not take care of it. Keep numbers, names, and people always available for extended services.

4. Organizational culture - The clinic must start anew: get together to create a vision and mission statement, as well as a purpose. All of this will create a sense of unity that eventually will become a culture. In this new culture, the healers and the administrators are both equally important, as they will realize that they are interdependent. The culture is not about themselves as individuals but about how each of them affects the organization: it is about who they are according to what the organization expects.

5. Leaders- There must be among the people in that clinic someone who can do the following:

  • conceptualize
  • verbalize
  • delegate
  • assess
  • motivate
  • monitor
  • organize
  • analyze

Obviously more than one person may reunite these unique qualities. This is why a good leadership is important and must be chosen. A body of workers that reunites both, administrators and healers, and that abides by the mission and vision of the organization is the most effective way to combine great professionals that will work productively and toward a common goal.