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Illinois manager challenges the status quo, creates taskforce committee

A new manager comes to a medical practice with enthusiasm and new ideas. But it’s easy to allow both to get sidelined by a staff comfortable with routine.

“When I started as practice manager three years ago, I constantly heard from people, ‘that’s not the way we’ve always done it,'” says Mary L. Banks, CPC, CHISP, practice administrator at AOS (Associates in Orthopaedic Surgery).

Banks decided to move forward, regardless. And she came up with a solution she would like to share with fellow managers.

“One of the ways I found to combat this stagnant idea was to develop a taskforce committee,” she tells Medical Office Manager.

To form the committee, Banks asked for volunteers from each department of the clinic.

“The goal is have this four member team – front office, business office, X-ray, and medical assistant – meet monthly and discuss ways to improve on a process or to suggest and develop new ways of achieving a goal,” she explains.

“By including employees from each area of the clinic, they can bring to the table how their department might be affected by a change in a process or could benefit from improving the flow in some area.”

Banks has found that serving on the committee has an added benefit for staff. “This has also helped these individuals to understand the work being done by their coworkers in a way they have not been able to before,” she says.

Once each year, the practice changes the membership of the taskforce so that all employees have an opportunity to participate and gain a new understanding of the responsibilities their coworkers have in their jobs.

But the biggest payoff has been in the day-to-day operation of the practice.

“More importantly, we are finding ways to make areas of the clinic run more smoothly by improving workflow,” Banks says.

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