Be Smart about Advancing Your Agency and Your Career

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
Be Smart about Advancing Your Agency and Your Career

Everyone gets bogged down in the details of day-to-day work. For home care industry executives, those details likely are focused on patient care and managing the organization’s short-term and long-term objectives.

But each of us should take time to step back, assess what we’re doing and look for ways we can improve – both personally and professionally. I was intrigued by a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, “10 Smartest Things People in Healthcare Do.” I’ve adapted the tips to focus on home care executives.

  1. Invest in data analytics. A wealth of clinical and operational information flows through your agency. You should be using a tool such as McKesson Homecare™ Insight to help better understand your patients, their conditions and your agency’s cost structure.
  2. Always be learning. Are you a clinician turned manager? A finance manager turned CEO? Training and experience are great, but there likely are aspects of your job where you aren’t as strong or need particular help. Seek out resources (people, books/journal articles and classes) to help you learn.
  3. Be involved in strategic initiatives. If your organization is health system-based, make sure you or someone on your staff is aware of the system’s strategic plan, what department or committee updates it and how often. All organizations know about local and regional healthcare counsels that influence policy. In both cases, don’t just be aware – join the effort.
  4. Join professional organizations. In addition to the organizations your agency belongs to, are there others that focus on people with your job title? Are there other organizations you can look to for ideas that could benefit yours?
  5. Take a team-based approach. The best ideas can come from the unlikeliest places. Include a broad cross-section of workers in your own strategic planning initiatives.
  6. Obsess about waste. An efficient organization takes better care of patients and enjoys healthier margins.
  7. Treat patients like you want to be treated. We all know the Golden Rule, but how many of us follow it every day and during every interaction? I know that I need a reminder every now and again, and I bet that you do, too.
  8. Commit to personal fitness. The adage for this should be “practice what you preach.” Our patients must see that we’re committed to our fitness before they will fully commit to theirs.
  9. Get a flu shot. If you’re in an agency, you either work with patients or work with those who do. In either case, get a flu shot.
  10. Do humanitarian work. We impact patient lives every day. But it can be easy to lose sight of that focus in the crush of everyday work. Take a break, do something for someone else, and realize what a special industry we’re in.

What other smart things are you doing in your organizations? Let us know your home care tips in the comments section below.

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