Ask Shawn: Am I a hospital administrator or a custodian?
I'm the hospital administrator for a large emergency and specialty group with two locations. In the first week I arrived I had no desk, no office, no supplies and 99 percent of the 100 employees didn’t know who I was, that I was hired or what my job was. I almost quit immediately. Jump ahead to the present and I’m still struggling to define my role and my responsibilities.
DEAR POOP IN THE LOBBY:
In general a hospital administrator oversees all operations of the hospital but is responsible for the performance of operations managers. Your job is to implement a strategic plan, guide the business to good performance via a budget and revenue growth and make the owners’ business plans come to fruition. You can’t do this without a solid plan and an understanding of what issues you need to address and in what priority. It’s your job to tell the owners that they need to provide you with resources to do your job. Those resources are a plan, funds to implement it and a vision to guide you. A leader pushes change, manages culture and keeps the emotional tone of the practice positive. A manager directs, maintains the status quo and is goal-oriented.
Sit the owners down and tell them you need their support and a vision and a plan or this isn’t going to work. I suggest an outside consultant to help with the creation and implementation and to facilitate difficult communication. —SHAWN
Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics editorial advisory boards and is CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Austin, Texas. For videos and articles containing more of McVey's tips and tricks on issues relating to veterinary personnel management, conflict, and communication, visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey.