Breaking Down the Barriers in Worksite Clinic

Breaking Down the Barriers in Worksite Clinic

I’ve been in countless worksite clinic meetings, presentations, trade shows and webinars over the years and one of the common themes that discussed is how complicated our healthcare system is. The question almost always comes to us, what is being done to break the communication barrier between all of the healthcare groups that exists?

Within the scope of the worksite clinic industry, we’ve seen a lot of positive traction with more and more vendors adopting a team based approach through the patient centered medical home model. Other support factors such as the influence of technology within the scope of the practices. This has lead to a switch in the industry with the focus now being on the patients. All parties working together as a team to provide much higher quality of care in addition to increased coordination of care across the healthcare spectrum.

Although barriers are coming down through this team based approach, there still is room for improvement as worksite clinic providers. We must avoid putting up our own barriers between the clinics. Implementing a clinic and not properly supporting the clinical staff over a relatively short period of time, significantly reduces the effectiveness if the clinicians are operating on an island by themselves.

The clinic management company must take careful consideration to all aspects of their practice to prevent these barriers from going up. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Hiring a Strong Team
  • Create a Culture of Collaboration & Engagement
  • Supply Initial & On-Going Training
  • Provide Resources for Support
  • Back Office Support Resources (Account Manager, Case Management, Data Analytics Team, Etc.)
  • Encourage the Clinical Staff to Have a Voice
  • Financial Incentives – Clinical Team

Preventing these barriers from going up will lead to amongst others a high quality, efficient, effective and ever evolving worksite clinic.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

Are Your Clients Stuck With You?

Are Your Clients Stuck With You?

We all know sales & marketing bring new business, but service providers face slightly different challenges. When you are selling services, there are no physical products or even a prototype to show. Although, clients do their due diligence in selecting a service provider and most seek professional help from consultants, there still lies a big risk of ‘will this vendor perform to the standard in which they sold to us?’

This ‘fear’ makes the sales cycle harder and longer, but like every other company who wants to succeed, everyone places their best foot forward and tries to win the business.

A normal sales cycle for a service provider may include the following steps:

  1. Prospecting a lead,
  2. Finding the right lead,
  3. Nurturing that lead,
  4. Connecting with the lead,
  5. Introduction & Initial presentation,
  6. Request for a proposal (depending on the complexity of the industry, this can take days to weeks),
  7. Revisions of the proposal,
  8. Presentation and implementation offerings,
  9. Negotiations and Approval,
  10. Closing the deal.

An incredible amount of work went into winning this business, but what now? Well, for a service provider, the real work starts now. You have to deliver the level of customer service, technology, communication, engagement, utilization and ROI that you promised during the sales and presentation process.

From the client’s perspective, they have trusted you with their investment of time and money. They believe that their lives will be much easier since you are on-board and offering your service, but they become ‘stuck’ when you start to do the following:

  1. Not delivering what you promised,
  2. Not delivering on time,
  3. Not thinking through what is needed before it is needed,
  4. Start losing the people in your team,
  5. Lastly, and the worst of all, start blaming the clients for your weaknesses.

The client brought you on expecting the results that you overpromised and under delivered and are subsequently stuck. Your poor performance directly impacts their image in the industry, their image for their executives, board members and peers.

There are 3 ways to ensure your clients never feel “stuck”:

Don’t promise clients what you know you can’t deliver

If you believe in your services, skills and talent and you can deliver what will make you proud and your clients super happy, there are enough clients looking for just that. Listen to your clients and know what they are looking for before you say ‘yes’ to everything.

Do the damn work

Winning business is half the battle. Delivering the service and continuously offering the best quality service becomes instrumental in winning more new business. Your new business may bring contract renewals and a reference for future business opportunities. Take care of your clients’ needs and it will come back to you in multiples.

Take care of your team

When in the service industry, 99% of the time you are selling your team’s talents, their ability to perform, their commitment to deliver and their dedication to YOUR clients. In other words, your team is your product. Take care of the team!

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

5 Steps to Cleansing a Toxic Team

5 Steps to Cleansing a Toxic Team

We have all had that experience… you walk in ready to lead your new team at your new job and realize through the avoidance of eye contact, lack of warm welcomes, and sterile work environment that this isn’t the same team you were sold during your interviews. With no where to run, you get that sinking feeling because there is no manual how to fix this toxic team, you just inherited. Listed below are a few tips that might be a good start:

Be a Listener

Employees want to be heard. They generally have several ideas about how to make their work life better or even increase company efficiency, but will grow silent when those suggestions fall on deaf ears. As a leader (and most likely an operator at heart) your first reaction will be to hear the feedback and then want to tell them why that “will never work” or jump right to “fixing” their issues. STOP!

Just listen and feel their pain for a moment. They might want to tell you about never getting off on time or getting to eat lunch. Then it is up to you to figure out why. Is the schedule too lean? Is the team understaffed? Are there operations opportunities that bottleneck at certain parts of the day? Listening doesn’t mean doing everything requested by you, but you can start to find common themes that frustrate everyone. Through those common themes, you can find ways to overcome those obstacles and make the workplace better for all involved.

Emphasize Training

One of the worst things a company can do is hire bright employees and skimp on their training. The lies we tell ourselves “I’ll train them later” or “they are bright and can catch up later” only cause confusion about your expectations. No matter the employee position, everyone wants to know what is expected of them and they crave the training to meet those expectations. The result of a team with fragmented training is a team with each team member having their own process to accomplish work.

Some of the processes end up cutting corners while others are so meticulously detailed that the process is laborious. Imagine being trained by coworkers with several made up processes- how does a new hire learn from their peer group? Which way is the “right” way? How will they know what YOUR expectations of them are?

Find the Peer Leader

It doesn’t matter the industry, in any department (or group setting) there is always a peer leader. This person doesn’t always have a leadership title, but their peer group has designated them the group’s voice and their opinion matters. If you are trying to change the culture of the group, you have to successfully engage this person. If they remain actively disengaged, you will achieve nothing despite your best efforts.

Before making an operational change in the group- be sure to run your idea past the peer leader to get their buy-in. If the peer leader is resistant to your idea, ask them how they would fix the problem. See if both of you can find a solution together. In this process, you are changing an actively disengaged employee into an actively engaged one. Who doesn’t love their own idea, right? If the two of you cannot learn to work together, then this person may need to be worked out of the group.

Develop Trust

Now that you are listening to your team, making sure they are equipped to meet your expectations through proper training and you have their peer leader working alongside you- the next thing is trust. How do you earn trust? Trust can only be established through transparency. Let your employees know what some of your challenges are, how you are growing as a leader and what your vision for the team is. As you share some of your vulnerabilities, it is only natural that the team may also share some of their issues.

An employee might share something work related, like their coworker Johnny comes in to work hungover and has a drug problem. They share how his work suffers because of his personal life and how it personally affects them to have to redo his work. Sometimes an employee might also mention their own struggles- like their spouse being recently diagnosed with a serious illness. You can use use work related or personal information to show each individual employee that you care. Johnny can be offered support programs through HR and the employee might just need reassurance that they can take time off if needed. Everyone wants to trust that their manager cares about them. Show them that you do.

Use Positive Recognition

Finally, it cost’s nothing to say “thank you” or “great job”. Using positive recognition can influence individuals to act in accordance to consistently exceed your expectations. It is important to note that there are millions of creative ways to positively recognize individuals or groups for their performance, but recognition has to be specific to the individual.

If one of your team members if painfully shy, public recognition may actually be humiliating. A shy person may prefer a private note, a text message or a conversation in your office regarding what they specifically did very well. A more extroverted, social butterfly might believe public recognition is the best kind! The overall message is that praise can be used privately or publicly, but should be used to engage the employee by taking into account how they might best receive that positive feedback.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at http://www.tantamhealth.com
Does Culture Run Through Your Business?

Does Culture Run Through Your Business?

Have you ever heard of “A River Runs Through It”? It is a novel about two brothers that then became a movie. It was one of my Grandmother’s favorite movies, probably because it starred Brad Pitt, but that’s a story for another day. It’s also probably why I always think of it and oddly relate it to business and specifically business culture.

A river running through “it”; that could mean so many different things. When a business is “it”, the river is the culture. The culture of a business has the ability to, much like a river, be divisive or be connected.

A river often runs through towns, which divides those towns into two sides. This can easily happen to your business if the culture is divisive. I’ve seen this in multiple companies, especially where the corporate offices and operations team run from a separate location than the service teams. The corporate office is meant to be a support for those service teams, but with a lack of cultural leadership this easily becomes an “Us vs. Them” mentality.

So how do you prevent that from happening? It begins with the leadership team and should really begin with the formation of the company, but it’s never too late. The culture of a company should be embedded into every aspect of what that company does and every person that is part of the team. The metaphorical, cultural river should run through the team and bring a common cause and togetherness to the way the company operates. Have you seen those shirts, “I Bleed Blue” (or red or maroon or whatever your favorite team’s color is)? Your whole team should FEEL the spirit and “bleed” your business. Your company’s culture should quench your employees’ thirst for direction and feed them food for thought.

It sounds obvious, right? But according to an article published by PeopleSpark, “64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture” and “turnover at companies with a poor culture is 48%” (PeopleSpark on LinkedIn). With a connection like that, it’s certainly a topic to take notice of and more importantly take action. So here are 4 ways to make sure your culture is strong and your river unites.

  1. Don’t just create the culture, LIVE the culture. As they say, lead by example. If you create a culture you don’t believe in and don’t speak and do business by EVERY day, then why would your employees even bother?
  2. Engage your employees by asking for feedback and making real changes based on the feedback. Annual Gallup surveys have also shown staggeringly high percentages of employees who are not engaged. In February 2017, Gallup’s State of the American Workplace was released and showed that, “70% of U.S. Workers are not engaged at work” (Gallup.com). Keep a pulse on the engagement of employees at all levels and take action where necessary.
  3. Hire people that fit the culture and coach those people to do the same. The wrong hire and/or an actively disengaged employee can completely dismantle the culture of your business.
  4. Consider a flatter organizational hierarchy and step away from the top-down mentality. There are many different approaches to organizational structure and finding what will work best for your company is the key. According to an article, The 5 Types of Organizational Structure, by Jacob Morgan for Forbes, “A ’flatter’ structure seeks to open up the lines of communication and collaboration, while removing layers within the organization” (check out the article at Forbes.com).

These steps are just the beginning and your culture should be unique to your business. Whether it be diversity, collaboration, commitment, something else or all of the above, be certain it’s known and lived by. Culture can be defined as to “maintain in conditions suitable for growth”. Make sure your culture does just that for your business.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

Calculate Onsite Clinic Cost & ROI

Calculate Onsite Clinic Cost & ROI

Complete this form and receive Tantam Health’s projected cost & ROI structure for your onsite, near-site and worksite clinic. 

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

My First Hire Almost Killed My Team

My First Hire Almost Killed My Team

I was a new manager at a relatively busy hospital. Fresh out of training at another site, I had not spent much time with my team yet. My only direction out of training was to hire, and hire quickly. I found a seemingly qualified applicant named Dennis. He had years of experience in the industry and had stayed several years at a couple locations. Dennis interviewed well and even showed up on time in a three piece suit. He answered all questions, an offer was sent off and an acceptance was quickly received.

I could not shake the feeling that he wasn’t quite “right” but I had no basis to believe that was true- until he called off on his first day. There was a family emergency. The team rolled their eyes and I explained that sometimes things happen at the worst times and asked them to think positive. During his first few weeks, Dennis showed up late for work in bleach stained scrubs, his movements were slow, his attitude towards training was mediocre at best and he always had some life event that was more important than him showing up for his team.

I watched my ambitious and efficient top performers becoming increasingly silent as they carried his weight. The other team members used the name “Dennis” as a joke. Through the silence of the team, there were consequences: breaks started to last longer, tardiness started to surface. I sat Dennis down and explained where his performance was falling short and the effect it was having on the team. Yes, he was part of a TEAM, not an individual contributor. He accused me of not being sensitive to him being a young step-father and for not having compassion for his situation (though I had privately given him transportation money from my own pocket and the job he didn’t seem to want). We parted ways.

There are a couple things that I learned:

Find what is missing in your team

It is important to know what stage your team is in before placing an ad. Have they all worked together for years and the thought of training someone with little industry experience might excite them? Are you so understaffed that someone with little experience might further burden them? Is your whole team introverted and cliquey? How might an extroverted social butterfly fit into the mix? It is important to think about what is missing in the team to further engage the existing team. How does this new hire compliment the strengths or challenge the team toward positive growth?

Think about what was really said

The “not quite right” feeling that I felt when I reflected on Dennis was intuition. I realized later I listened to everything that he said, but ignored how he said it. I heard the tone change, the quiet hesitation in the responses and I saw the change in body language or eye contact but my decision was made on the words he said. He chose the correct answers and said everything that I needed to hear. I have since hired many applicants after Dennis and have really learned to listen to everything except the words coming out of an applicants mouth. When I look into their eyes, do I trust them? When I watch their hands, are they nervously excited or lying? Trust your gut.

Make the cut

If you did everything right and were just fooled (which happens to the best of us), do not be afraid to get rid of the problem. After you are sure that you have exhausted all coaching and support opportunities, do not waste another moment on this hire. Your other hires need you and you are only one person. Your team will grow weary of supporting under performers and they will lose confidence in your leadership, authority and trust that you have everyone’s best interest at heart. Cut out the tumor and watch your team grow.

Written by: Kristina Dillard – COO at Tantam Health

About Tantham Health:

Tantam Health specializes in onsite health, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com