Support Your Boss
In these days of hospital consolidations
and severe revenue pressures it is imperative that we maintain our jobs by providing value to the organizations for which
we work. One way imaging administrators can improve their standing at the office is to support their bosses.
There are several reasons for supporting the person to whom you report.
First, it helps strengthen the relationship between you and this individual.
I’m not implying you blindly become a
cheerleader for each and every word that
comes out of their mouths, but right now
we are all hopefully aiming for the same
goals. We want to increase customer satisfaction, and therefore positively impact
HCAHPS scores; we are striving to
improve patient safety and decrease risk;
and we are desperately trying to increase
productivity. It is extremely difficult to
argue with these objectives.
There is another more basic justification for helping those above you: it’s
the right thing to do. They are human
beings just like you and there are certain
ways people want to be treated. Now, I’m
sure all of us have reported to someone
who did not have our best interests at
heart, or did not give us the respect we
deserved. Under these circumstances
you have to make tough decisions about
actions you can take within your place
or employment or whether it is time
to practice your profession elsewhere.
Fortunately, for most of us, these situations are rare and getting along with our
superiors is how we act as professionals
in our field.
So just how do we provide the maximum amount of support to our bosses?
To start, match the level of dress of your
boss. If your boss wears suits to work,
then so should you. By matching the level
of dress you are demonstrating you are
serious about your job and serious about
making a positive impression to everyone you meet.
Another way to support your boss
is to be transparent. We work in an
extremely stressful field because we
are dealing with people’s lives. In addition, hospitals and health centers can
be extremely complicated places operationally. Any time you combine people,
stress, and complexity there are bound
to be problems. When these issues arise
and they are of a serious nature then
your boss should be the first person
you contact. Many times this step is difficult because you don’t want to admit
there was a mistake made in an area for
which you are responsible. Moreover,
it is often tricky to know when an incident rises to the level that the person to
whom you report should be notified.
However, your boss needs to know you
can be trusted, and one crucial way to
build trust is to be open and honest.
I try and err on the side of over-reporting.
Whether your boss is satisfied with the
level of communication you are providing
is a conversation worth having.
Also, make contributions to perfor-
mance improvement in the department
and throughout the healthcare setting.
One reason I like to attend the AHRA
and the RSNA annual meetings is that
I gain knowledge that will improve my
radiology practice. For example, at RSNA
several years ago I had the opportunity to
see a portable x-ray machine that allowed
images to be reviewed by technologists
and physicians almost as soon as they
were taken. I came back and budgeted
for this equipment. Immediately after
the four systems were put into practice
nurses and doctors could not stop talking
about the way this equipment improved
patient care. They are still discussing
it to this day. Of course, my boss was
extremely proud of the improved service
this equipment brought.
There is one final reason to support
your boss. Much has been written about
the need to engage employees. Employee
engagement has been shown by the Gallup organization to be the major cause of
raising the quality of patient care, but
you don’t hear much about engaging
superiors. I contend that it is equally
important. Your bosses are probably knee
deep in all the problems surrounding the
workplace and stressed most mornings
when the alarm clock goes off. By getting
them excited about changes you are making you are actually increasing their
engagement and perhaps reenforcing to
them that their career has value. Your
efforts at engagement provide them with
a service that perhaps they were not
expecting. Your value, in their eyes, is
sure to go up as well.
Mark Lerner is the director of diagnostic imaging at
the George Washington University Hospital. He can
be reached at Mark. Lerner@gwu-hospital.com.
By Mark Lerner