Chuck Trentham, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Colleagues, Inc.
When a hospital chooses a new Chief of Anesthesia, there are many factors that go into the mix for consideration, including the candidate’s years and breadth of clinical experience, their education, their certification and licensures … the list goes on. One attribute that is critically important, but is not necessarily evident on a physician’s CV is their ability to serve as an accountable leader. Anesthesia teams need someone at the helm who is willing to identify problems and create solutions; someone who understands the importance of collaboration and teamwork, and who is capable of motivating others to be their best.
Clinical Colleagues partners with hospitals across the United States. The anesthesia teams that we see working most efficiently are those that are led by a Chief that is accountable. Here are a four ways this leadership quality is most apparent, in the hospitals we work with
- The Chief leads by example. It’s important that physicians look beyond their own day-to-day responsibilities, and think about how their work folds into the “big picture.” When the Chief of Anesthesia cares about keeping things on schedule, increasing patient satisfaction and improving communication with other doctors, nurses and care providers, in most cases, his or her team will follow suit, and make these functions a priority as well.
- The Chief has a vested interest in how the OR operates. Effective Chiefs care about OR throughput. They are interested in staffing models, turnover rates, the ratio of on-time versus late starts, the frequency of same-day cancellations. They are in-tune to patient satisfaction scores and help implement process improvement protocols as a result. They take the time to understand the metrics and provide input to help the entire OR operate more efficiently.
- The Chief is a clear stakeholder in the organizations’ success. Sure, your Chief of Anesthesia will spend plenty of time in the OR. But they should spend a good amount of time outside of the OR too. Serving on hospital committees or being involved in leadership roles such as medical executive committee are a great way to keep your Chief engaged and aware of organizational priorities, so that anesthesia services can achievement alignment with your overarching goals.
- The Chief is known. The person who is leading your anesthesia team should have a face and name that is familiar throughout your organization. It’s important that he or she designate time to collaborate with your surgeons and OR teams. Building collaborative relationships is key, even for anesthesiologists.
These are just a few ways that a Chief of Anesthesia can bring together a quality department, that functions optimally and in a way that will make your entire hospital feel that your anesthesia team is engaged, active and on-board with your organizational priorities and goals.
About Chuck Trentham, M.D., M.B.A. and Clinical Colleagues, Inc.
Charles Trentham, M.D., M.B.A. is a Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Colleagues, Inc., and is double-boarded in Anesthesiology and Pediatrics. With more than 20 years of experience, he is responsible for the management oversight of anesthesia practices nationwide, and works collaboratively with hospital leaders to implement safe and efficient anesthesia services at community hospitals. To learn more about Dr. Trentham and Clinical Colleagues visit www.ClinicalColleagues.com.