“We have been putting your recommendations to use. It is going to be quite a cultural shift, but we are ready. We can see that it will all pay off for the long term.” Jeff, the CEO at the HOPE Care Center, articulated these words to Rodis, the consultant, who then looked at him and responded, “A cultural shift is the right term. With time and patience, you will all be glad that you made this decision. Let us delve into 5 additional strategies.”
In a previous article entitled, Increase Your Clinician Productivity: 5 Key Strategies, Deline, the HOPE Care Center CFO sought recommendations from Rodis, regarding increasing clinician productivity at the agency. After their first set of meetings, they decided to start implementing Rodis’ initial recommendations. Now, they are reconvening, ready to explore some additional strategies, as described below.
1. Help them learn
New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment:
In a series of articles on New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment, I explained that mastering new strategies for an effective and comprehensive substance use assessment will help our clinicians:
Provide better care for our patients and clients;
Make better use of their countertransference and biases to the benefit of our patients and clients; and
Promote the integration of substance use disorder treatment and mental health care.
I also explained that mastering new strategies for an effective and comprehensive substance use assessment will also help our clinicians:
Improve their advocacy skills on behalf of our patients and clients, affected by substance use disorders;
Better educate and work on decreasing stigma against substance use disorders; and
Decrease waste for our agency.
As you can see, these outcomes translate into best care for our patients and clients, better engagement, better reputation for our agency and higher clinician productivity.
2. Train them on
Basic Integrated Care Skills
In a series of articles, Basic Integrated Care Skills for the Non-medical Staff, I explained that some of the reasons why our clinicians need training on the basic skills of integrated care are:
Comprehensive care for our patients and clients;
Career gratification; and
I also explained that with this level of knowledge, our clinicians would feel more empowered, in turn, contributing to an increase in productivity.
3. Train them on
Basic Psychopharmacology Knowledge:
“You kept telling me to speak with Elva about it. I just kept it to myself. I just stopped taking my medication.” Henry articulated these words to Lily, with sadness in his voice. Lily, also sad, wishing she could have turned back the clock, replied, “I am sorry. I should have taken the time to listen to you and, at least, try to understand what you wanted to tell me.”
This is the introductory paragraph of the first article in a series, Basic Psychopharmacology Knowledge for Non-Medical Staff, and this case illustrates the negative consequences of a lack of basic knowledge of psychopharmacology for our clinicians. It also illustrates an opportunity for our agencies to stand out by providing our clinicians with this basic yet crucial knowledge base, thereby, increasing their productivity. As stated in the series reference, basic knowledge of psychopharmacology will help with:
Improved medication adherence in our patients and clients,
Minimizing overwhelming feelings for our clinicians
A feeling of empowerment for our clinicians, and
Maintaining stability and decreasing waste for our agency.
The ripple effect is significant and leads to an increase in productivity.
4. Help them address the
Social Determinants of Health:
In a previous article entitled, Social Determinants of Health: The Why and the What, I introduced the story of Marcy, a social worker, treating Melanie, a 10-year-old child. Here is how the story unfolded: Seven months after intense family treatment, involving Melanie, her mother, Jane, and her siblings, Melanie had shown much progress but further therapy was becoming challenging. Melanie had missed three consecutive appointments. After a fourth no-show and a supervision session with her supervisor, Marcy knew the right questions to ask and realized that all four no-shows were related to social determinants of health. As shown in the article referenced, knowledge regarding best ways to address the social determinants of health has outcomes related to clinical care, prognosis, and productivity.
5. Give them a purpose:
In a previous article entitled, Finding Your Passion, I outlined six steps for finding passion, and this, in turn, is required to find one’s purpose. Helping your clinicians discover purpose will further help ignite and re-energize their passion and will help them buy into and live your agency’s mission. And with all the previous strategies, productivity from your clinician will increase significantly.
“Productivity has been low at the clinic and this is an issue we need to tackle. Please tell us your recommendations.” This was Deline’s statement and question to Rodis, the consultant, who responded, “Most agencies I have worked with share the same concern and often have different approaches to increasing clinician productivity. Let us delve into what has been proven to work.”
Rodis then proceeded to work with Deline and the rest of the leadership team on strategies to increase clinician productivity. After discussing five key strategies, subsequent meetings led to five additional ones. Ten key strategies in total for increasing clinician productivity.
The first five as follows: (1) Help them engage better; (2) Help them on New Strategies for Initial Mental Health Assessment; (3) Help them with De-escalation Skills; (4) Provide regular supervision; and (5) Give them a safe place to reflect on their daily work; and
The additional five: (1) Help them on New Strategies for Substance Use Assessment; (2) Train them on Basic Integrated Care Skills; (3) Train them on Basic Psychopharmacology Knowledge; (4) Help them address the social Determinants of Health; and (5) Give them a purpose.
Ten key strategies that both you and the leadership team at the HOPE Care Center will also find helpful, but only if you put them to use.
When would you like to start addressing clinician productivity at your agency, using, at least one of these five strategies or ten strategies altogether? Contact us and let us know how we can help. Thank you for reading and we look forward to next time.
For more in this series of articles, check below!
Dr. Sidor is quadruple board certified in psychiatry, with vast clinical, teaching, supervision, mentorship, and management experience. He also has extensive experience in public speaking, leadership, business, and research, in addition to a passion for program development and project management. His overall goal is to empower all health care professionals throughout the United States and globally, towards ensuring the continuity of excellent patient care, while balancing the need to take care of themselves. Dr. Sidor is the main instructor for the SWEET Institute, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the past Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and employment Services), where he continues to see patients and consult on challenging cases. He speaks and writes fluently in six (6) languages—French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole and Italian.
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