Here’s one simple reason: Solid leadership unlocks a practice’s potential. It’s possible to run a physician group practice without a designated leader, but the group probably won’t perform nearly as well as it could or should. Although leaders serve myriad functions in any given group, I believe all physician group practices should invest in this role for four primary reasons – Here is the first one:
To Provide Order
The larger the group, the more critical a focal point the physician leader serves. It becomes very difficult for a manager or administrator to have six or seven physician bosses because every¬one might have a different agenda. Who’s the real boss here?
Having central leadership not only makes daily opera¬tions smoother for physicians, but also provides a line of command for staff when they have requests or prob¬lems. An administrator can’t just go to their favorite doctor; it’s not meant to create a mini bureaucracy – it’s meant to give order.
And this order may benefit physicians in ways they don’t realize. I remember working with two groups considering a merger. Practice A had a physician leader, and practice B did not. At practice A, all of the doctors consistently arrived at 8 a.m. and left by 5:30 p.m. At practice B, doctors and staff constantly left late in the evenings and ran up staff over¬time. They didn’t have a leader who could impose dis¬cipline on the group.
The other three primary reasons will be discussed in future posts.