The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society Med Journal June 2019 Final - Page 5

EDITORIAL Jhablall Balmakund, MD Professor, Pediatric Neurology UAMS/Arkansas Children’s Hospital C ommunicated expectations may enhance the ability to gauge performance on all levels of an organization. A definition of goals, and their connection to the process, may help employees understand their role in the success of the organization. Grading employees against known standards provides a more objec- tive review. A performance-monitoring system helps with the retention of quality employees and can be used to reward employees and compare departments, teams, projects, and budgets. This system can help increase team efficiency and decrease expenses. It creates a broader base of knowledge and data to be used in planning and budgeting. Greater than 50% of physicians own their practices and actively participate in the adminis- tration of the practice. 3 The rest are in practice settings run by administrators who may dic- tate the rules of the practice and possibly influ- ence patient care. Physicians’ performances are gauged by RVUs, provider scorecards completed by patients, and other methods. These perfor- mance rules may be used to determine continuity of employment, eligibility for raises, staff privi- leges, etc., while administrators, it seems, are not held to similar benchmarks. With expectations outlined and communicated, employees better understand their roles in the success of the de- partment or program. Using standards for every Evaluations may offer several benefits, including information about an employee’s performance, insights into the way employees interact with each other, a glimpse into the strengths and weaknesses of employees, and reinforcement of a team environment. job position, and grading the employee against standards of performance measures, may create a sense of fairness. Administrators, like other employees, should be evaluated by surveying those who work under and with them. Grading administrators can sometimes be difficult. Evaluations may offer several benefits, including information about an employee’s performance, insights into the way employees interact with each other, a glimpse into the strengths and weaknesses of employees, and reinforcement of a team environment. Evaluations do have drawbacks. A yearly survey may not capture projects that span years. The definition of success on the job can take a variety of forms. Sometimes, measures used to gauge success are tangible and linked to specific metrics such as industry benchmarks or a dollar figure. Other times, the mark of a job well done is more nuanced, defined by successful working re- lationships or a simple sense of satisfaction about employees’ roles in making their institution the best it can be. 1 Sometimes administrators know they have been successful when they have been able to garner support from staff on an impor- tant issue. 1 Evaluations are subjective, as over- worked employees may feel overwhelmed when they have to complete evaluations for their peers. Evaluations can lead to confusion and irrelevant assessments if evaluators are not familiar with the job description of the person being evaluated. In the bid for philanthropic dollars, having visible evaluations – especially if the results are good – may be a boon to the company. There are many issues and decisions where evaluations at all administrative levels may provide some improvement. To show unity, it may be helpful to have all employees surveyed. Administrators, like non-administrators, should be held accountable to the group they are working with and should be subject to similar benchmarks. Plans should be developed to assess an ad- ministrator’s work. The purpose of such periodic reviews should be the improvement of the per- formance of the administrator during his or her term of office. This review should be conducted on behalf of the governing board for the president, or on behalf of the appointing administrator for other academic administrators. Fellow administrators, faculty, students, and others should participate in the review according to their legitimate interest in the result, with faculty of the unit accorded the pri- mary voice in the case of academic administrators. Once the review is completed, a summary should be released with a list of steps to resolve any is- sues. 4 In summary, an evaluation of all employees may bring out the best in employees while deter- mining individual expertise and the opportunity to assign specific jobs to the employees whose evalu- ations show an inclination to that job. References 1. June AW. How Administrators Measure Their Success. https://www.chronicle.com/article/ How-Administrators-Measure/140419. Published July 22, 2013. Accessed January 10, 2018. 2. Singleton T, Miller P. The physician employment trend: What you need to know. Family Practice Management. 2015; 22(4):11-5. 3. Kane CK, Emmons DW. New data on physician practice arrangements: private practice remains strong despite shifts toward hospital employment. American Medical Association. 2013; 4(6):1-6. 4. American Association of University Professors. Faculty Evaluation of Administrators. https://www.aaup.org/ report/faculty-evaluation-administrators. Accessed January 10, 2018. NUMBER 12 JUNE 2019 • 269