In my experience with Priority Consult Spine , supporting over 40 spine programs around the country, I believe that there are four often overlooked talents a successful spine service line manager should possess. The absence of any one will prove problematic for the hospital.
The purpose of this post is to help facilitate planning the development of a spine center to recognize the importance of certain talents, and also to help existing centers identify what could be done to improve their current operation.
The four talents are:
1. Understanding the clinical delivery process for spine care - At a minimum, this includes knowing the indications for the need of a spine professional, the variety of professionals that diagnose and treat spine pain, how the professionals may compete with or complement each other, and the techniques and processes each uses to manage patients.
2. Understanding the business pressures of the professionals involved - For example: What status does each professional have with payors? How is each viewed by other spine providers? How successful is the current practice?
3. Persuasive ability to explain/sell - How will the professional’s participation in the hospital program help the professional grow his/her business (or lose business, which could happen if the professional does not participate in the spine center)? A program manager should also be able to convince the spine professional to continue to participate when faced with inevitable development and administrative challenges.
4. Focused, seasoned manager with the administrative acumen to have a well-organized and delivered product – This may seem self-evident, but too often an inexperienced or overburdened manager is assigned spine center management. This is a disservice to them and the hospital. To launch a new business line or improve an existing one takes talent and dedicated time. Hospitals that fail to recognize this are courting disaster.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this topic. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Have you any other “often overlooked” talents to add?