Mike Maples, MD
Last summer, 123 employees provided confidential responses to the survey we sent out (StaffPulse survey tool). We’re working to respond to your feedback, and I’m writing to report on one aspect of the response.
Many employees called us out for the lack of an organized system for providing you with regular feedback. An annual evaluation is important for you and for us. In addition to providing you with information about your performance, it’s also a time for you to communicate your needs and wishes, to identify training needs, and to establish goals for the future. All of these are areas where we got negative marks on the survey. We’ve known that this work needs to get done, but your feedback has definitely lit a fire under the project.
To be able to evaluate your job, we first have to be clear about what it is. That sounds simple enough. But we found that job descriptions for many employees were not up to date, and some didn’t have one at all. The work of getting accurate job descriptions for each employee is progressing well. Clinic managers are working with all clinic staff to get job descriptions updated, and the rest will follow soon. I’ve heard from some managers that the process has made some of you a bit nervous. Relax. This is just part of accurately describing the work of each of us. It’s not a lead-in to a reshuffle or layoffs or anything like that.
The next steps are to determine the competencies that are necessary for you to do your work effectively, and to determine how to gather information about those. Fortunately, the organizational competencies, and tools to evaluate them have been developed. Those will be deployed as part of your annual evaluation.
All of this work has now been completed to facilitate the evaluation of providers at all sites. This week, Judy O’Neal unveiled the final product that Clinical Site Directors will use to evaluate doctors, PAs and NPs at each clinic. The evaluation tool automatically links the Director to the data for that provider on a variety of competencies measured. For example, when assessing the provider’s competency on the measure “coding and billing are accurate”, the tool links the evaluator to the results of billing audits for the provider. And when assessing “licensure and specialty board” compliance, it links us to our credentials data. This is a slick tool, and will help to take some pain out of the process as well as make it more objective. We are working to develop this kind of utility for all evaluations.
Having a bulletproof evaluation process is a pre-requisite to the next thing that you told us to fix. Many responses noted dissatisfaction that, at CHCW, we don’t currently have a mechanism to reward excellent performance of work in your position. “Merit pay” is a goal, but I won’t go there until our evaluation system is robust, reliable and objective. Without that, it would just become a new source of irritation.
Thanks to all of you who provided us with valuable feedback. I’ll be discussing other parts of our response in the coming months.