Five Healthcare Challenges a Chief of Staff Can Solve

Written by vChief

June 11, 2021

We are always sharing the ways in which a chief of staff can add value to an organization and, while we tend to talk a lot about startups and nonprofits, the healthcare industry is yet another arena where a chief of staff can step in and provide value. We’ve compiled a list of five challenges faced by healthcare orgs to share with you how a chief of staff can step in and be of assistance.

Post-pandemic strategic planning

The year 2020 rocked almost every industry in existence, but none more so than the healthcare field. Whether there is a need to bring on staff quickly to help increase capacity or get through the layoff process in the most efficient possible manner, a chief of staff can step in and provide critical support around staffing:

  • Redeveloping the org chart
  • Redefining titles and positions and ensuring a good fit
  • Developing interview and hiring protocols (or dusting off and revising old ones)
  • Creating a streamlined process for communicating about changes within the organization

In addition, as the healthcare industry rebounds post-COVID, there will be a need for organizations and executives to revisit strategic priorities. Guiding executives and their teams through this process is one of the chief of staff’s top strengths. The chief of staff is an expert at managing up.

Point person on mergers

With so many changes and restructures happening within the industry, there is real value to be found in having a point person to turn to when you want to talk out different scenarios and garner feedback, ensuring the decisions you are making are effective, timely, and the most beneficial to the organization over the long haul.

Enter your chief of staff. We don’t call them the “right hand” for nothing. They are your guide, your counsel, your point person who has been watching and listening and absorbing everything going on within the organization. They will have an accurate barometer of what needs to change and can help you assess how to develop the process.

Business development and board savvy

For many businesses within the healthcare industry, fundraising is the bread and butter of the organization. Not only does funding help support the necessary expenses of the businesses, but it can also provide a stream for specialty projects that the organization may want to take on once it is set up to succeed.

But how does a busy healthcare organization make time for fundraising? By freeing up the CEO’s time. And how do you do that? By enlisting the services of a chief of staff, who can work directly with the CEO and their admin to delegate out unnecessary tasks and ensure that the CEO is involved in projects that make a difference to the big picture of the organization, like fundraising.

As well, the chief of staff is often an expert at working with boards. They can help with scheduling board meetings and setting agendas, assisting with running meetings or even taking over for the CEO, and keeping tabs on how relationships are being established within the board.

Legislation, associations, grants–Oh my!

The healthcare industry has always been dynamic and fluid, a fact which has only increased following the pandemic. Federal and state mandates are always changing and being redeveloped, which means the organizations that fall under their direction need to also be ready for the changes as they come. Who better to keep track of legislation changes than a chief of staff?

Likewise, many healthcare organizations are associations, which bring with them a whole new piece of ever-changing and constantly busy work: maintaining and updating memberships. Creating a system of organization around your membership piece and keeping it updated is exactly the kind of work you can hand off to a chief of staff.

We’ve also included grant development in this section as many businesses that fall under the healthcare umbrella depend on grant funding in order to develop special projects. There are many chiefs of staff who have relevant experience in grant writing and development that can easily take this work off of the executive team’s plate.

Fire drill items

The chief of staff is extremely familiar with the term “fire drill” and what it means within an organization. There will always be scenarios that come up requiring quick reaction times and adept problem solving skills, features in the chief of staff’s wheelhouse. By taking over on these fire drill moments, the chief of staff effectively frees up the time and brainspace of the executive team, allowing them to continue focusing on the big goals of the organization.

We’ve only brushed the surface with this list. The chief of staff role can provide a critical layer of support to overworked, overwhelmed healthcare organizations. When you bring in a chief of staff, you bring in the opportunity to get your organization back on solid ground, with everyone working towards the end goal of serving customers efficiently and effectively.

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