What does Eli Manning and the New York Giants team have in common with you and your team at the clinic? You're probably saying, not much, but there is a lot more similarities in the two teams than you might think.
|Highly paid players||Highly paid doctors|
|Large up-front investment||Large up-front investment|
|Each player is a specialist||Each doctor is a specialist|
|Paid staff to support team||Paid staff to support doctors|
|Players want to be on a winning team||Doctors want to be in a winning practice|
|Highly paid coaching staff||Highly paid management team|
|Players can be traded||Doctors can leave|
One of the major differences is that football players listen to their coaching staff. Although the players make more money and have more status and influence, when they get together as a team, they listen to their leader and are all on the same page with the same goal in mind, WIN. Let’s compare that to a physician owned clinic. In that scenario, the Doctors run the show and although there is an administrator, I don't think that many groups look them as business experts.
In the game of Football, what is needed to win is points. You get points by scoring touchdown and field goals. You score touchdowns and field goals by working together as a team. Out on the field, everyone is important. In this past Super Bowl, if Eli Manning didn't have teammates defending him, he could not do his job. The team wouldn't be ready to play if there wasn't staff and facilities for practices. It also would not be possible without fans. Who wants to play in an empty stadium? Everyone is a star on the team. Although some stars are better than others, everyone’s contribution is key to success. A football team is a well oiled machine. When the machine works it is in its best position to win games.
In the business of Medicine, what is needed to win is profit. You earn profit by treating patients. You treat patients by working together as a team. In the clinic everyone is important. Without certain members of your team, for example, maintenance, physician on-call scheduler, accounting, you cannot effectively compete. When you compete without your staff, you are at a disadvantage and increase your chances of loosing. There are no stars on the team, everyone is equally as important. If you strive to provide the same level of quality and service each time, everyone’s contribution needs to count.
So when you ask yourself if the New York Giants are a better team than your management team, show me the rings.
Although I am not a big sports fan, I am always fascinated at how teams work together for a common goal, winning. I think that health care and independent clinics specifically can learn some valuable lessons from how these big-fancy teams win.