Give medical staff leaders a break

Remember way back to mid-November when you were counting the days until the beginning of the next medical staff calendar year? Well, the New Year has begun, and with it comes new medical staff leadership, new department chairs, and a host of other changes that require your medical staff's attention. Wouldn't it have been nice if you had taken steps to allow members of the medical executive committee (MEC), credentials committee, and major departments (and you!) to enjoy those last quiet days of November and December—no meetings, no minutes—before the madness of the new year began?

Keep this in mind when next November rolls around. It is possible to eliminate meetings to allow the medical staff some freedom. A chief of staff or the MEC can elect to hold a special MEC meeting just before the end of November to take care of last-minute odds and ends. At that meeting, the MEC can appoint staff officers to act on behalf of the MEC during December. Please note: Your medical staff must adopt a policy that allows the MEC to appoint officers.

You may find this policy works so well that the MEC "empowers" the officers to act as the MEC whenever the agenda is routine, dull, and boring. Other members of the MEC can be informed of the proceedings and informational reports either electronically or via MEC packet.)

Medical staff leaders who exercise their ability to alter the quorum requirements and permit officers to act as the MEC have found it possible to hold meetings far less frequently than in the past. After all, during many MEC meetings the vast majority of discussion and action is relatively routine and uninspiring. Unfortunately, at some MEC meetings, much of the discussion benefits only the individual who is "discussing" an issue.