Remember the golden rule to strengthen the medical staff services-quality bond
Although MSPs consider quality care a driving focus, they don’t always devote the same energy to collaborating with colleagues in the quality department. This incongruity can be counterproductive. Poor alignment between quality and medical staff services personnel can undermine overlapping duties and shared goals, including those surrounding care.
When attempting to strengthen an interdisciplinary relationship, remember the golden rule, says Leslie J. Duncan, BS, CPCS, CPMSM, quality improvement (QI) specialist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center—Centennial in Frisco, Texas. Too often, MSSD staff mistake the presentation of laundry-list needs for effective two-way communication. “You can’t just dump [demands] on them—you wouldn’t want something to just be dumped on you,” Duncan says.
Instead, MSSD personnel should ask their quality colleagues for input on overlapping projects, such as which peer review indicators are no longer providing meaningful insight into practitioners’ performance.
To jog the collaborative process, quality and medical staff services leadership should schedule semi-regular meetings for their teams to compare notes on major initiatives, identify opportunities for formal coordination, and enhance camaraderie, says Teresa P. Sappington, FACHE, MBA, CIPM, CAPPM, CPHQ, CPMSM, an Augusta, Georgia–based consultant who specializes in medical staff affairs and healthcare regulatory compliance.
In addition, acknowledge the natural interplay between quality and medical staff services. Don’t get too hung up on rigid role distinctions, which can calcify into silos that hamper communication and stall shared goals. And when collaboration snags do surface, reflect on the overarching mission that guides both departments’ critical work to reenergize the effort.
“Both departments are valuable to the organization,” says Sappington. “They have a joint goal, and that goal is to improve patient safety and quality of care. If they agree on their joint goal, then the collaboration should come easily.”