Leadership Attributes and Management Qualities – Part II

If you need to refer back to the first part of this article, click here. Otherwise, continue reading below.

Active Leadership

It is very important for the owner of a practice to maintain excellent communication with his/her staff and to provide active and visible leadership. The following are some key points for the executive.

Communication of Goals

Determine what the purpose, the mission statement, of your practice is and communicate it to your staff. Let them know what the goals for the office are and keep them informed of the programs that you intend to implement to achieve those goals. A well-informed staff will have greater understanding and will be likely to join you in mutual motion.

Communication Tools

The implementation and use of basic communication devices is key. These tools can be kept in place by your office manager but must also be reinforced by you as the senior executive. These tools include: written requests or proposals, written office dispatches, written policies, and the use of an effective communication relay system.

It is important that written communication is responded to swiftly. When people do not hear back regarding their communication within a reasonable period of time, they become less willing to communicate. As a result, the business can have more problems on its hands.

Staff Meetings

It is vital that you ensure that the practice holds a staff meeting once per week. This is one of the most valuable opportunities available to you for educating staff, setting goals and targets, and handling problem areas. The staff as a whole can address such matters. The communication lines within the business will strengthen considerably as well.

The owner and the office manager should continuously strive to establish strong coordination and leadership for the staff. Any problems or disagreements between the owner and office manager should always be sorted out outside of the staff meeting and should never be addressed in the presence of any staff.

Staff meetings are run most effectively if the owner and office manager meet prior to the staff meeting to plan and coordinate the issues to be addressed with the staff.

Setting Goals and Targets

When targeting your weekly and monthly quotas, it is advisable to plan in advance of your staff meeting. You should really confront how much production you did the week/month prior and how much can realistically be produced within the upcoming week/month with expansion in mind. Realistically look at what CAN be done. Then go over it with the rest of your staff at the staff meeting.

Each week you should bring your graphs to the meeting and keep the staff informed as to how the group is doing in approaching their goals.

Group Member Responsibility

The more each staff member takes responsibility for the office as a whole, the better your office will perform. It is very helpful to have each staff member come to the staff meeting prepared to contribute. The owner should support the efforts of the office manager to show the staff the importance of this format and to gain staff compliance. The goal of the executive should be to show the staff how to take on more responsibility and how to contribute to the creativity, growth and expansion of the practice.

Policy

To create stability for the practice and to keep the lines straight, it is very important that you continue to implement written policies. There should be a written policy to govern each and every activity in the practice.

When you write a policy, place the original in a Master Policy Manual. The office manager would then distribute a copy to each applicable staff member indicating that the policy is to be read and verification is to be sent to the office manager confirming that this has been done. A copy of the policy would be placed in the Staff Job Description Manual under the General Staff Section.

The office manager can be very helpful in policy development but needs to know exactly what your policies are. Policies can be written and submitted to a lawyer for final approval. The office manager can and should suggest areas where policy is needed. Staff should also be encouraged to propose policy via the office manager.

This article was helpful, but now I need to implement what I learned into my practice.
At no cost or obligation to you, we offer a personalized practice analysis specifically on this topic. Simply fill out the form below to get started (highly recommended).

Bioluminescence Imaging Used for Eye Cancer Detection

Newswise —At the moment, doctors rely on biopsy analysis to determine the progression of eye cancer. However, researchers now believe that a new technology, bioluminescence imaging (BLI), will allow doctors to detect tumors earlier and quickly choose a method of treatment that doesn’t necessarily involve eye surgery.

BLI is a new technology that uses the making and giving off of light by an organism to map diseases in a non-invasive way. Scientists have harnessed this technology to delicately detect and monitor various diseases, including eye cancer. BLI has several advantages over biopsy analysis, including in vivo monitoring, higher sensitivity, easier use and an overall more accurate correlation between cell numbers detected and tumor growth.

A study detailed in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s peer-reviewed Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (“Non-invasive visualization of retinoblastoma growth and metastasis via bioluminescence imaging”) shows how the researchers, led by Qian Huang, MD, PhD, of the First People’s Hospital in Shanghai, China, were able to effectively create human eye tumors in mice using particular genes to label eye cancer.

BLI was then performed on the mice using the NightOwl LB 981 Molecular Imaging System to monitor the growth and succession of these created tumors.

“BLI allowed sensitive and quantitative localization and monitoring of intraocular and metastatic tumor growth in vivo and thus might be a useful tool to study cancer biology as well as anti-cancer therapies,” said Huang.

Eye cancer is the most common and aggressive form of cancer found in children under the age of 5. As with most cancers, locating the tumors during the early stages of the disease is key. “Eye removal is usually performed for larger tumors. Small tumors are treated using therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapy. Because of the fast progression, early detection is important for preservation of vision, eye retention and even survival,” says Huang.

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) – a peer-reviewed journal published monthly online and in print (through December 2009), IOVS publishes results from original hypothesis-based clinical and laboratory research studies. IOVS ranks No. 4 in Impact Factor among ophthalmology journals.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org.

Identifying Patients at Risk for Fatal Cardiovascular Event

A new study indicates dentists can play a potentially life-saving role in health care by identifying patients at risk of fatal heart attacks and referring them to physicians for further evaluation.

Published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, the study followed 200 patients (101 women and 99 men) in private dental practices in Sweden whose dentists used a computerized system, “HeartScore,” to calculate the risk of a patient dying from a cardiovascular event within a 10-year period.

Designed by the European Society of Cardiology, HeartScore measures cardiovascular disease risk in persons aged 40-65 by factoring the person’s age, sex, total cholesterol level, systolic blood pressure and smoking status.

Patients with HeartScores of 10 percent or higher, meaning they had a 10 percent or higher risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke within a 10-year period, were told by dentists to seek medical advice regarding their condition.

Twelve patients in the study, all of them men, had HeartScores of 10 percent or higher. All women participating in the study had HeartScores of 5 percent or less.

Of the 12 male patients with HeartScores of 10 percent or higher, nine sought further evaluation by a medical care provider who decided that intervention was indicated for six of the patients. Two patients did not follow the dentist’s recommendation to seek further medical evaluation and one patient was only encouraged by his dentist to discontinue smoking. Physicians for three patients were not able to confirm their risk for cardiovascular disease.

All 200 patients enrolled in the study were 45 years of age or older with no history of cardiovascular disease, medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes and had not visited a physician during the previous year to assess their glucose, cholesterol or blood pressure levels.

The study’s authors conclude that oral health care professionals can identify patients who are unaware of their risk of developing serious complications as a result of cardiovascular disease and who are in need of medical interventions.

According to the authors,

“With emerging data suggesting an association between oral and non-oral diseases, and with the possibility of performing chairside screening tests for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, oral health care professionals may find themselves in an opportune position to enhance the overall health and well-being of their patients.”

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing more than 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA’s flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association’s Web site at www.ada.org

ECONOMIC WOES LEAD TO EMPLOYMENT DISHONESTY

Employee dishonesty can take many forms. No one seems to be exempt, and tough economic times only make matters worse. Although embezzlement can happen at all levels, we have encountered a number of situations in small to medium sized companies where employees were trusted and often thought of as family. When embezzlement is discovered, there is not only the reality of economic loss, but a real feeling of betrayal. After discovery, your options may be limited. The key is to establish and diligently adhere to a system of checks and balances, to minimize opportunities.

Establish Procedures

The first step is to meet with your certified public accountant, or attorney, to establish the correct procedure for your business. This alone can be difficult, because in many instances your loved and trusted bookkeeper will feel like he or she isn’t trusted. Although the feeling is understandable, you can explain that it is something that must be done because (a) it is the correct business practice; and (b) it will confirm the great job your bookkeeper is currently doing. Furthermore, should your bookkeeper become ill or otherwise unable to perform his or her duties, the procedures will already be in place for the replacement. Don’t get talked out of this step, or you could be talking to us, or someone like us, under more strenuous circumstances.

Follow Your Procedures

Establishing procedures won’t help you unless you are willing to follow the established guidelines. It takes a little effort, but nothing equivalent to the forensic work associated with discovering and determining the amount of embezzlement. Where there is embezzlement, seldom is it limited to one method of stealing. Don’t stop looking after you’ve discovered one source of theft. It is like peeling an onion. In one of our cases, the CPA said he was aware of fifty ways to embezzle money, and forty-eight had been employed.

Remedies

How you react when you discover your loss may have a significant impact on the extent of your recovery. Your emotions will run from anger, to embarrassment, how will you recover your loss. Although our advice is sought with regards to each of the above, our primary focus is usually on how to recover your money.
Acting fast is a proven key. As the victim you have a great deal of leverage. The fear of prosecution is a great motivator. Your initial reaction is to call the police and “throw away the key.” While this knee jerk reaction is understandable, it is seldom a motivation for repayment. Although criminal prosecutions can result in “civil compromises,” these are frequently less rewarding than can otherwise be accomplished.
Strike fast and tie up assets. Locate property and collect what you can. If there is a spouse or significant other, don’t overlook their involvement. If significant amounts were stolen, there is a good likelihood they were  suspicious of what was going on.

Call your insurance carrier. If you don’t have employee dishonesty coverage, get it. Make sure your limits are reasonable. You would be amazed at how much can go missing. We have been involved in cases for small to medium companies where the amounts exceeded $1,000,000.

The banks and credit card companies may be a source of recovery. Under the right circumstances, there can be liability for forgery, negligence and credit card fraud. Third party sources of recovery should not be overlooked, as the embezzlers may not have been a good steward of your money. Insurance claims and claims against banks and credit card companies normally require you to prosecute, but by the time you get to this stage, you normally have little to lose.

If you do not have a procedure of checks and balances, contact your professional today.

Written by:
Bitts & Hahs, Attorneys at Law
4949 SW Meadows Rd., Suite 260
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
503-228-5626
www.bittner-hahs.com