Committee Chair Letter

Brenda Grumley
By Brenda Grumley

FRICTION! Many of us would prefer to avoid conflict, and yet in any workplace, friction is inevitable, because we are dealing with people and ideas. In preparation for writing this letter, I came across a definition of friction in the Oxford Dictionary that really hit home: “conflict or animosity caused by clash of wills, temperaments, and opinions.” Admittedly, I had some angst around committing my thoughts about friction to paper — and then realized that putting pen to paper is actually a form of friction for me.

As administrators and the leaders of our practices, we are responsible for facing friction head-on. We encounter daily friction in our work lives, whether struggling to squeeze appropriate reimbursement out of insurance companies, mollifying disgruntled patients, or crunching those numbers to find the money for another FTE — thereby making us the human form of WD-40. Truly. We keep those wheels and cogs greased and running smoothly to alleviate or mitigate friction in our practices. As human WD-40, we facilitate the smooth running of well-oiled machines by leading in a wide range of ways:

  • Developing consistent and congruent policies, processes, and procedures gains the trust of our employees.
  • Maintaining an open-door policy sends the message to staff and patients that we are engaged and available.
  • Upholding compliance with healthcare regulations, including coding and billing guidelines, signifies integrity.
  • Decreasing technological complexity by ensuring access to all digital tools, resources, and equipment that support staff needs.
  • Finding a new hire who melds well into the team greatly reduces the risk of interpersonal difficulties.
  • Engaging employees as individuals motivates them to take ownership. By spending time learning what excites or concerns staff outside of their work, you can decrease potential issues in the workplace. Trust me on this one — spontaneously giving an employee an afternoon off to enjoy skiing on a powder day goes a long way toward keeping the machine well-oiled.

The goal of the Administrators’ Network is to provide support and networking opportunities through the Administrators Certificate Program, our free webinars, and joining together at the Annual Conference. As the chair of the Administrators’ Network, my wish for this amazing group is to cultivate confidence in ourselves, build our skills as leaders, and share ideas with our membership. May we continue to lead our well-oiled machines and continue our work as human WD-40. 

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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