Strategies To Optimize Outcomes From Your Interim Placement – Part 3

Over the course of this month, we are posting a four-part series on what strategies hospitals can employ in order to optimize outcomes from interim placements. In the first and second parts of this series, we explore best practices for identifying what the desired expertise is for an interim in this position in order for them to be successful in their role as well as for determining criteria for the right culture “fit”.

At Novia Solutions, we believe these five key strategies can help healthcare organizations set their interim leaders up for a successful assignment in order to optimize hospital outcomes. That is why identifying executive sponsors and defining goals and deliverables are crucial steps in our placement process. In an effort to optimize outcomes for all parties, we believe in providing our interim leaders with well-defined objectives as outlined by the hiring authorities. In this article, we will discuss the strategies hospital leaders can utilize as well in order to optimize outcomes for their organization.

Key Strategies
1. Establish expertise desired in the candidate
2. Determine ”fit” with the culture and beliefs of the organization
3. Identify the Executive Sponsor
4. Define goals, objectives and deliverables
5. Achieve quick wins to set a tone of success

Key Strategies numbers 1 and 2 can be found in thesecond part of the series. This article focuses on Key Strategies numbers 3 and 4.

3. Executive Sponsor

Identify the Interim’s sponsor at the beginning of the engagement. The Executive Sponsor is often the person to whom the interim leader reports. This person should have knowledge of the organization to guide the Interim in understanding organizational relationships, interconnected processes impacting the functional area the interim will lead, and key stakeholders with whom the interim should develop relationships.

4. Clearly defined goals, objectives and deliverables

Both the Sponsor and the Interim should begin the engagement with clearly defined goals and objectives.  

  • What does the Hospital require to consider the engagement a success? 
  • Are there particular processes that are in need of redesign?
  • Are there departments or physician groups that require continued communication and support? 
  • What are the constraints that the Interim must work within (e.g., no additional staff, expenditures within budget)? 

Allowing the interim to spend time understanding the department, its processes, personnel and interdepartmental relationships will help develop context for the goals and objectives outlined by the Sponsor. Encourage them to listen to what other employees in the organization share.  Urge them to ask questions to develop a detailed understanding of the deliverables outlined during the goals and objectives discussion and to formulate potential recommendations for improvement. Then Executive Sponsor and the Interim leader should prioritize and document the goals, outcomes and timeframes to be achieved.

As the engagement progresses, a regular meeting to discuss progress should be established between the Sponsor and the Interim. Meetings should be scheduled in advance to ensure that they do not get lost in busy schedules with recommended timeframes being every 1-2 weeks.  Progress on each goal should be covered. Obstacles should be discussed, steps for elimination determined, and timelines adjusted as needed. It should be a two-way dialogue wherein the Sponsor shares performance feedback with the Interim, and the Interim shares support and tools needed for success. These regular touch-points serve to achieve alignment, consensus, and outcomes.

This is the third of a four-part series related to optimizing outcomes with an interim position. Stay tuned for the following articles which will outline subsequent strategies for selecting and optimizing the role of an interim leader in your organization. To receive updates on subsequent posts, follow us on LinkedIn. Or, visit our website to speak with someone today about Novia Solutions can help with your candidate search.


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At Novia Solutions, there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution to healthcare staffing. 

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