Transformation and performance improvement initiatives in orthopedics cannot be achieved by a single person, but require a multidisciplinary team effort. Problems need a variety of perspectives and areas of expertise to ensure you arrive at the best solution. That’s why it’s important that you bring a range of approaches to the table when you build a committee. A team with a variety of backgrounds, knowledge and styles will be able to provide truly balanced and comprehensive program, ensuring that patients get the very best outcomes in the process.
And although it may seem crazy, orthopedic teams can actually learn a lot from Marvel’s hit comic book series and movie franchise “The Avengers.” The comic books and movies explore what happens when some of the world’s best superheroes join forces to fight for good. Each Avenger brings something unique to the table in terms of power, skill and expertise, and this is exactly how you should approach the process for building your orthopedic team. Ask yourself constantly, what does this individual bring to the group that is special or different? And can their approach to orthopedic medicine work alongside others as part of a group?
Check out the list below and learn from Marvel’s “The Avengers” about the kinds of personalities every great orthopedic team should have:
1. The Hulk
According to Marvel, the Hulk’s physical strength is unparalleled and described as limitless. He can break through any barrier, big or small, and uses his superhuman strength to get things done – nothing stands in his way. This quality is as an absolute must in your orthopedic team. It’s important to include a person who can show up and get things done, no matter how complicated. This kind of individual refuses to acknowledge barriers, instead finding effective ways around them. A Hulk personality could be found in a confident administrator or an orthopedic surgeon with clout. Think about the team members available to you and ask, “If I really wanted to get something done quickly and cut through red tape, who would I go to?” That person is your Hulk.
2. Iron Man
Marvel defines Iron Man’s greatest strength as his keen intellect and ability to see things in a different light. He looks for innovative solutions and has a knack for trying things differently, often with great success. An individual that is able to devise new solutions for complicated problems or questions is essential for any orthopedic team. A chief innovation officer, found in a growing number of medical facilities, will typically fill the Iron Man role. Becker’s Hospital Review says a chief innovation officer is an employee that examines and implements strategies for change and improvement, usually involving new technological platforms and solutions.
3. Black Widow
The Black Widow is a former spy and assassin, possessing a myriad of qualities such as rationality, good judgment and a keen intellect, Marvel says. In many ways Black Widow can be regarded as the calm voice of reason. For example, she is relied on to help transform the Hulk back down to mild-mannered Bruce Banner. Such attributes are important for your orthopedic team because managing patient care often requires a realistic and level-headed outlook. Nurses or physical therapists typically possess this kind of personality, as they work on the front line with the patient each and every day and are able to assess more effectively what each individual patient needs in terms of care and recovery time.
4. Captain America
Captain America is described as being the ideal superhero, combining a number of qualities including peak physical fitness, intelligence and mastery of a wide range of martial arts, Marvel explained. In addition, as a general “rule follower,” he brings a level head to all operations and ensures both quality and safety. The Captain Americas of your operation will likely be a director of quality, a performance improvement lead, or a LEAN facilitator. Someone who can “rally the troops” and coach them through to the end result.
Thor brings superhuman strength, resistance and endurance to the Avengers team. He is a trained warrior and literally provides an outsiders perspective, as he hails from an entirely different planet. He brings lessons learned from Asgard’s history to the people of Earth. In terms of your orthopedic team, an member with a non-medical background can bring experience from a variety of roles that bring different perspectives on issues such as team management, marketing, human resources and operations. Whether it’s a engineer who can add their thoughts on process efficiency or a consumer product marketer who has ideas on better positioning an emerging service line to your patients, hospitals have a lot they can learn from “other worlds.”
As you review the members of your orthopedic program committee, do you recognize any of these heroes among them? If not, it may be time to seek out some of them within your health system to ensure you can save the day.