Having been a Chief Medical Officer of several large systems over the past 25 years, I am very aware of the challenges that face the CMO today. The job continues to grow in scope, responsibility and complexity—it has come a long way from “just hang out in the physicians’ lounge and keep the docs happy”!
Skill sets for a successful CMO are far more than just clinical. They include: data analysis, strategic planning, finance, EMR, the latest CMS and TJC regulatory policies, contracting skills and exceptional communication and collaborative abilities (just to name a few!). Many of the pitfalls encountered by the CMO are completely unexpected. The CMO can feel isolated from the typical historical support systems such as the medical staff.
Now more than ever, the CMO is a critical part of the executive team. It takes years of experience for a CMO to mature into the role. Many new and even established CMOs need periodic coaching and guidance.
To meet this growing need, SMB Consulting now offers two services:
1. CMO One-on-One Advisory Program—
a. For the new CMO to advance the learning curve.
b. For the experienced CMO facing unusual challenges.
This innovative program involves regular conference calls and information sharing with the CMO, usually on a weekly basis, where we discuss not only leadership enhancement skills and review pertinent didactic materials, but also discuss ongoing day to day operations. We set goals, do role playing and analyze the daily events so that the CMO is much better prepared for the actual events. This helps build competence and confidence for future encounters. During this time I also offer 24/7 emergency consultations when needed. Additionally, since I am not a part of the organization, we can have candid conversations together that are impossible to have internally.
Following the initial phase, we advance to the prn phase where the CMO can contact me as needed for sudden, unexpected situations, or to simply build confidence in an otherwise stressful situation.
Although the specific conversations are confidential, I regularly update the CEO with the progress made and offer recommendations for the CMO’s further growth.
2. CMO General consulting–A customized retainer program for hospitals who do not have a CMO to periodically consult on routine medical/clinical /operational matters.