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    Ryan Reaves
    Ryan Reaves

    Welcome to the MGMA Insights Podcast, hosted by Daniel Williams. In this episode, we sit down with MGMA Senior Advisor Cristy Good to discuss advanced human resources strategies for medical practice leaders. Good, a seasoned healthcare practice administrator and co-author of the new book, "Advanced Strategy for Medical Practice Leaders: Human Resources Edition," shares her insights and experiences in healthcare practice management and offers practical strategies for tackling HR challenges in medical practices.

    Good’s Healthcare HR Journey

    Prior to joining MGMA, Good was a credentialed trainer with EPIC and helped prepare providers for one of the largest EHR implementations. For more than five years, she was an administrator with a large health system where she oversaw the strategic and daily operations for multiple outpatient medical practices and also spent six months working for a private home health agency. In addition, she has more than 10 years of clinical laboratory experience. A lifelong learner, Good says that earning a graduate degree signaled a shift in her career that would include HR duties.

    "Once I got my MBA, I moved into an administrative role and really started getting more involved in HR," she recalls. This background gave Good a deep understanding of the role HR plays in healthcare settings. Her hands-on experience in various aspects of HR, from employee relations to compliance, provided her with the knowledge that she goes on to share in MGMA’s new HR strategy book. “I just thought about all that I went through in my career in healthcare and I wanted to bring over the information that I’ve learned so I could help other people," Good says. "I learned by drinking from a fire hose. I learned and I made mistakes and I learned from those mistakes and then I would improve for next time.”

    Staffing Challenges and Solutions

    It's no secret that staffing remains a significant hurdle to clear for medical practices. Good highlights the importance of strategic HR management to address this issue. In her experience, Good says one key to helping staffing issues lies in understanding the specific needs of the practice and aligning them with HR strategies. What's the time to fill a position? Are you studying those metrics? Those are the questions Good says practice administrators need to be tracking and studying trends so they're not caught flat-footed when there's staff turnover, regardless of if it's a physician or an MA. 

    Managing Stress and Combatting Burnout

    An April MGMA Stat poll on burnout revealed that 75% of medical group leaders say their level of burnout has increased in 2024. "Burnout is real, and we need to incorporate work-life balance strategies to support our staff," Good says. Such a holistic approach to HR can make a significant difference in employee retention and overall practice performance. Good and Williams discuss the ongoing MGMA community program on managing stress, which offers practical tools and strategies for practice leaders. "Stress was the overriding theme we heard from everyone in our group," Williams notes, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions to support staff well-being. Good also stressed the need for practices to implement stress management programs. As she puts it, "It's about providing resources and creating an environment where employees feel supported.”

    Building a Positive Workplace Culture

    Creating a positive workplace culture is another factor driving employee satisfaction and retention, which is why medical practices should foster a supportive and inclusive environment. "In one of my roles, we kept our turnover rate low by investing in employee engagement initiatives like focus groups and surveys," Good says. This proactive approach not only improved retention but also created a more cohesive and motivated workforce. Activities such as team-building exercises, volunteering and wellness programs can enhance employee morale and engagement. Good adds, "Work with HR to build culture and ensure employees feel valued.” The HR advanced strategy book includes practical tips for building and sustaining a positive culture in medical practices.

    Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in HR

    Monitoring KPIs can help HR leaders identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to retain high-performing employees. As she explains in the HR advanced strategy book, Good highlights essential KPIs that HR leaders should monitor, including employee turnover rates, employee satisfaction scores and time-to-fill positions. Sharing an example from her past experience, Good says, “I was lucky enough to work in an organization that kept its employee turnover rate at 7% by engaging employees through surveys and focus groups." Other important KPIs such as regulatory training and absentee rates, along with staff-to-patient ratios, can help ensure that both employee and patient needs are met. "Absentee rate is crucial because it can indicate underlying issues within the workforce," she explains. By keeping a close eye on these indicators, practices can proactively address problems before they escalate.

    Compliance and Risk Management

    Compliance with labor laws and risk management are critical aspects of HR management. Because laws vary by state and frequently change, this can be one of the more complex aspects that HR leaders must encounter. Good's meticulous approach to compliance is rooted in her background in laboratory work, where precision and adherence to regulations were paramount. "We had to be so tight in our compliance; everything had to be dotted and crossed," she recalls. This experience underscored the importance of thorough risk management and informed her contributions to the book's compliance chapter, which provides valuable guidance for practice leaders to avoid costly fines and legal risks. Continuous education and staying updated with the latest legal developments can help ensure compliance across the medical practice.

    The Evolving Role of HR

    With advancements in technology and changing workforce dynamics, the role of HR in healthcare is evolving. Good discusses the integration of AI in recruitment and workforce planning processes. However, she cautions against relying solely on technology. "You don't want to take the human resource part out of HR," she says. HR leaders must balance using AI with maintaining a human touch in their interactions and decision-making processes. Good notes that AI can help streamline many HR functions while using these tools wisely. "AI can help with predictive analytics for workforce planning, but we must ensure we're not losing the personal element," she explains. The book touches on using AI without compromising the human aspect and core values of HR.


    During the podcast interview, Good explains that HR is a hands-on function that requires strategic insight whether at a private practice or a health system. By identifying and implementing these strategies, medical practice leaders can create a more efficient, compliant and positive work environment. Whether you’re dealing with staffing issues, looking to improve compliance, or aiming to build a better workplace culture, this episode provides actionable insights to help healthcare HR leaders succeed.

    For those seeking comprehensive guidance, Good’s co-authored book, "Advanced Strategy for Medical Practice Leaders: Human Resources Edition," is an excellent resource. It covers a wide range of HR topics, including compliance, culture building, employee development and more. The book is available in the MGMA Bookstore.


    MGMA Sources:


    Let us know if there's a topic you want us to cover, an expert you would like us to interview, or if you'd like to appear on the member spotlight podcast. Email us at If you have a question for our senior advisor, Cristy Good, email

    Join the MGMA Managing Stress Education Series. Email Daniel Williams ( or Cristy Good ( for more information.

    Ryan Reaves

    Written By

    Ryan Reaves

    Ryan Reaves is content coordinator at MGMA. He is a seasoned content professional with a background in both community journalism and sports apparel eCommerce. Ryan is skilled in proofreading, image editing, and writing online content in a fast-paced environment. At MGMA, Ryan develops and edits content for books, podcasts and consulting.

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