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Insights: How to solve the trillion-dollar staffing problem

Podcast - May 23, 2019

Recruitment & Hiring

Professional Development

Leadership Development

A trillion dollars! According to a recent Gallup article on workplace employment, U.S. businesses lose a trillion dollars every year to voluntary turnover.

In this MGMA Insights podcast, we explore the reasons behind such high employee turnover, and then our subject matter experts reveal the process improvement tools and processes they employ to improve management staff in a medical practice.

Experts interviewed include:
  • Owen Dahl, MBA, LFACHE, CHBC, LSSMBB, Consultant, Author and Educator
  • Adrienne Lloyd, MHA, FACHE, Chief Administrative Office, Duke Eye Center, Duke Medical Center
  • Rick Weymier, MBA, FACMPE, Chief Administrative Officer, WB Carrell Memorial Clinic
  • Melissa Phillippi, President and Co-founder, Performance Culture


Highlights from the Podcast

Standardizing processes:

Owen Dahl: "If you have a medical practice with 15 clinicians providing care, you might have 15 different ways of doing things. That in and of itself creates a significant problem as a medical assistant or a receptionist now is attempting to peform tasks in perhaps 15 different ways. What you need is a standardization of your processes no matter how many clinicians you have on staff. It's more efficient, it streamlines the work and it eliminates wasteful processes."

Adriennce Lloyd: (At Duke) "We have 10 locations and they really, unfortunately, were functioning very differently. And so our providers and patients and staff, were having different experiences and honestly, they weren't always the best ones. (To move toward standardization) we started with cross training of staff and increasing the training level of our technicians. But what evolved shortly thereafter was the creation of a point system, which is really looking at trying to create a workload balancing tool. This allows us to assess high performers and low performers, but also helps predict where we might need additional staff or maybe less staff if there weren't as many providers in one clinic versus another one.

Performance Management:

Rick Weymier​: "I always thought that the performance evaluations done on an annual basis did not actually energize the employee or any of your staff simply because it looks like it's a chore to the managing person. Also, it looks like a threat sometimes to the employee being interviewed. I thought that there has to be about a better way to do this. And, (after conducting research) I actually feel the best thing to do is provide continuous feedback to your employees throughout the year.

Melisssa Phillippi: "There's no one-size-fits-all on how often a manager and employee should meet. It might be different from one manager to another as far as what are the needs in order for that employee and that manager relationship to be as healthy and as successful as possible. At least once a month is what I'd recommend on a frequency, but it could be more frequent if the circumstances demand it, and it could maybe go a month and a half to two months. But I really don't encourage anything past two months of doing this check-in process.

Additional Resource

If you want to grow as a leader in your organization and help develop a stronger culture in your practice. MGMA’s online seminar, "Transformational Leadership: From the Front Office to the C-Suite" will help you embrace change management and strategic vision planning to expand your leadership toolbox. For more information visit


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