It is no secret that the healthcare industry loves acronyms. Most of us probably speak these acronyms in our sleep. Understanding and navigating through this “alphabet soup” is one of the many challenges that managers face in rheumatology practices across the country. The National Organization of Rheumatology Managers (NORM) has a plethora of resources available for its members through the NORM Education Committee (NEC).
With 2 new co-chairs at its helm, the NEC is beginning a new chapter as it continues to evolve into a more useful resource for rheumatology practice managers. Late last year, the decision was made to merge the NEC website into the NORM website to provide easier access to information for members. In addition, the content from the old website has now been updated. The NEC has built an inventory of resources that many managers, young and old, will find useful for helping them run their practices more efficiently. Examples of these resources include PowerPoint slides from past NEC presentations at conferences; templates that have been developed over the years; a library of documents that practices need; and previously recorded educational webinars.
At the 13th annual NORM Conference, the NEC hosted 3 rounds of interactive sessions called the “Circles of Knowledge.” These sessions were open to all members and attendees of the conference to facilitate meaningful discussions on major issues that are facing rheumatology practices today. This year’s topics included the use of mid-level providers and the challenges of incident-to billing; increasing and maintaining patient satisfaction; understanding and shaping the culture of the staff and the practice as a whole; knowing how to identify management and how to make sure management has the proper authority to run the practice; how to have difficult discussions with your physicians about issues in the practice; and tips for documenting clinical and billing workflows. Each session was held twice so that attendees could be present at as many discussions as possible during the 3-hour period that the Circles of Knowledge were open and available.
Current members of the NEC facilitated the discussions, allowing for everyone who was interested in learning from their peers to participate while at the conference. The NEC believes that there is a certain magic that happens when great minds come together to think through problems and discuss different ways to solve them. Participants learn better and feel like they contribute more when they are part of a conversation instead of being “lectured at.” The Circles of Knowledge have received great feedback from participants in the past, which is why we expanded the number of sessions and length of time those sessions were available.
All managers, from the newest rookie to the most seasoned veteran, can benefit from the resources developed by the NEC. As the committee goes through this evolution, the NEC will be asking for feedback from NORM members, and may also request help with developing new content and completing projects that will benefit the membership as a whole. We want all members to know that the NEC is available to help in as many ways as possible.