Doing it all by yourself is holding yourself back from being efficient. To enhance your efficiency in your workflow, you need to think about what you can delegate, how to delegate, and why you want to delegate a task.
Delegation is important, but also it calls for effective closed-loop communication with your team along with respect and kindness. Addressing someone by name and being kind when assigning a task is usually received in a much better way than just assuming that they should have seen your new order.
Delegating is not easy, but it’s worth it for you to grow.
Join the conversation with your host Dr. Ryan Stegink as he shares more about how delegation in medicine can help you in improving your efficiency in your workflow and wellness.
During this episode, you will learn about;
[00:01] Introduction to the show
[01:52] Today’s focus: Delegation And Work Efficiency
[03:05] Ryan’s experience with delegation as a senior residence
[04:06] What to delegate in the clinical setting
[06:24] Why thinking about what you can delegate is important
[07:46] How to delegate
[10:15] Why delegate
[12:44] How lack of delegation can lead to inefficiency and burnout
[13:41] Choosing thoughts that will help you feel more confident in delegating
[14:26] Ending the show and call to action
Want to get home sooner from clinic or the hospital? With all your notes and charting done, too? Get your FREE PDF guide with 10 tips to maximize your clinical efficiency! https://www.mededwell.com/efficiencyguide/
- Having a closed-loop communication is essential during the delegation
- Showing someone how to do it the first time might take more time, but it will ultimately save you time
- Doing it all by yourself will hold you back from being efficient
Connect With Dr. Ryan Stegink
Above are the episode show notes and below is the transcript. Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. See the website disclaimer if you have questions, since this is all for your education and entertainment only. Enjoy!
Have you felt exhausted in medicine? Like your practice is more like a treadmill than truly a calling? Is the charting weighing you down? Working well past your last patient of the day, charting at home, in the evenings and on weekends. The notes and paperwork, lab results, quality metrics, all the things, right?!?
What if I told you there were some ways to make a change, to get more efficient so you can finish work at work and have the margin to intentionally choose thoughts and actions consistent with your values and priorities? You can get my free guide with 10 tips for getting work done at work more efficiently. Get yours today at www.mededwell.com/efficiency
After that, if you know that you want to take a deeper dive into your thoughts and clinical practice, check out MedEdWell coaching with Dr. Stegink. Fight burnout and moral injury. Find fulfillment and create margin by examining your thoughts and actions to take that next step forward from where you are to where you want to be, aligning your actions with your priorities. To find out more and to book a consult, head over to www.mededwell.com/coaching.
You can also find that link in the shownotes of the podcast player you are listening on right now.
And now for the rest of today’s episode.
Thank you so much for joining me here on episode 38 of the MedEdWell podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. And I look forward to exploring how each of us can take the next step in our wellness. In episode 37, we talked about closed loop communication and how that affects clinical efficiency and workflows. Today, we’ll be talking about delegation, some of those things that maybe you should be doing, certain, those things that you should be having someone else do, whether that’s in your business, in your clinical practice or in your life. So I’m so glad you’re joining me. I appreciate everyone who’s subscribed left to review. Just giving me feedback that maybe something’s been helpful or some ideas of how to help take that next step forward. As I look at some of these things and interact with you. So thank you. When I was a resident, I was a senior resident as a second year on the hematology oncology service.
It was one of the busiest services. And other than the ICU, probably one of the most difficult ones to be a senior on. There were a couple interns on the team. And after the rotation, I got some feedback that I wasn’t giving enough space for the interns to really own their patients. And as I reflected on it, it was true. Rounds would be pretty long, fairly intensive with the orders. And I would jump in and, and help and put some of them in while the intern was presenting. But as I reflected on that feedback, I realized that I did need to delegate and let the interns put in some of the orders, even if it took a little bit longer. So delegation can look different in different circumstances. But first you have to look at in a clinical for me, primary care setting, what can I delegate?
It may be certain paperwork, certain things that I don’t need to take care of. Maybe it’s a prior authorization that my staff could start on my behalf. It could be having certain phone calls that need to get some more information before I’m going to weigh in and be able to offer some something that’s helpful clinically more just saying, yeah, if you could call this patient back and get them scheduled for an appointment with me, that would be really helpful. Another thing that’s helpful to delegate and looking at again, how are you able to go room to room? How are you able to use that closed loop communication to make sure that you’re able to do what only you can do and seeing the patient and which forms or things do you have to give input on? Which things are things that someone else could help you with?
Again, it could be printing forms or physical forms that need to be completed maybe by the parents, before you actually give the teenager clearance to do sports. It could also be bringing extra instruments to the room, whether it’s a suture removal kit or something else, maybe you know about that in advance, maybe you don’t, but if you don’t have to go get it, and you’re not short staffed such that you have to chip in and help out with some of those things saying, how can I empower someone else to help me? How can that make a difference? It can also means potentially starting documentation for you. Or like I said, those prior authorizations where they may just need to have input on what medications have
Already been tried. Now it again, will look different for each of us, but starting to think about what we can delegate clinically is really important because going through medical school, I realized I could see what needed to be done and to help with it. And while that was helpful, in many situations, I remember doing my medicine rotation, where we still had paper notes. They had some electronic orders, but paper notes in discharge paperwork, where I knew, I think it took about eight stickers with the patient’s label to be able to put on all of the pieces of documentation. And I knew that I could go get that, but now, if I were an attending rounding in the hospital, I would delegate that, yes, it’s about doing it with respect and kindness. And it’s not necessarily the medical student that needs to be doing that when they have other roles and responsibilities, starting to think about what to delegate and then allow you to have those conversations with your staff, the referral coordinator with someone else, so that you can start to do it though.
That leads me into the next point of how to delegate. It’s really important to have kind demeanor, especially if whatever you’re requesting is not already in the workflow. It may be something that came up after you’d already signed your orders or something that you didn’t talk about during your pre-visit planning huddle. So having that closed loop communication like we talked about last week can be really important, whether it’s putting the paper that you signed back in the completed box, whether it’s sending the inbox message back and saying, can you and using their name, we talked about the importance of knowing people’s names, rather than just saying can, can you nurse help me with this? Can you medical assistant do this for me? Yeah. Address someone by name, be kind about it and say, can you help me out with this usually is received much better than just assuming, oh, I put in a new order and they should have seen it.
Well, maybe they were getting my vaccines for this patient. And didn’t see that thing that I added on because, oh, wait, the parent was concerned that their child might be anemic. And so they would like to get a, a blood draw. So first what to delegate second, how to delegate. But before I go on, I just realized, in addition to those things about how to delegate, there’s also making sure that the closed loop communication that someone understands and has the ability to do that. If it’s someone that’s new and they say, Hmm, actually I don’t understand that. Or I haven’t had that training. It may be especially important to make sure that maybe you show them the first time. So then they know, and then you can delegate to them in the future. It may take more time, but ultimately it will save you time as you invest it. So that’s a bonus one for how to delegate, but three why delegate? This is probably the most important one. So you gotta figure out what to delegate, how to delegate it, but why? Because at least for me, I think that I can do it all myself. Yeah. That sounds as bad as it actually is because I can’t do
It all myself. I’ve thought this more in the past about that. I can do it all myself, but I can’t. And you can’t either. We are one individual. Sure. We can figure out how to be more efficient, how to say, well, maybe time and how long it takes to do things is more of a mental construct and how I hold myself back from being efficient, but it still remains. We are finite. And that’s why you work typically in teams. And if you take advantage of each person’s strengths, their skills and the things that are already expected of each of us, you can work at the top of your license. More often, your staff can work more at the top of their license and can be entrusted with these things. Again, sometimes more than at least I typically would give to people saying, oh, actually you could do this just fine.
It may just be at an experience or comfortability level with this. And if we can get to that point, maybe we can take these workflows to the next level. Yeah. As a physician, I will see the patient and sign the charts and review certain paperwork and sign it. But some of these other things maybe I don’t have to do, it’s certainly an ideal and I’m definitely still willing to help out, especially when we’re short staffed. And yeah, if I’m not delegating though, and I’m distracted, like I talked about an episode 25, it can just lead to that inefficiency where I don’t finish my notes where I don’t finish them in the room when I have them piled up at the end of the day. And I look back and why did I have to check my email again? Why did I have that extra conversation that maybe I should have waited till the end of the session, the lunchtime to the end of the day, because all of these things add up.
And when I go home late, when I miss lunch, again, starts to lay the foundation or being burned out. So it may look different for you, but take a moment and see what, in these examples that I’m giving that you can relate to when you first heard that today’s topic was delegation. What thoughts did you have? Here we go again, no one can do it like me, something along those lines, though, if you want to have the result of an empowered, effective, and efficient team, what thoughts could you choose that would help you feel more confident in delegating in taking that action? It’ll likely be messy. That’ll be worth it to grow. Thanks so much for joining me here on episode 30, eight of the MedEd, well podcast, these things aren’t easy, but they’re important. And I appreciate all of you joining me. We’re subscribing for sharing.
We’re giving input and I’m able to use to help others. As I engage with these topics myself, you’re looking for a free guide on how to take that next step. Check out my efficiency guide at mededwell.com/efficiency. And if you wanna go deeper and look at some of these things, your mindset are you approach different clinical workflows or your life you’ll book a consult call at mededwell.com/coaching. I wanna encourage you keep taking those next steps forward. Thanks for all you do to care for patients and for our communities, your colleagues to care for yourself. Thanks so much. Have a great day.
And now for our important disclaimer:
Dr. Ryan Stegink is a practicing general pediatrician, but the MedEdWell podcast does not reflect the views, opinions, or beliefs of his employer nor affiliated university. Additionally, the MedEdWell podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should NOT be considered advice regarding financial, legal, student loan, medical or any other specific topic. In such a case, you should seek consultation with a certified professional in that particular area. Again thanks for joining us on the MedEdWell podcast, and have a great day!