Susan Salka Talks to Becker's about Healthcare Leadership, Physician Recruitment & More

Susan Salka Talks to Becker's about Healthcare Leadership, Physician Recruitment & More

Becker's Hospital Review recently spoke to Susan Salka, CEO of Staff Care and our parent company, AMN Healthcare, about a wide-ranging variety of topics relating to healthcare staffing and recruitment, leadership, and what it means to succeed in today's healthcare marketplace, both as a service provider and a clinician.

As explained by Tamara Rosin in the article, Ms. Salka has been instrumental in expanding AMN Healthcare's range of services to include "managed services programs, recruitment process outsourcing, vendor management systems, predictive analytics for patient demand and staffing need, executive and interim leadership placement, and advanced digital processes for sourcing healthcare professionals." The expansion into these new areas was designed to help AMN's clients in the healthcare delivery world "reduce complexity, increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes," as Rosin explains.

"Unlike many other workforce solutions and staffing providers, AMN Healthcare focuses exclusively on healthcare," as Rosin points out — with Staff Care playing a central role in the AMN family as the nation's leading provider of locum tenens staffing and recruitment services.

Leading the company for more than 10 years now, Ms. Salka's expertise is wide-ranging, as illustrated by the insightful responses to Rosin's questions. Below are a few highlights, but we strongly recommend checking out the complete conversation over at Becker's Hospital Review.

Becker's Hospital Review's "9 questions with AMN Healthcare CEO Susan Salka"

Susan Salka on Healthcare Leadership

"Leaders today must have a strong vision and embrace that vision to guide the organization through change," explains Ms. Salka. "It's a whole new world for healthcare compared with 10 years ago. The environment today requires all of us — those who work with healthcare clients and those who deliver the care — to increase financial and business acumen. And while it's wonderful to have tenure within healthcare, it's becoming increasingly important to recruit individuals with different experiences outside of healthcare."

"The most important thing a leader can do is make the work personal for each individual team member," she adds in response to another question. "It's important to spend one-on-one time with team members so you can understand their personal and professional goals and truly help them achieve these goals through their work. Another thing is to show them how the work they do impacts others — how every person matters to the success of the organization.

"While clinicians see their purpose every day, it is important to show how they fit in with the broader team, and to connect everyone as a unit. There is a lot of pride that comes with being part of a successful unit within a hospital. It sounds like obvious Leadership 101, but during times of transformation and chaos, these things are often the first to fall to the wayside."

Susan Salka on Recruiting New Clinicians

"Baseline of experience is always important" when it comes to recruiting new clinicians, Susan explains. "You must have relevant experience and a good track record. However, what is far more important to your success and long-term career is an aptitude for learning, critical thinking, attitude, behavior and willingness to put in effort.

"For clinicians, having a strong emotional IQ is very important, as well as for any leader or anyone at all who interacts with internal and external customers. Having a strong EQ means you are able to adapt your approach and communication style to the individual you are communicating with while truly empathizing and seeing their point of view."

Staff Care/AMN CEO Susan Salka Discusses Physician Shortage on CNBC's Mad Money
Video: Watch Susan Salka interviewed on CNBC's Mad Money

Susan Salka on AMN's Ability to Help Clients Find New Leaders (Interim and Otherwise)

"There is a huge shortage of leaders within healthcare organizations, which is one of the reasons we chose to acquire companies that allow us to build this capability and be an important part of helping our clients," Ms. Salka says, referring to AMN's recent acquisition of B.E. Smith, a provider of healthcare leadership, executive search and advisory services.

"The silver tsunami of aging clinical providers exists within hospital leadership. Another reason there are fewer leaders is because many organizations have tried to become as lean as possible in their management structures. For many hospitals, it is too hard to find people to fill certain roles. That's why interim leaders are so helpful. They are far more experienced, come in and help with significant transformations or initiatives, and are a great asset to other leaders."

Susan Salka on What Sets AMN Apart from other Healthcare Staffing Partners

"There are other organizations similar to ours, but where healthcare is only one of many industries they work with," she explains. "On the other hand, all we eat, sleep, breathe and do is healthcare. It gives us a much better perspective, and we also have better contacts and relationships that we can pull from to find the right leaders for our clients."

Susan Salka currently serves not only as CEO of AMN Healthcare and Staff Care, but also on the board of directors for McKesson and The Campanile Foundation at San Diego State University. She also serves on the editorial advisory board of Directors & Boards magazine. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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"9 Questions with AMN Healthcare CEO Susan Salka" is copyright © 2016 Becker's Healthcare. Staff Care and AMN Healthcare are not affiliated with Becker's and use the above content for editorial purposes only. View the original article here.

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