Over the course of my time at Shawnee Healthcare, I have begun to fully understand the overall structure of the organization. The organization is primarily divided into three key departments. First, is the administrative department. The first team in the administrative department is the executive team, which includes the CEO/CFO, the staff accountant, the director of federal grants, and the employee coordinator. They oversee the overall operation of the clinic, with particular attention to the organization’s finances and operations. They also ensure that the organization is operating in accordance with HIPAA limitations and guidelines. To be honest, I rarely interact or see these individuals. I hear them mentioned when there has been some type of HIPAA concern that affects the providers and they need to respond to it. This rarely happens and usually it is just some sort of misunderstanding or mistake, such as a laptop was left logged on. Thus, most of the interaction I have with the administrative side of things is just seeing them in an overseeing role that ensures the clinicians are operating in accordance with federal guidelines and able to function effectively. Next, also under the administrative department is the front office team. The front office and includes scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, filing paperwork, processing insurance, and interacting with patients.
Then, there is the clinical side of the organization. This is primarily composed of the primary care team and the behavioral health team. The primary care team is comprised of the providers (physicians, practitioners, etc.) working with their medical assistants and nurses. The primary care team works in extremely close proximity to the behavioral health team. They work to assess and assist patients with mental health and/or behavioral concerns. They recognize that health is tied not only to physical well-being, but also to mental health, behavioral factors, and socioeconomic background. Thus, they work in close proximity with the clinical team and with patients themselves. I feel as though I can speak mostly to leadership styles within the clinical side because I do not get to interact with the other departments quite as much. The clinical team follows a fairly standardized procedure just due to the nature of medicine. As an intern, when triaging patients, cleaning rooms, taking notes, and asking questions, my process is extremely standardized just due to the nature of medical care and the required information we must record for each and every patient that walks through our doors. Meanwhile, the providers also follow a fairly standardized process in evaluating patients, taking notes, and prescribing medications. However, they have a significant bit of more discretion in terms of how they interact with patients, the length of time they spend with them, and the treatment procedures and steps they decide to take. Different providers have different styles and methods of interacting with patients and providing care.
Then, there is the patient and community engagement team. The Director of Patient and Community Engagement works in close proximity with another outreach worker and a community health worker to remain in communication with the larger community and ensure that the clinic is able to reach and serve a large proportion of the population. The Director of Patient and Community Engagement serves as my site supervisor. After considering my time in my internship, I would actually recommend that the individual who oversees the interns be switched. While my supervisor has attempted to be helpful in organizing and directing my work, since the majority of her work does not place take in the clinic itself, it makes this somewhat difficult. Over the course of my internship, on days when it seemed like our responsibilities were somewhat unclear, when we could express this to her, she would attempt to give us things to do. However, because she played a limited role in the operation of the clinic itself this was difficult to do. She would go and speak to the clinical coordinator who worked in the clinic and try to come up with a plan. This additional step sometimes led to things getting lost in translation. Also, because things at times get so busy in the clinic, it seemed almost as if sometimes they forgot the interns were there and we had to try to self-direct and do things on our own. I think if the interns were under the instruction of the clinical coordinator rather than the director of community engagement, we could play a more integral role and be given more effective instruction and feedback. However, this past week, the other interns and I met with the clinical coordinator and discussed these concerns and this seemed to alleviate some of the communication issues and we have been able to do even more in the clinic this week.