Experience Drives OT’s Management Style
RehabVisions Rehab Director Michele Roesch-Johnson, OT worked for a giant of a contract therapy provider before transitioning to her management role with RehabVisions. In her former position, she dealt with company communication issues and navigating changes in her role. Her experiences led her to think differently about the way she manages her own team.
“Before RehabVisions I was with the same company for 18 years. During that time they transitioned quite a bit, and I ended up traveling nearly four hours a day. The other four hours was all that was left for treatment,” said Michele. “I only had time for evals and didn’t have much direct access to patients–the continuum of care was not smooth. I was missing that whole-team approach because I was going into four or five different facilities a week. They had full-time therapists on staff, but I didn’t feel like part of the team.”
Now she gets her own team together once a week over lunch-time. The main purpose of these meetings is for her therapists to talk about their caseload and for the team to make suggestions or identify areas where they can help. But Michele sees additional benefits, saying, “It’s also a safe place for therapists to vent, and for the team to identify together what we can do to keep each other positive.”
The weekly meetings also serve as an outlet to plan post-hospital care strategies, provide continued education through in-services, build communication skills as a group, and address communication between therapy and other hospital departments.
“Sometimes I think, ‘I wish communication was better,’ but I have to remind myself where I came from,” says Michele. “As a corporation, RehabVisions’ size is more personable. I feel like RV sees patient care and quality of care as very important, and finds a good balance between that and productivity.”
As a manager, Michele’s ability to work directly with administration to problem solve, and direct access to operations assistance at RehabVisions (only a step away compared to three or four at her former employer), allows her to implement change in her department smoothly, and maintain a strong, communicative team.