An epic push-and-pull takes place every day in for-profit hospitals and healthcare facilities. Finance teams need to do their jobs to keep the business profitable, while medical professionals work to give patients the very best care possible. Today on Weaver: Beyond the Numbers, host Shelby Skrhak sits down with CPA Anna Stevens to discuss accounting struggles in the healthcare industry, specifically bridging the gap between departments that can seem at odds.
Before Stevens joined Weaver as director for Weaver’s healthcare industry practice, she worked for three years as the controller for an $80 million post-acute health care system, where she saw firsthand the communication gap between finance teams and clinicians.
“We could spend an entire day talking about why these two teams struggle to work together,” Stevens said. “It’s communication. Yes, we need to communicate better, but how can we do that if we don’t even know how to communicate with each other as different personality types?”
Stevens began studying how the common personality traits of finance professionals — usually analytical thinkers who make decisions based on facts and hard data — could clash with personality traits common among clinicians, who are more likely to be empathic, intuitive people using feelings and inference to make decisions. In essence, a hard-numbers person probably has a very different communication style from a person who relies on feeling and intuition.
“It’s up to us [as accounting professionals] to realize we’re coming from different points of view and experiences, and find better ways to communicate,” Stevens said.
In this episode, Stevens breaks down the four contrasting personality types of finance teams vs. clinicians and offers strategies for improving communication in the entire organization.
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