Driving Leadership; Diana Jones

 

In this episode of Driving Leadership, Bill Berthel interviews Diana Jones, the Senior Manager Clinical Operations and Education at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS), in this edition of Driving Leadership.

Throughout the interview, Diana discusses her leadership experiences, her dedication to education, and her unwavering focus on constant personal and professional growth.

She also delves into her responsibilities overseeing the clinical staff and prioritizing excellent patient care, all while fostering a positive work atmosphere for her team.


 

Prefer to read the transcript? *Note: The following text is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors

 


 

Bill Berthel:

Welcome back to another episode of Driving Leadership. Not only will we be going for a ride today, but I won’t be driving my special guest, Deanna Jones, who is the Senior Manager Clinical Operations and Education at Syracuse. Orthopedic Specialists will not only be driving today, but she’s going to be sharing her phenomenal story of leadership and passion for education. Come on, let’s go for a ride.

Dee, thank you so much for doing this today.

Diana Jones:

Oh, I’m really excited. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Bill Berthel:

I really appreciate it. I know you are a dynamic, and I don’t like to use the word busy, but I know you have a full plate, so I really appreciate the time. You’re a dynamic leader. We’ve had the pleasure of working together on multiple occasions. We have. It’s been awesome getting to know you and I can’t wait for this conversation today. Same. Yeah. Awesome. So tell me a little bit about what you do in your role.

Diana Jones:

Okay. So my role has truly evolved with Theuse Orthopedic Specialist over the last 13 years. I am a registered nurse, first and foremost. That is who I am currently. Since January, I’ve become the senior manager of clinical operations for SOS. That’s awesome. And education. And as long as I can keep the education piece in my role, I’m a happy person. You’re happy with it? Yes, I am. The title itself Clinical Operations. What does that mean? I manage the amazing supervisors that manage the rest of our clinical staff. It’s really working with the providers and the clinical staff to just make sure that our everyday process is working, functioning properly, to really do the best for our patients, but also make it so it’s a good working environment for our staff. So that’s my goal every day is to try to make sure that we’re doing the best for our patients, but also making sure that our staff are getting everything that they need and getting the tools that they need to succeed.

Bill Berthel:

So tell me just a little bit about the organization.

Diana Jones:

So Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists has been around for a really long time, and we are a group of 28 surgeons.

Bill Berthel:

Wow.

Diana Jones:

We also have advanced placement providers. Apps are mid-level providers, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners. We have diagnostic testing on site MRIs. We can our staff, we see patients with all sorts of musculoskeletal injuries. We treat patients with spine joint sports injuries. So our providers are actually, you might see them on the sidelines at an SU game, the high school games, all of it. So they really get out into the community. And then speaking of the community, SOS is more than just treating patients. We truly get out into the community to give back. We realize that giving back to the community only enhances who we are.

Bill Berthel:

So Dee, tell me about what you’re doing to develop your folks back at the office, back at the shop.

Diana Jones:

Well, we have a couple of different avenues that we’ve been working on with our staff. We’ve been very fortunate to have a number of us go through leadership Greater Syracuse over the last Oh, fantastic. Since 2017. Yes, of course. I was class of 2018. Best class ever. There you go. All right. But also in conjunction with that, we started working with your folks at Emergent Leaders, and we’ve had seven classes. We’re in class six and seven right now. Wow. That have gone through this program that it really touches on. You can talk about it better than I can, but really touches on so many different aspects of being a leader from the small details of having how to present yourself to having those difficult conversations, understanding other people’s, doing disc assessments and understanding people’s

Bill Berthel:

Communication styles.

Diana Jones:

Their communication styles. Exactly.

Bill Berthel:

Well, what you’ve taken the lead on in that is sustaining that investment in your organization. So I do want to hear more about that. I think you’ve created some sort of model where folks come together long after the training. Correct. You’ve taken on this way to sustain the momentum and the investment of that program. What have you done?

Diana Jones:

We started with the first class that graduated, and in my mind it was, we just invested in this team, this group of folks. Why would we just let them go free and just, okay, here you go, do your thing. We really wanted to make sure that they felt supported and could continue their learning and their collaboration with each other as they continue their growth within the organization. So we started calling it the accountabilities group, and initially we were meeting monthly, and so we would have a topic, whether it was communication or putting some new little bit of technology that might be helpful. Somebody in one team might know something about our electronic health record that another team didn’t quite know, and they’re like, oh, if you do this, then, so with really kind of collaborating with the, because we have so many different groups within the organization. You have people that work for radiology or IT or that are clinical or just billing any of it, and they all live in silos usually. And now we were bringing them together.

Bill Berthel:

This was a way for them to connect.

Diana Jones:

They were connecting

Bill Berthel:

And around their learnings and to continue that moving forward. Yes.

Diana Jones:

Yeah. So we did that. And then initially it was where I kind of led the team, the conversations and everything. And then it was like, okay, now it’s your turn. And I would have volunteers that, okay, this is the topic we want to do. Or if I knew somebody had a strength, I would kind of draw on that and say, okay, why don’t you share with everybody this thing that you’re doing?

Bill Berthel:

What a skillful way of delegating. Yeah. Now it’s your turn.

Diana Jones:

Now it’s your turn.

Bill Berthel:

Yeah. I love that.

Diana Jones:

Just this past year, so we’re in our third year with Emergent, and just this past year I decided to hand over the bigger torch to a couple of graduates also and because I said, you know what? You guys need to take it to the next level, and it’s not for me to take it to that next level. It’s for you guys to do that. And they have really just started knocking it out of the park.

Bill Berthel:

There’s so many other aspects of leadership as well. So that got you kind of in and interested. Where else did you go?

Diana Jones:

Oh gosh. I also worked in home care for a while, and my role in home care was as an executive account leader there. And so it about,

Bill Berthel:

So that’s taking care of people in their homes, that kind of home care.

Diana Jones:

I actually went to the nursing homes or the hospitals and actually worked with patients there. So I was educating them and their families on their next steps. But also, I worked with a whole group. I worked with the staffs at the different facilities to educate them on what they needed to do to help their patients as well. So that was great. And I did go into the homes and help patients there too. I think my biggest leadership jump though, and really where my path really took off my journey was when I started with Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists.

Bill Berthel:

I love the idea of admitting I don’t know everything. Yes. What else? What do you do first? What else do

Diana Jones:

You know? And then be willing to get the answers from people that you’re managing, that you’re supposed to be leading them, but they can certainly teach you so much. And I think just always keeping an open mind, always keeping an open mind about everything. There might be, you have a goal that you have to achieve. Every leader has to make decisions, and we make those decisions based on data, and we make those decisions based on experience and what the need of the organization is. But we also, as we’re making that decision, we have to listen to the people that are actually, I love to use the term boots on the ground, probably because my son is in the Marines.

I love to use that phrase, the boots on the ground that are giving me more than just the numbers on a page. They’re the ones who are truly exhibiting, and they’re the ones that are doing everything that we’re asking them to do.

Bill Berthel:

They’re experiencing it.

Diana Jones:

They’re experiencing it every day. And if I don’t take what they’re saying to me into account when decisions are being made, then I’m not doing my job as a leader.

Bill Berthel:

I love that, that grounds the data as well. How do you know when you’ve gathered enough data or you’ve learned enough and you’re going to act or go do something?

Diana Jones:

In healthcare? Sometimes you’re forced into it. Oh, I bet. There’s timelines for everything and things have to change quickly. So you have to be ready.

Bill Berthel:

Yeah. There’s a forcing function there that says, you must do this thing.

Diana Jones:

By the end of next week. We need to make sure that everyone is on point to be following this protocol, because we have to make sure that our patients on this medication are, we advise them appropriately as they’re heading towards surgery. Right. And there’s a lot of moving parts. So you start with one decision, one workflow, and then you have to be willing to tweak and ready to go. But

Bill Berthel:

So some of that’s standardized.

Diana Jones:

It’s standardized, but others is the experience of the people doing it. So you have to be willing to say, okay, here’s what I gave you as a workflow or as the decision that we made. But then you have to listen. It’s not working, or it needs to, we have to turn it around or we,

Bill Berthel:

Improve it or something.

Diana Jones:

Improve it or something. And we have to involve these other people in it too. I think one of the things we’ve learned over the years, we do a lot of surveys with our staff, just like many other organizations, and we hear communication, communication, communication, communication. It’s like I do communicate. I am trying to communicate.

Bill Berthel:

There’s always a need for it.

Diana Jones:

There’s always a need for it. And there’s always different ways to communicate. And I think that’s another important thing of being a good leader, is understanding that it’s not me just sending you an email to share, but it’s me also saying, okay, I understand you’re very busy and you don’t always get to read your emails timely, so I’m going to make sure that even though I sent the email to you, I’m going to turn around and also find another way to make sure that you understand what’s going on.

Bill Berthel:

Right. I used to work as an HR director in an organization. We used to call that communication saturation. Make sure you saturate every communication channel in different styles. Just because you send it one time, one way may not be enough.

Diana Jones:

Something that I’ve done differently than the person before me who was an amazing leader also, is I make sure that I’m visible. Like I said earlier, we have seven sites. I make sure I am visible.

Bill Berthel:

So physically, you’re going around to all those sites?

Diana Jones:

Physically, I’m going to all the sites. I want those nurses to know who I am. I want them to feel comfortable with the fact that I stand at a desk with them and I do orders and I do these other things that I’m trying to put myself in their shoes.

Bill Berthel:

Yeah. You’re relating with them. How do you not lose the uniqueness of each site or department or,

Diana Jones:

I think part of that is that we have almost, each site has its own specialty per se. So we have a hand center and we have a foot and ankle center and spine center, and we have providers mostly that are only doing total joints and things like that. So within those specialties, they have their own little culture what they do. And I think that is the beauty of all of our supervisors that kind of maintain that specialty within their own little teams, but then also make sure that they’re part of SOSs globally as well.

Bill Berthel:

It’s a beautiful day, and I love this conversation. I think we should probably take a drive and head back, get you back to the office.

I’m so glad you’re driving. This is new for me and I love it. I love it. I’ve never had a guest drive.

Diana Jones:

I talk better.

Bill Berthel:

I’m happy,

Diana Jones:

I think better when I’m driving.

Bill Berthel:

That’s awesome. I’m so happy this is working. Yeah, no, it’s great. It’s been a fantastic conversation. I want to understand, you’re so passionate about education. It’s been a foundational theme, not just in your career, but in your life. What are you doing to continue your own growth and development?

Diana Jones:

So 2024 is going to be another big year for education for our staff. So I was working with our trainer this morning and I said to her, I said, I need to be a student in all of your classes.

Bill Berthel:

Oh, wow. Okay.

Diana Jones:

And I put myself as a student. So because I need to learn and rehear everything the way they’re learning it and they’re hearing it.

Bill Berthel:

So let me ask, is there any dynamic of your presence in those classes as considering your senior leadership role? And

Diana Jones:

I’m hoping not. I’m hoping, if anything, maybe just a greater focus in that class. But I hope nothing that would deter people from learning.

Bill Berthel:

And I’ll be honest with you, I’m not usually a great passenger, but you’re doing an awesome job. Nice job. No, seriously, this has been awesome fun. So thank you. Thank you.

Diana Jones:

It’s been a great pleasure for me. It really has.

1 Comment

  1. Ralph Bott on December 2, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Really enjoyed listening to Diana Jones insightful comments about leadership. She clearly has a vision on how to utilize the training she and her organization are undertaking with Emergent by putting it into practice herself as an organizational leader. Her approach to facilitate internal discussions with her staff and other leaders in SOS is taking this personal development to the next level; it clearly shows her commitment to improving. I also like her views on communications.

    Bill, keep these “Driving Leadership” segments coming they are an educational piece unto themselves.

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