Subject matter experts (SMEs) are extremely valuable at any company, but at a healthcare company, they have knowledge that can help your company grow in more ways than one. Skills, knowledge, and abilities, otherwise known as SKAs, are a large part of making your healthcare practice effective, successful, and thriving. Knowledge has always been one of the most in-demand job skills, and SMEs at your practice may know more and be able to help your practice on levels you never thought of. Here we’ll delve into what a subject matter expert is, how you can leverage them in your healthcare practice, and what they bring to your business.
What is a Subject Matter Expert (SME)?
A subject matter expert (SME) is a person who is knowledgeable in a particular healthcare area.
Depending on the healthcare niche of your practice, you will have different types of healthcare workers, physicians, and others whom you can call on when you have questions about how the practice is functioning or might function better. Don’t hesitate to learn about everyone’s backgrounds as soon as possible; you never know when someone’s hobby or previous job can inform your practice. The subject matter experts you work with may have business knowledge, for instance, on top of their healthcare educations.
How SMEs Can Help
SMEs can partner with others in your practice and share information that can increase the quality of the care you provide. Here are some ways SMEs can contribute their knowledge to the practice:
- Participate in work groups and planning
- Educational material review and development
- Plan educational events like conferences, webinars, and meetings
- Determine if actions taken to improve care quality are working
- Share ideas and suggestions with the practice often
Interviewing Your SMEs
Many large healthcare organizations employ SMEs as consultants on important healthcare topics at different points. Before you hire a consultant, however, it’s important to leverage the SMEs you already have within your organization -- this can save you money as well as time. A great place to start is just having a quick sit-down conversation with each of your employees and partners to determine where their expertise might lie. You could also send out a group email asking them to detail their experience and knowledge that could be helpful to the practice.
Leveraging SME Knowledge
Your healthcare practice isn’t just about healthcare, and healthcare isn’t just about making people better. It’s also about finding best practices and new ways of doing the everyday things that are required to run your business efficiently. Reducing overhead and extraneous spending in your practice is always a positive. Taking the first step toward finding out who your SMEs are, where their knowledge lies, and then allowing them to provide their knowledge when needed will get the ball rolling.
SMEs are integral to any business, including healthcare practices, but consulting fees and the time spent locating the correct SMEs may seem excessive or be unrealistic for your healthcare practice. Before looking elsewhere, ensure you know everyone in your practice, their depth of knowledge, and each subject they are authorities in. The healthcare SME you’ve been looking for may be right under your nose. Plus, you’ll be getting to know everyone you work with that much better.
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