Stepping into any new role is scary, but stepping in as a new Quality Manager in health care can be particularly challenging. You may be so familiar with being on the floor or in a clinical setting and dealing with the hustle that brings, that switching to this role may feel completely overwhelming. And that’s okay.  

As a quality manager in health care, you’ll take on new acronyms, reports, leadership strategies, improvement planning, and more. Just when you thought you’d made the right career decision, you probably started to second-guess it. Yearning for the familiar is normal and expected, so we assure you that you aren’t alone in this.  

Now we aren’t saying this to imply there’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, we have a handy guide to help you navigate those first few months to help ease the transition. 


Find Other Leaders in the Organization 

Getting to know your new colleagues and their roles in the organization is a huge first step in building the foundation of your new role. As a quality manager in health care, knowing who else will be on your team to build and implement new quality measures can help you identify where to go when you run into any sticking points. 

It’s also important not only to build allies but to have a good face-to-face relationship with everyone. With that, you have more leverage – building rapport helps to make for smoother policy changes or testing suggestions.  


Identify your Champions of Change  

Your Champions of Change aren’t always leadership. These individuals that will actually help implement or test a new procedure are often your most stellar staff member. They must be highly liked and highly respected by their colleagues. If they start to change their routine for the new procedure you’re testing, often their colleagues will follow suit.  

You can find your Champions by observing the department. See how team members interact. Take note of who is speaking when everyone else is listening. Find who is already leading. If it’s hard to identify, talk to a few of the staff members or leadership team members to see what their thoughts are. Finding your champions will help make your new policies run a lot smoother.  


Small Steps, Big Rewards  

Speaking of new policies, when you jump into your new role, you might want to start by making a huge splash and improvement. However, we don’t recommend this approach. Thinking too big actually can backfire sometimes.  

We suggest you start small – start in one department, with one team, on one shift with whatever policy you’d like to test. Often we can’t see potential negative outcomes of even the best-intended new policies, and starting small can mitigate any large negative effect.  


Know When to Seek Outside Help  

Getting outside training doesn’t mean you’re a failure at your job; it means you care about your new role and organization enough to want to succeed. You recognize you may not have all the answers, but you’d like them. Finding a guiding light during this transition time is a huge asset, but not everyone is so lucky to have a colleague who’s been in their shoes.   

Thankfully, at Cynosure we’ve recognized this and created an on-demand course designed for new quality managers in health care that have been in their role for 6 months or less. New Quality Director Orientation: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me on my First 30 Days on the Job is taught by Dan Lanari, who has been exactly where you’re sitting before. He felt lost, frustrated, and like a failure at his new job. But he’s broken down everything he wishes he knew, so you don’t have to keep wondering.  


If you’re new to your role and ready to get some proper training, you can learn more about the New Quality Director Orientation: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me on my First 30 Days on the Job and sign up for the course here!