David Hart is something of a go-to person for patients and health care providers as an administrator at Oncology-Hematology Associates of Springfield. Acting as a sounding board for patients and co-workers, Hart says his management style is centered on staying focused on the needs of those around him.
“I try to use a style where all of us, including myself, don’t take ourselves … so seriously. We take what we do seriously,” he says. “We tackle issues as issues and try to keep the personalities out of it … so that we can attack those issues and find solutions.”
Hart, who has more than 24 years of experience as a health care administrator, says he was drawn to the field as a child because he had a friend whose father was a business manager and administrator with a local clinic.
He says the challenges he encounters at the clinic – which serves 30,000 patients a year – make his work rewarding.
“I’m not a medical person, but I collaborate well with the nursing staff and physicians, and we have to make decisions with regard to operational issues,” Hart says. “There are patient flow issues. There are personnel issues. There are financial issues. There are legal issues … in an environment that’s constantly changing, and it’s our job to keep up with what’s happening and try to integrate good ideas into the operation of the clinic so that ultimately, patients can get better care.”
With a background that includes roles in banking and as Greene County auditor, Hart has worked as an administrator at Oncology-Hematology Associates since 1987.
Through the years, he’s worked to continually improve the care the clinic provides. For example, he initiated a program to support the clinic’s registered nurses seeking national oncology certification, which helped the clinic receive a national award this year from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corp.
Hart also has been involved with several groups that promote administrative excellence in the health care industry. He is past president of the Springfield Area Medical Group Management Association and the Medical Group Management Association of Missouri.
Even though he doesn’t provide hands-on care, Hart says all of his work is dedicated to making sure the clinic’s patients get the best possible care.
“You have to realize that our patients don’t just come here one time and they’re out. Many of them have scores of visits, and very intense visits,” Hart says. “We become their extended family in a way, and they become ours.” Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.