Renato Maclan, Jr., RN, MSN, MBA
Renato is currently a Supply Chain Consultant
with VHA, deployed as the on-site implementation P2P Program Manager at
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.
He became a nurse for one reason - it's in his DNA. His mom was a nurse, and she convinced
not only Renato, but also his brother, that nursing was an excellent career
path. (And both brothers even
Before he became a nurse, his mom had shown Renato that with nursing as
a career base he would have virtually unlimited opportunities for career growth
within the ever-expanding healthcare industry. But Renato truly fell in love with nursing during nursing
school, when he came to understand the idea of nurses standing guard, of being
the caregivers and stewards of their patients in their weakest state, and of
the very special place that nursing has in our healthcare system.
Renato began his career as an RN in 1996, after graduating from Houston
Baptist University. Having
performed all of his clinical training at Texas Medical Center facilities, it
was an easy choice for Renato to select St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital's
transplant ICU to begin working as a graduate nurse. He strongly connected with their approach to nursing: Maximize the patient's potential by
helping them to help themselves.
And, he was proud to be a part of one of the best heart programs in the
country. After meeting his
wife (also a nurse) while working at St. Luke's, Renato wanted to advance into
management, and decided to return to school for his MSN in 2001.
Q: At what point in your career did you
decide to get your MBA?
R: Once I
became a manager, I felt that HMO's were pursuing a cookie-cutter approach to
healthcare. I wanted to learn the
"bean counters game" to help the hospital. During this time I had a brief stint in for-profit
healthcare, and learned how they look at healthcare from a business standpoint
- specifically the areas of nurse staffing and cost accounting. This experience taught me how to look
at healthcare and balance quality and costs.
Q: As a nurse manager, how did you ensure
the quality of your nursing team?
learned a lot as Nurse Manager with Drs. Garth and Davis (of the TV show "Big
Medicine") in developing the new Bariatric Medicine department at The Methodist
Hospital. That is when I adopted
the STAR interview method, which I still use today. When I interview candidates, I present them with a real-time
scenario, and ask them how they would handle the situation and make
decisions/prioritize. I look for
candidates who will stand up for their patients, think of the patient first,
balance competing needs and still have the best possible outcomes for their
patients. These nurses always make
the best hires and the best team members.
When it comes to new graduate nurses, I look more for drive than book
knowledge, i.e., what are they willing to do to push themselves to obtain the
skills they need and to move into a leadership role as soon as possible? Nursing units are teams based on shift,
and it is my role to fit the candidate with the right shift culture; I have to
choose who is best to make the team perform their best.
Q: What have you found to be effective in
determining the "authentic candidate" in the interview process?
R: In an
interview everyone stresses their strengths. I create scenarios that incorporate their strengths, but
also challenges them with multiple stresses that cause them to think on the
fly, all together at the same time. An example of a question I might as is: It
is late at night, no doctor is present, you finally get one on the phone. You know what the patient needs, but
the physician is on the fence about the treatment. How do you present your case to get the physician to do
what's right for the patient?
Those who hedge the truth, i.e., overstate the patient's situation to
get the physician to agree to their recommended treatment, are a red flag. "The ends justify the means" will
always be a problem. How do they
navigate the moral hazards of their role? I am looking for their
integrity. As long as they stand
by the principals of their nursing license and maintain the standards of the
Nursing Practice, then that is all right with me. It's always hard to find a question that demonstrates compassion
or caring - other than, Why did you
choose to be a nurse? And,
asking about their role and response to end of life care.
Mainly, I look for: Good
eye contact. Do they give a warm
feeling in the interview. Open
body language. Honest answers. Being thoughtful with their
answers. I have found that a good
demeanor in an interview tends to translate to good demeanor at the bedside. And, of course, they have to answer the
questions I ask and give specific details to back up their answers.
Q: What made you transition to supply
chain management from nursing?
Curiosity. Knowing the
business side of running a hospital - management of human capital, supply
costs, revenue management - these three levers control the success of a
hospital's operation. My MBA is in
revenue management and I see supply chain management as being key to
controlling revenue and margins.
Good cost management in supply costs makes the human component a lot
more secure and easier to control.
And for nursing, supplies on the unit leads to efficiency or
inefficiencies on the unit.
Q: What is your next career goal?
R: My long-term
goal is to be the COO of a smaller hospital (120-beds). I am really enjoying consulting right
now and learning how other hospitals work, so I will be doing this for a long
time. I really like working in the
Texas Medical Center because it is so unique, with so many hospitals occupying
so little space, and all fighting for the same patients. I love the complexity, and learning how
each of those hospitals handle competition, and what they each focus on to
remain in that space and maintain their market share.
Q: What advice would
you offer to someone considering nursing as a career, or to a new graduate
R: I applaud
them for their decision to go into nursing. It is such a diverse field. We will lean upon them as
leaders. If nursing doesn't do
well, a hospital will not do well.
A hospital is judged by their nursing services.
I will always be a
nurse. It is a great code of
conduct to live by. Thankfully I have never been in a situation where I have had
to back off of my integrity due to moral hazard. Looking back, I wish that my Mom had stressed how much I
would affect peoples' lives.
Everyday, nursing makes me more human - richer - to intersect people at
the most difficult stages of their lives.