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Book Review  |   February 2009
222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices
Author Affiliations
  • Anthony J. Silvagni, DO, PharmD, MSc
    Nova Southeastern University College, of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Fla
    Dean
Article Information
Book Review   |   February 2009
222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2009, Vol. 109, 73-74. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2009.109.2.73
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2009, Vol. 109, 73-74. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2009.109.2.73
Bob Levoy, OD, MBA, author of 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices, presents an extremely readable and simply written book on how healthcare providers can best build professional relationships with their employees and coworkers. 
The basic idea, according to Dr Levoy, is to create an effective and collegial employee culture that then carries over to patients and clients, resulting in a successful healthcare practice. 
While targeted to the healthcare industry, the vast majority of ideas, recommendations, and actions presented in the book revolve around general management and supervision principles. However, this generality does not diminish the value or importance of the author's suggestions in building a high-quality healthcare delivery system with a culture of excellence. 
Dr Levoy is a former corporate executive for Success Dynamics, Inc, a market research firm in Roslyn, NY. He has extensive experience as a seminar speaker on human resource and management issues, having conducted seminars for many healthcare associations and has written six books and hundreds of articles on management topics. He is also a columnist and editorial board member for various healthcare publications—all according to a two-paragraph author description at the end of the book. 
Because Dr Levoy is the sole author of this book, I would have appreciated a more detailed résumé on his education, professional and academic experience, and other personal experiences relevant to the credibility of his recommendations and directions. 
222 Secrets is composed of three sections: “Hiring,” “Managing,” and “Retaining.” Each section consists of multiple chapters, for a total of 17 chapters. 
Each chapter educates the reader on the main concepts and principles presented in the section. This basic information is followed by increasingly more sophisticated and useful knowledge regarding how to achieve the desired goals of that section. 
Certain features, such as “Action Steps,” “Hard Learned Lessons,” “Employee Success Profiles,” and “Reality Checks,” are presented, when applicable, to give more practical and useful tips and direction. 
Practical information in these features is based on the experience and research of various individuals and businesses in the healthcare and other industries. 
In the Hiring section, for example, chapter 1, “Getting the Right People on Board,” includes an Action Step recommended by the administrator of the Medical Center Radiology Group in Orlando, Fla, for implementing strategies concerning the creation of job descriptions. This Action Step includes using current employees as resources for writing these documents. 
A Hard Learned Lesson in chapter 1 provides a warning from two consultants about businesses that have existed for many years. Such companies are in danger of losing sight of services that are important to customers. 
Chapter 1 presents an Employee Success Profile used by the director of a travel management business that emphasizes the importance of evaluating candidates for personal qualities such as kindness, caring, compassion, and unselfishness in the employee selection process. A Reality Check in chapter 1 notes that a receptionist may be highly efficient but may lack the people skills needed for a particular type of practice. 
Some of the other chapters in the Hiring section are “Creative Recruitment Strategies,” “Secrets of Savvy Interviewing,” and “The New World of Work.” Chapters in the Managing section include “The Power of Positive Reinforcement,” “Team Meetings: A Catalyst for Practice Improvement,” and “Management's Most Unpleasant Task.” Chapters in the Retaining section include “Retention-Friendly Compensation Strategies,” “Training and Skills Development,” and “Upward Communication.” 
Overall, I find 222 Secrets to be a valuable book for the novice supervisor and also a worthwhile read for the more experienced manager. 
This is one of the more practical books I have read on how to run a healthcare practice or any other business. A manager or front-line supervisor is likely to find it useful to keep this book handy as a frequent reference until applicable concepts become comfortable, rather than memorized and unnatural, behaviors. 
However, a shortcoming of 222 Secrets is that it is missing suggestions regarding how the reader might go about establishing an effective culture and direction within a large corporate organization. 
Based on the way the book presents information, there seems to be an assumption that, for the most part, readers will either own a private practice or will have the authority within a larger group or corporation to dictate policies needed to achieve the goals discussed in the three sections. As noted, the book contains very little guidance on how readers can best work within an existing corporate or institutional structure to effect needed changes. 
Despite this shortcoming, I recommend 222 Secrets for physicians and other healthcare professionals because it is a well-written and easily readable text on the principles of good-to-excellent management. 
Everyone responsible for employee hiring, management, and retention should know this information and use it to the fullest extent possible. 
 By Bob Levoy. 322 pp, $55.95. ISBN: 978-0-7637-3868-6. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers; 2007.
 
 Editor's Note: Corrections to this article were published in the July 2009 issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (2009;109:388). The corrections have been incorporated in this online version of the article, which was posted December 2009. An explanation of these changes is available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/109/7/388.