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The Perfect Fit: Michigan Health Care Surveyors Combine Expertise with Teamwork

Portrait of Lana Kleyman

Lana Kleyman

Team sitting at conference table

From left to right:  Autumn Price, Lana Kleyman, Laurie Strachan, Richard Kettlewell

Across the state, there are currently over one hundred health care surveyors working diligently to ensure that facilities are providing Michiganders with quality care and fair treatment. It’s a position in which Lana Kleyman takes great pride in serving, having an already-extensive health care career background.

“In my previous leadership position, I worked with the surveyors,” Kleyman explained. “I knew I could apply a lot of my past knowledge and get a more flexible [work] schedule.”

For most health care surveyors, every day is something new. Surveyors get an assignment for a specific health or long-term care facility, and then travel there to conduct compliance checks or investigate complaints. Kleyman compares it to a conductor on a fast-moving train; you’re making sure everything is running properly, and that everyone on board paid for their ticket in the process.

For Kleyman, the environment feels familiar, as her nursing experience extends from long-term to acute care. However, she decided to use her nursing skills in a new way as a healthcare surveyor, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Between the intensity of nursing care, looking after her family, and her doctoral work at the University of Michigan, it was a career move that Kleyman felt best fit her life, and one she is still enjoying with the help of her Metro Detroit team.

"We work to see where the system breaks off and communicate that to the facility so they can work to make it better and more innovative. We also work with them to, when appropriate, come up with different processes or improve on current ones."

Although rewarding, the everyday role of a surveyor isn’t without its challenges. Much like her job as a bedside nurse, Kleyman indicates that teams like hers need to stay mindful and fair when dealing with cases.

It’s the type of the job that she believes is perfect for health care professionals who can roll with unpredictability and can constantly be on their feet. Additionally, it allows those who are passionate about improving health care and systems across the state to advocate for and work on behalf of patients and residents.

“You have to put someone’s care ahead of your own feelings, prioritize your time, be flexible, always understand and listen, and be able to change in a moment,” said Kleyman. “So, nurses are a perfect fit for this, especially with their knowledge and clinical background.”

With the natural ebbs and flows of the job, Kleyman points to her team as her source of inspiration. In addition to being knowledgeable surveyors, they make the job fun for her.

"They always have a smile for patients and family, as well an ability to listen no matter how busy the day is and stand by each other in sometimes very difficult conversations and situations with providers. They are my rock.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has continual job openings for Health Care Surveyors, along with other skilled trades positions. Find jobs that fit your experience and apply today.