Monday, July 11, 2011

We're Moving...

As many of you know I have accepted a new position bringing my family closer to our extended family. Certainly, change can be exciting and bittersweet. I am joining an exceptional healthcare system. I will also miss my colleagues, friends and the communities we serve in Kansas City.

Yes, we are moving. And with moves, comes life out of boxes for a while. It seems fitting to take this moving time, and move my Blog to a new address as well.

Let me know what you think. Talk to you soon.

New Blog Location: THE Healthcare Experience.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lessons on What Can be Flushed...

Never a dull moment in healthcare. This note just received (no, I was not the one who flushed these cloths)...



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Until Next Time

The past three plus years have flown by for me and my family. I have really enjoyed serving St. Joseph Medical Center and Carondelet Health. Last week, Bob Bub, our Pharmacy Manager asked what I was most proud of since my arrival. There are many things we are doing really well so it was difficult to just pick one. What stood out was our safety journey. When I arrived in May 2008, we provided great care and we provided safe care. We did not have enough people in every area talking about safety and how we can continue to make our care even safer and better. We started safety huddles, put more focus on safety in our clinical meetings, discussed at staff meetings, increased rounding, enhanced the RCA (root cause analysis) review and the list goes on.

Today, everywhere you go in the hospital, you can speak to your colleagues - associates, volunteers and physicians and they will let you know how they help contribute to safer care for our patients.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Chief Executive. Over the past few years, you have made a tremendous impact on my life. Please stay in touch. Jane Hoyland will have my updated contact information. Jane shared this reflection with me and I read it at our last St. Joseph Medical Center Board meeting:

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to the understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.

It's a small world out there and even smaller in healthcare. Our future is about collaboration as we improve the health of our patients and communities. I look forward to meeting up with you again. Until next time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun at Work...

I've heard the comments..."there should be no fun in the workplace" and "they call it job for a reason." However, since many of us spend 30%+ of our time at work and another 20-30% of our time sleeping, it is good to find those fun times at work...What's going on in your workplace to make it more enjoyable for you and your colleagues?

I was speaking to Mohsin Soliman, one of our General Surgeons and we started to discuss the excitement and challenges in healthcare. He enjoys surgery, good dialogue, his colleagues and having fun while at work. He let me know he would not want to work in a place that was not enjoyable day in and day out. That would be a "dreaded place to be." This doesn't mean goofing off all day long. It does mean enjoying the time you spend in the workplace and helping to make it enjoyable for you and others.

Forbes had an article reflecting on the benefits of fun in the workplace.

I also enjoyed these 8 tips from Tres Coaching:

1. Put fun first on your list of priorities, and the rest will fall into place.
2. Laugh more. Laughter can be a great medicine for what ails you and your workplace.
3. Be spontaneous with recognition, praise and a simple “thank you”.
4. Schedule fun-based activities with employees, customers and suppliers.
5. Find your inner child. Let others see the humorous side of your personality.
6. Live with the 3E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
7. Take mental health breaks and/or extended lunches to refresh and re-energize.
8. Keep things in perspective. Your work is a means to an end, not the end!

Regardless of where you are in your career, if you’re not having fun – what’s the point? Life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing, so find a way to put fun back into your work or do something else. The continuing negative trends in business as a result of downsizing, restructuring and the financial markets meltdown have taken a huge toll on the workplace, and the workforce tasked with doing more with less. We need to find ways to reduce stress, improve productivity, and keep our morale and energy levels up.

There are unlimited challenges and exciting times ahead in healthcare. Why not make the best of it and ensure we have some fun while constantly improving the healthcare experience.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thank you Auxiliary Board Officers and Committee Chairs

It's always a celebration with our wonderful Auxiliary. Today, we enjoyed the installation of our new Auxiliary President and Board.

Chef - you and your team put a great lunch spread together..."light lunch" it was not!

Thank you to Jeri Grimes, Director and Mary Ann Nagy, Past-President, for your remarkable leadership. I appreciate the work of you and your 2010-2011 Committee Chairs and Executive Officers. Your work made such a difference at St. Joseph Medical Center.

And welcome Shari Boles as our new President. I know you will continue to strengthen our efforts.

Please welcome our new 2011-2012 Committee Chairs:

- Telephone: Etta Hedrick
- Information Desk: Bruce Border
- Hospitality: Janet Morris
- Standing Committee Chairpersons:
- Program: Susan Ruiz
- Publicity: Mary Jameson
- Scholarship & Certification: Becky Hook
- Sewing: Mary Ann Olson
- Spiritual: Gerry Duncan

Executive Officers:

- Treasurer: Lisa Smith
- Corresponding Secretary: Judy Hansen
- Recording Secretary/Historian: Fran Graves
- 3rd Vice President - Strategic Planning: Kaye Martin
- 2nd Vice President - Dues and Membership: Dale Wolf
- 1st Vice President - Ways and Means: Joan Cody
- Past President: Mary Nagy
- President-Elect: Patricia Seiter
- President: Shari Boles

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Say You Want a Revolution...

The other day we discussed "Change" during one of our leadership meetings. The more I thought about it, we all know change happens all the time. We may not like some of the change but most of us understand it is inevitable (Although I must say I still miss those aluminum foil wrapped Ho-Hos from the 70s). We just need to be clear why we want to change and how we will go about the change to ensure we stay successful in our care delivery and the overall healthcare experience.

Remember the Beatles song, Revolution....
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

At times it may seem like healthcare is a revolution (a sudden, radical or complete change). Really over the years, it seems more of an evolution with a need to infuse revolution with inclusion (e.g., Lean Six Sigma). Looking at it from this stand-point as opposed to just "change" seems more inviting for all of us to participate. It gives us a chance to take note of where we are, what we could be and how we will get there together.

It's not easy but there are things I don't miss that we could not be without years guessed it, Interoffice Envelopes. I don't miss them one bit. Sure, my email inbox is more full and people expect quicker response times than the week we were given with interoffice envelopes. However, our world, as complicated as it may be is more responsive since the decline of the interoffice envelope! Clearly I share this tongue in cheek - healthcare will continue to evolve and form partnerships we did not know could ever exist. Do you remember when Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg formed Dreamworks SKG in 1994. That seemed to work out pretty well don't you think. Individually, they were very successful...together they changed their industry beyond what each could do individually. A true "evolution and revolution" in film animation followed.

Think about the amazing impact healthcare providers and suppliers will have on the healthcare experience as they come together over the next 5-10 years. Creating healthier communities by bringing together wellness experts, physicians, nurses, hospital providers, post acute providers, rehabilitation, educators, suppliers, process improvement experts, community members...and other fields we didn't even know would start to impact the healthcare experience. Now, that's an evolution we should all look forward to impacting.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do You See What I See?

This morning, I toured our facilities with Larry Rubin (Facilities Management), NuNu Girma (Environmental Services-EVS) and Andrew Stonestreet (EVS). They provided the tour through their eyes. It was great getting their perspective. As Andrew said, it all starts with the first impression through our "Front Doors"...and there are many:

- Our Emergency Department where 50% of our inpatients first arrive;

- The "main entrance" where we welcome the majority of outpatients, visitors and families;

- Our Heart Institute and Womens' Health Center entrance;

- The associate, volunteer and physician parking entrances that help start our day;

- The Community Center utilized by thousands every year;

- Our loading docks and entrances for our many suppliers and vendors....the list goes on.

That first impression is so key and such an instrumental part of our welcome and the pride we have in our organization. We then traveled to other parts of the hospital...the Emergency Department, outpatient areas, inpatient rooms and high traffic hallways.

We all play an important role in keeping our organization a welcoming environment for the thousands we serve in our communities.

Thank you Andrew, Larry and NuNu for sharing the organization through "your eyes."