Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
- Believe (thank you for adding this one Kathy Gutteridge - so true!)
Priscilla Smith-Wren...thank you for our conversation today on being inspired and inspiring others. While cleaning patient rooms, Priscilla has been known to sing a song or two. She shared the story on how her singing brings joy to our patients and in turn inspires her.
There is no “I” in “team” (or so the saying goes). Never has it been more apparent to me than just this past month as SJMC excelled in the recent visit from The Joint Commission. We accomplished a great deal with our success in The Joint Commission review. This achievement is no small feat and would not be accomplished without the required necessary teamwork.
When I look around the hospital, I’m continually impressed by this very teamwork I see on a daily basis. As many of you know, I get to spend much of each day in the GI Endoscopy lab. What a great group! For over 16 years I’ve witnessed firsthand what can be accomplished when everyone is willing to pitch in and help get the job done. The staff is always looking out for the patient and striving to make the experience for not only the patients but the other staff both enjoyable and safe. I’ve also had the privilege of recently spending more time than I’d like (just kidding, Tara!) with the super folks in the outpatient Rehab Unit. These are superbly trained individuals that the surgeon can rely on. He or she can do a wonderful job with the operative repair but needs these enthusiastic professionals to affect a good clinical outcome.
Take the time to look around and appreciate your other team members in whatever area you work. Don’t ever forget that your expression of that appreciation to each of the other team members within this organization is recognized and welcomed. Imagine our therapeutic potential when we are all working together and fully engaged as members of the Health Care Team. So while there may be no “I” in “team” I believe you’ll agree that “teamwork” spells “success.”
Thank you Dr. Clement. Your leadership and support is absolutely appreciated.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
When I look at the ongoing changes in healthcare and at our hospital, the need to be resilient certainly is needed. We can not look at things and expect them to be exactly the same next week, next month or next year. We need to speak openly about the direction of the organization, our priorities and each of our roles in helping the organization today and into the future. Change is ongoing and it should be as opposed to waiting for things to build up and then finding yourself in a position to make drastic changes all at once. Isn't it like that in our personal lives as well?
Thank you for your words this morning, Judy. Resilience provides continued hope and encourages each of us to stay engaged or get re-engaged. It builds a greater sense of trust, pride and inspiration.
So keep that in mind the next snowfall when you expect to see Spring!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Our jobs in healthcare and all of our organizations for that matter probably are stressful in many ways. My thought is that you should not be stressed everyday though. That would be a terrible way to come to work and certainly would make you ineffective.
Jenny (my wife) and I were talking about this last night. She mentioned having more "zen" or relaxation space at work. So I looked up zen in the office on Google and found a company, Ballantyne that has a "Zen Den". I think it is a great idea. As Ballantyne sees it, managing workplace stress has never been more important than it is in today’s economic climate. The Zen Den aims to help tenants find the balance with a room in which they can relax, reflect and rejuvenate. The room has been created to provide a soothing environment with soft lighting, comfy seating and even a water feature. “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the work lives of our clients,” says Amanda Schüss, general manager of Ballantyne Business Centers. “The Zen Den provides a place for them to escape their e-mail and ringing phones and sit and relax for a few peaceful moments.”
Last year, we updated and renovated our healing garden outside. We do have space next to our cafeteria for a Zen Den concept.
I would like your thoughts...let me know what you think could make this a respite at work even if just for a few minutes a day.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I really liked that balanced approach - advocating for her team and the organization. So I Googled Relationship Based Management just to see what I would find. The Centre for Innovation in Management described Relationship Based Management well. Although it is listed as a new philosophy, I think it has been an approach around for years with more recent acknowledgment of the long term benefits. They state:
While a new relationship-oriented management philosophy is evolving, command-and-control management still holds sway in the majority of our corporations. The CEO and executives see themselves as serving the interests and perspectives of all of the company's key stakeholders, not just investors. Management as a whole is focused on building strategically important relationships with stakeholders inside and outside the organization. The primary role of managers, rather than commanding and controlling corporate resources, is preserving and extending the relationships upon which the corporation depends.
Relationship-based management takes an integrated, long-term, company-wide approach to identifying and building relationships with strategically important stakeholders. Efforts are focused on creating opportunities for mutual benefit rather than buffering or protecting the company from the demands of stakeholders. Relationship building is directly linked to corporate values and business strategy.
Strong relationships can stimulate innovation, increase flexibility, reduce costs, and allow companies to respond quickly to changing customer requirements. A good reputation, based on sound relationships with customers and communities, means that companies can attract and keep the best employees. Enhanced loyalty and support from employees, customers, investors, and business partners translates into bottom line profits and long-term growth Relationships and the bottom line.
In the healthcare world, that means doing the right things for our patients in harmony with all our providers and key support areas. Thanks to Michelle and our other leaders for role modeling Relationship Based Management.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Take a look at Larry Reimer, our Facilities Manager, as he checks on things in our Neurointerventional Bi-Plane Suite set to open in a few weeks. Thank you to Jane Falk, Larry Rubin, our Facilities Team and our construction crew for their incredible work. The Blessing is set for April 25th.
Bi-plane angiography is an advanced x-ray system taking exceptional anatomical images used to diagnose and treat arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and aneurysms, as well as other vascular abnormalities. It is differentiated from traditional angiography by providing images from two different angles at the same time, significantly reducing procedure time, as well as risk to the patient.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
After our discussion, I was encouraged to read the release on Monday from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy). In many ways, we've said some of the same things in a different way - improve the health of your community by delivering high quality care in a cost effective manner.
According to the release, the strategy was called for under the Affordable Care Act and is the first effort to create national aims and priorities to guide local, state, and national efforts to improve the quality of health care in the United States.
The National Quality Strategy will promote quality health care that is focused on the needs of patients, families, and communities. At the same time, the strategy is designed to move the system to work better for doctors and other health care providers – reducing their administrative burdens and helping them collaborate to improve care. The strategy presents three aims for the health care system:
- Better Care: Improve the overall quality, by making health care more patient-centered, reliable, accessible, and safe.
- Healthy People and Communities: Improve the health of the U.S. population by supporting proven interventions to address behavioral, social, and environmental determinants of health in addition to delivering higher-quality care.
- Affordable Care: Reduce the cost of quality health care for individuals, families, employers, and government.
To help achieve these aims, the strategy also establishes six priorities, to help focus efforts by public and private partners. Those priorities are:
- Making care safer by reducing harm caused in the delivery of care.
- Ensuring that care engages each person and family as partners.
- Ensuring that each person and family are engaged as partners in their care.
- Promoting the most effective prevention and treatment practices for the leading causes of mortality, starting with cardiovascular disease.
- Working with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living.
- Making quality care more affordable for individuals, families, employers, and governments by developing and spreading new health care delivery models.
The National Quality Strategy is just one piece of a broader effort by the Obama Administration to improve the quality of health care, and will serve as a tool to better coordinate quality initiatives between public and private partners. For example, the Affordable Care Act established a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that will test innovative care and service delivery models. These new models are being tested to determine if they will improve the quality of care and reduce program expenditures for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Many of us already have things in place to address many if not all of these areas. What are your thoughts on the release? How will it change things in your organization?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
This past week, I had the chance to present, via Skype, to the Healthcare Management class with Brown Mackie College in Phoenix, Arizona. We discussed the national health policies and the impact of healthcare reform on hospitals and the communities served. We also discussed the core role of ensuring quality and safety to our patients.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
We did well on our TJC survey, a reflection of our collective efforts.
We celebrated our Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Health with a Prayer Service this afternoon, commemorating 175 years in the United States and 145 years in Kansas City.
And...we celebrated 490 years, yes 490 years of service during our monthly employee recognition luncheon. The lunch is for all associates reaching every 5 year mark.
Check out our employees and number of years with our organization - we have five 30 year heroes:
- Carol Morgan
- Holly Skelton
- David Clark
- Lane Anderson
- Silvia Henriquez
- Yolanda Ross
- Amber Stalcup
- James Hartness
- Amanda Hocker
- Elena Desiatkin
- David Reece
- Kathleen Mulcahy
- Lartagnan McKinzy
- Cathy Ford
- Beth Preuett
- Harpreet Singh
- Denise Lipschuetz
- Jeanette Cole
- Debbie Maranto
- Jerry Lormis
- Phyllis Morris
- Rosaline Munoz
- Teresa Pettet
- Linda West
- Bernadette Sears
- Phillip Lytle
- Lisa Thacker
Twenty Five Years:
- Martha Cochran
- Wanderer Palma
- Vinson Liffick
- Spencer Lance
- Doris Bergman
- Margaret Elliott
- Joyce Kempf
Please join me in congratulating everyone. What a great day to celebrate.
- Confidence reflects the belief that patients can always trust the hospital to deliver on its promises.
- Integrity reflects the belief that the hospital always treats patients fairly and will satisfactorily resolve any problems that might occur.
- Pride reflects the degree to which a patient feels good about using the hospital and about how using the hospital reflects on them.
- Passion reflects the belief that the hospital is irreplaceable and an integral part of patients' lives.
We just finished meeting with our TJC Life Safety Survey. I am pleased to share that we did very well as a hospital and it certainly is reflective of your compassion, leadership and commitment to St. Joseph Medical Center and Carondelet Health. Our final report should be back from TJC over the next couple of weeks.
This certainly is reason to celebrate and we will plan a celebration hospital-wide in the coming weeks. A special thank you to Larry R., VP, Facilities Management, Rachelle B., Regional Director of Quality & Process Improvement and their respective teams. You led us through this ongoing journey and your many extra hours are greatly appreciated.
Thank you again for your leadership, serving our mission and centering your work on the patients we serve.
"Beyond the horizon of time is a changed world, very different from today’s world. Some people see beyond that horizon and into the future. They believe that dreams can become reality. They open our eyes and lift our spirits. They build trust and strengthen our relationships. They stand firm against the wind of resistance and give us the courage to continue the quest. We call these people leaders (Kouzes and Posner, Public Policy & Practice, 1995)."
Monday, March 14, 2011
Once again, we should be proud...our Life Safety Survey went well today - this is the first of two days. Our surveyor was very complimentary of our team. We shared some follow-up items at our wrap-up meeting today. Please speak with your manager for the details.
After our wrap-up tomorrow, I will send out a note to all. Thank you again for your commitment to the safe care we provide each and every day.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
This afternoon my kids and took part in the Martin City St. Patrick's Day parade. My family was asked to ride on the Zoo Tram handing out stickers and waving to the crowd. It was great watching one of the volunteers as he tried to set-up the inflatable Polar Bear. First, he actually went inside and a portable machine blew it up. When he started straining his back, he stepped out of the bear and held it in place as it was a major showcase for the parade. I was so impressed to hear him say that he was a volunteer with the zoo and hoped to shape the experience of visitors. And today, he wanted to shape the experience of those watching the parade.
This reminded me of the role every volunteer, associate and physician plays in hospitals. We all play a role in shaping the experience of our patients. This is evaluated through HCAHPS (pronounced “H-caps”), also known as the CAHPS® Hospital Survey. It is a survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience.
And back at the parade...I noticed that the larger your wave and louder your cheers, the better the parade experience was for the spectators. Enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day this week.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
1. Shared Purpose and Direction
On a high-performing team, everyone on the team is committed to the team's purpose. They know exactly what that purpose is because the team leader keeps them focused by constantly communicating that purpose in team meetings and regular updates. The team leader helps each individual team member meet his or new own needs while serving the overall purpose of the team.
2. Motivating Goals
The team leader ensures that everyone on the team has clearly defined goals and targets. In some organizations, the strategic goals and departmental objectives are determined by senior management. In that case, the team leader makes sure that these goals are clearly discussed. Team members should understand how their jobs support the achievement of the defined goals, and, if possible, have the opportunity to develop individual goals and action plans that spell out how they will contribute to the success of the organization.
3. Commitment to Individual and Team Roles
On a Total Team, team members have clearly defined expectations but they also understand how each of their roles is linked to every other role. Team leaders ensure that team members are cross-trained in other responsibilities so that everyone can back each other up when needed. The team leader makes sure that individual job responsibilities are fulfilled, but, at the same time, works to help the individuals develop a common language, processes and approaches that allow them to function as a team.
4. Multi-Directional Communication
On the best teams, team members solve problems, communicate with each other, and keep the team leader updated on current challenges or emerging issues. On low-performing teams, communication is one-way (from team leader to team members) or two-way (between the team leader and individuals). Skilled leaders focus on developing multi-directional communication, avoiding the trap of communicating with individual members of the team.
5. Authority to Decide or Act
No doubt about it, new teams may have to earn this authority by demonstrating that they understand the team's purpose, processes and priorities. However, effective team leaders work toward pushing authority for the team's outcomes to the team members. Team members know how and when to get approval for decisions and, in the best of cases, are charged with making on-the-spot decisions when a customer is facing them. On low-performing teams, team members have to constantly get approval before taking action, significantly reducing their effectiveness and negatively affecting their sense of engagement on the team.
6. Reliance on Diverse Talents
Savvy team leaders pay attention to helping team members understand their unique strengths, talents, and weaknesses. No individual team member can be good at everything. The best team leaders assist everyone to develop an appreciation for individual style differences, natural gifts, and personal experience. Teams are encouraged to use the language of acceptance and appreciation, rather than criticism and judgment. Team leaders consciously hire team members who bring complementary skill sets, unique experience, and diverse perspectives.
7. Mutual Support and Trust
The seventh characteristic may be the most important, and frankly, is probably the most elusive. The team leader can't force a team to be supportive and trusting--it's a natural result of shared responsibility, shared success, and mutual respect. The high-performing team achieves mutual support and trust because they have a history of working together to achieve grand dreams and results. They have met challenges, overcome obstacles, backed each other up in good times and bad. The Total Team has earned each other's trust.
Building a high-performing team is not an easy task. However, if you're a team leader that is up to the challenge, then consciously focus on developing these seven characteristics. Bring them to your next team meeting and ask team members to evaluate them. How do you know whether each of these characteristics is present or absent on your team? What is the team willing to do to develop these seven characteristics? Then ask the individuals on your team to commit to 3 - 5 specific actions they will take in the next 60 days. Revisit these commitments regularly and see what develops.
Ok team, let's get serious!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The question companies typically try to answer - How are we different? How do we truly distinguish what we do from companies with similar services? Typically someone goes to a hospital for surgery, an emergency room visit, outpatient procedure, lab, x-rays, etc. It is expected that the quality of care and outcome will be good. So how do we differ and distinguish ourselves? How do we share our mission?
There are times that the "mission leaders" needs to point out or articulate things we already doing to serve our mission. The same holds true as for the things we could do better to serve our mission. Many organizations may not have formal "mission leaders." You should count on your executives to serve this role. And as organizations progress, we need everyone moving and improving their comfort in serving as mission leaders.
I look forward to hearing your stories as a mission leader.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I was having breakfast with a friend and local hospital competitor and this very discussion came up. There are 23 hospital competitors in the KC region alone. During the breakfast it was evident that we had a good sense of each others strategies and vision for the future. But what is the cost to compete and how much truly brings value back to the "winning" organization? I know of many companies who complete. Some even compete against themselves in a system (and not in a friendly competitive way) - a business philosophy I never understood unless an organization could show they are tuly better overall because of the internal undermining!
Over the next 10 years, hospitals will be hit by $155 Billion. According to a recent article in The NY Times, "For their part, the hospitals agreed to help defray the costs of the legislation by agreeing to contribute $155 billion over 10 years, largely by accepting lower payments under the Medicare program for older Americans."
Well, how are we going to make this happen without doing things much differently than we do today - it will not be a quick fix or just one thing we will do differently. It will involve truly understanding our mission and purpose, assessing our our core business strengths, key strategies and overall priorities. I do think a lot will come from staying focused and disciplined on this assessment and implementation of strategies.
Some markets are doing this better than others and we could certainly learn from them. Check out Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality as one example.
How they Advance the WCHQ Mission:
WCHQ members and stakeholders join together to measure the quality and affordability of healthcare services in Wisconsin. We publicly report these measurement results through our online Performance & Progress Report. We see performance measurement and public reporting as vital, dual mechanisms for promoting greater transparency, improvement, efficiency and equity within healthcare.
Is it naive to think we could work more collaboratively with our competitors, at least on some programs? Is that the future? So many people may shy way from those conversations instead of addressing what really concerns them....you will "steal my business away from me." and if that is the key fear, then put in on the table and address what will happen with the collaboration if that concern becomes a reality.
I look forward to hearing ways you work collaboratively with your competitors.