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."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lead, Follow and Help Whenever Necessary

Take a look at Dr. Don Clement's upcoming newsletter article. Dr. Clement serves as the President of our Medical Staff and a truly exceptional leader..

Summertime and the Fourth of July, outdoor BBQs, walking through the neighborhood, soaking up the sunshine. As we look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the founding of this great country on the Fourth, perhaps we should spend some time looking back and consider the one ingredient necessary for this monumental historical accomplishment. Recognizing the importance of fundamental leadership and its principles will help us appreciate how we can employ those same principles every day.

The decision to establish the independence of those thirteen disparate colonies and embark on the creation of this nascent country rested on the leadership of many different individuals. Throughout the countryside and in the many small communities the ability to impart the sense of vision and implement this move towards independence required a concerted effort with leadership at all levels. While that trait was integral to our nation’s foundation it is directly translatable to all of us throughout the workplace, particularly in our Medical Center.

What makes a good leader and who should assume that role? The answers are that everyone has some capability for leading and should want to play a part. Do what’s right, even when there’s pressure to “cut the corners”. Be willing to accept responsibility, share the workload, help others, and set the example for others by how you conduct yourself in your job. It isn’t something that is only limited to those in positions of decision making. Every one of us makes decisions each day on how best to do our assigned tasks. More importantly we must decide that we are willing to share in our concerted effort towards providing the best in health care.

The development of leaders and those necessary skills takes place every day. Physicians and senior executives whether they want to accept this mantle or not, must recognize the need to exhibit leadership traits in their practice and encourage a culture that promotes leadership at all levels. But it extends far beyond those positions. Whether you are a nurse on the floor, working in the lab, transporting patients, cleaning the rooms, balancing the budget, fixing computers, making schedules, teaching students it doesn’t matter. Those in positions of authority at whatever level (who may at times not always set the good leadership example) must be willing to project solid leadership values.

As a retired military officer I recall that I was taught to “Lead, Follow or Get out of the way”. I think we could expand this a bit by advocating that all of us should be willing to “Lead whenever necessary, Follow when appropriate and Help create an environment where there is the expectation of good leadership”.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today is Going to Be the Best Day Ever

Last night, I said goodnight to my kids. Skyler had many camp stories. Sydney told me today was "the best day ever" and shared that her camp team won the "spirit stick." Zach was deep into a book and said, "I'm almost done...just a few pages." It was so great to see their excitement. Zach let me know that he loved finishing a book and looked forward to starting the next in the series by Rick Riordon. He told me he is done for the night but can't wait to start his next book. Isn't that part of our journey in healthcare? That constant excitement for what's next...what we could be.

He also pulled a few of the books off his shelf and asked me to start reading them...I let him know that I was not quite ready for them yet!

That spark, that enthusiasm is so contagious. That's part of our world in healthcare, the "contagious" compassion, sincerity and excitement we show in our work with each and every person we serve.

This morning Jenny asked Sydney, are you looking forward to another day at camp. Of course Sydney replied with all sincerity..."today is going to be the best day ever."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life is Good

Healthcare delivery changes at a rapid pace. Is this positive or doom and gloom?

Over the past couple of days, I've had discussions with colleagues about several tragedies.

Some of their stories included:

- My home was majorly damaged with the recent hail insurance will cover the majority of the cost.

- Home prices have dropped all around the may be a good time to buy.

- My trip to Japan was canceled...right after their tsunami - glad my life was spared.

- I lost my brother to a fluke accident...the tragedy has pulled our family together.

- My mom had a stroke last week...she still has her speech.

There was a "silver lining" in everyone's story. Sure they all wished the event did not take place however they shared the positive side given the reality of the situation.

Healthcare is changing at a rapid pace...what a great time to make it work together - we can't do this alone.

Cheryl Sadro, one of my colleagues, said, "I marvel at the opportunities we is good!"