A patient-centered culture requires a strategy
For those of you just joining us, we’re in the midst of an ongoing series based on the characters created in my book, Heroes Need Not Apply, “How to build a patient-accountable culture without putting more on your plate.” The book shows how focusing on what matters most to patients, the right mind-set and having a common direction can bring two people together to ignite an entire organization.
The following behind-the-scenes conversations between our fictional CEO Jane Carolli and her new, game-changing VPMA, Dr. Jack Martin take place as they begin to focus the culture at Angels of Seattle hospital around what matters most to patients. Our last issue centered around all the data we gather and what we do with it. Specifically, on tracking the behavioral and attitudinal data necessary to literally evolve a culture, and determining the questions necessary to really change what’s going on at the bedside.
Join us as the conversation continues…
Jack knew better than to show up at Jane’s office without a couple of Grande Americanos - their conversations always run long and deep… and that’s what he loved about them.
Jack handed Jane a coffee and asked, ”Don’t you think culture requires a strategy just as any other strategic priority?”
Jane grabbed the coffee with a thank you smile saying, “You bet Jack, and it’s true. The problem is that too much has been left to chance… our current culture is stuck in its ways, and everyone’s scared to death of change. Everyone around here sees how culture impedes every strategy we try… actually, it overwhelms it. No matter how much effort we expend, we seem to end up not far from where we started.”
“It’s interesting,” said Jack, “Culture, or the shaping of culture should be looked at as a first priority strategic goal.”
“I never thought about it that way Jack, but it makes sense. How we interact with each other can be changed… that’s what we need to focus on here…”
“Yes,” Jack cut in, “We are, and when you think about it, evolving this culture is the only strategy that affects every aspect… every metric we’re tasked to improve.”
Jane sighed, “Looking at our current state, it’s obvious we’ve been trying to fix the symptoms of a culture that’s been left to chance. We’ve spent the last two years here collecting a ton of data and few around us know how to make use of it, other than tread water in a pool of initiative overload.”
“Don’t beat yourself up Jane. Water under the bridge, so to speak. Let’s stay in the moment and shift our thinking from content to context. Starting right now, we can focus on the quality interactions needed to turn this culture around.”
“But Jack, I’ve got so much time and energy invested in my current strategy…”
He interrupted, “But is it working?”
She shook her head no.
“Then pivot Jane. It’s not only okay to change course, it’s the smartest thing you can do. You know Jane, the most customer-centric companies are agile - they align their culture with their customer by involving everyone in the process. Some of the most successful people fail because they continue to count on game plans that they’ve had success with in the past… as I said, it’s not only okay to readjust… it’s imperative.”
“I get it Jack. That’s another thing I like when it comes to thinking about culture as my main if not only strategy… no matter what changes, it will always be the “be all end all” solution for success. It’s the only thing that will help us to give patients what matters most to them.”
When we rejoin the conversation next time, we’ll overhear Jack and Jane better clarify what the current state of their culture really is, and what they have to do to change it…
Is your culture aligned to what matters most to patients?...