It’s all about relationships…
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, having 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 left us with Jane realizing, “I have to think 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 Jane realized that cultural change was her solution, she needed to dig deeper to better define what evolving culture entails and where to begin. Although she fully trusted Jack and knew they were moving in the right direction, it was still new… still a paradigm shift… and getting a little outside validation wouldn’t hurt.
At their daily meeting…
“Jack,” asked Jane, “I believe in what we’re doing here 100% and a lot of my enthusiasm comes from the success you had in Billings and the small steps we’ve already begun. That said, it would really help for me to get some more info on what this cultural animal really looks like and what we most need to be paying attention to… besides what matters most to our patients?”
“I get it Jane,” answered Jack,” Let me share some insights I’ve gained from an article* I recently read… it’s always nice to hear others validate what we’re doing, not to mention the fact that no matter how much I think I know about anything, there’s always more to learn… you know, skinning the cat and all.”
Jane smiled, “Now you’re really sounding like a Montana guy Jack - please go on.”
“When you think about what culture is all about Jane, you have to begin with relationships - how people communicate and treat each other. Because within this big thing we call our culture is a number of micro-cultures, the occupational cultures within - for example, the fact that a physician views the world differently than a nurse does, or for that matter a pharmacy or lab tech.”
“So you’re saying that we all have to be better acquainted with each other’s jobs so that we better respect what they do?”
“Not just better respect what they do Jane - we need to be open to everyone participating regardless of their title or where they fit in the hierarchy. This article I read shared how an ultrasound tech saved a patient from unnecessary imaging, which saved the patient from an extra trip, more expense, while overall spending was reduced.”
“You mean the doctor actually listened to an ultrasound tech Jack?”
“Yep, an ultrasound tech and in another instance a lab tech. And they both had managers that gave them the green light to proactively share what needed sharing. They were empowered to participate.”
“Obviously Jack, the better all-around communication we have the better for the patient.”
“Yep, this author, Dr. Sinsky put it this way: In health care there is a linear correlation between the degree of relational coordination within an organization and the outcomes the organization achieves.”
Jane responded, “That sounds good Jack, but it depends on us all becoming more knowledgable about how what each of us do as individuals fits together to best reach a desired outcome.”
“You got it Jane, it really is about the relationships within the culture and we need to know as much about the attitudes and behaviors people share and display with each other as we can if we’re ever going to change them.”
“Well then, let’s get started.”
- http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/05/health-care-ultimately-social-enterprise.html (Healthcare is ultimately a social enterprise by CHRISTINE A. SINSKY, MD)
Is your culture aligned to what matters most to patients?...