Month: September 2017

medical staff holding patients hand - graphic for stamp & chase

Sometimes Silence Isn’t Golden: Improving Patient Engagement by Encouraging Openness

Like most of our experiences in life, the patients and families we remember best are the ones whose satisfaction with our care falls at the extremes.  On one hand, the family that is effusive in their praise is one everyone likes to remember.  At the other extreme, we can’t forget the families who are disappointed and seem to be critical of virtually everything we do.  Even months after they’ve left the hospital, the experience of dealing with them is indelibly burned in our memory. While the families at the extremes of the satisfaction scale may be most memorable, the majority of the patients we care for likely fall somewhere in the middle.  These are the families that come and go rather quietly, neither sharing significant

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man with a clipboard graphic at stamp & chase

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Wreck Rounding

Over the past decade, health care leadership rounding has become a best-practice staple for organizations that are striving to improve patient experience, employee engagement and the overall culture of performance. While in healthcare we sometimes act like we invented the practice, it has been pursued in different forms for many years in other industries. If you are a disciple of Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System, you call it “going to the gemba.” Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard coined the term “management by walking around” in the 1960s when their rapidly-expanding technology company was growing beyond their capacity and ability to be involved in every detail of the business. In health care, our name for the practice of going to where the most important

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Healthcare Employee Engagement

Everyone Can Be a Caregiver (Even a CEO!)

Several years ago I was leading a management workshop at a very large health system. With over 200 people in the room, there was spirited discussion about the opportunities and obstacles to improving the patient experience in the system’s hospitals. I noticed one of the leaders patiently holding her hand up near the back of the room and made my way back to give her the microphone. She hesitantly started, “I’m the director of Environmental Services, and I know we don’t have a direct impact on patients’ care, but ….” While I hated to interrupt her, I just couldn’t let her opening statement stand without a polite challenge. “I’m really sorry, but I have to interrupt,” I respectfully said. “I have a list of stories

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