Category: News

purpose sign graphic from stamp & chase

Have we lost the power of purpose in health care?

Understanding purpose in organizations seems to be one of the most talked about issues – and opportunities – in companies today. A few weeks ago, 181 CEOs who are part of the prestigious Business Roundtable signed a new statement on the “Purpose of a Corporation.” No longer is simply driving shareholder value the top priority, they said. Rather, the statement recognized that the purpose of an organization in management is key in engaging and serving all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders. Haven’t we always understood purpose in healthcare? Many in health care would argue that we’ve always understood the purpose of our organizations in management. After all, can there be a higher purpose than serving our fellow human beings at some of the

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medical employees at stamp & chase reviewing patient's work

Five hacks to make huddles more helpful

When organizations think about “improving communication,” they often start with grand plans to revamp intranet sites, introduce new digital/print publications or expand social media strategies. But when you consider that employees’ preferred source of communication is their direct supervisor, doesn’t it make sense to start small and local? Regular team huddles help staff members support one another, stay connected to immediate priorities and problem-solve issues real-time. But they only work when they are structured in a way that accomplishes these specific goals. Following are five straightforward principles to help make huddles truly helpful to frontline staff. Short and Sweet One of the most common ways for huddles to go haywire is for them to become mini staff meetings. By keeping the huddle to 5-10 minutes

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medical employees discussing patient's health graphic from stamp & chase

What health care can learn from “Me, too!” about unprofessional behaviors

“Me, too!” It has become the battle cry for those harmed by harassment in the workplace. While the movement emerged primarily in response to sexual harassment, it should send a loud and clear signal to all companies that their employees will not tolerate the same level of inappropriate, unprofessional behavior that they have in the past. Beyond sexual harassment, health care provider organizations have made clear in policy that unprofessional behaviors harm a safe, highly reliable work environment. But even with more structured policies, do harmful, inappropriate behaviors persist in practice? Both the “Me, too!” movement and the findings of a new study led by a Vanderbilt University professor suggest that smart organizations dedicated to safe care should re-double efforts to reduce inappropriate, harmful behaviors.

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manager talking to staff to improve hospital staff engagement graphic from stamp & chase

Why great leaders must be effective teachers … and constant learners

“I am a teacher. It’s how I define myself. A good teacher isn’t someone who gives answers out … but is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed. That’s the way I see myself. So whatever it is that I will do eventually after politics, it’ll have a lot to do with teaching.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada Strong managers are great teachers. And great teachers are constant learners. Organizations seldom describe the role of an effective manager as “teacher.” But indeed, the philosophy described by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau captures the essence of what it means to lead a team in a way that nurtures staff engagement and maximizes results. That’s why the first and foundational

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Manager at Stamp & Chase listening to Doctor

The best question to get patient rounding off to a great start

While the health care executives we work with universally agree on the benefits of leader rounding conversations with both patients and staff, theories vary widely on how to make these interactions most helpful and productive. Effectively choreographing these conversations depends much more on active listening to empathetically judge where to take the discussion than on inane scripts or lists of questions. A warm, sincere introduction and the right initial open-ended question can make or break the quality of the remainder of the encounter. One of the best initial questions I’ve ever heard came from a recent conversation with Peggy Frizzell, the director of patient experience for Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, VA. Peggy said that to open the conversation and really get to know

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medical employee interviewing patient at stamp & chase

Through a patient’s eyes, is “precision” medicine truly “personalized” medicine?

In the cover story “The Future of Medicine” in the January issue of National Geographic magazine, journalist Fran Smith and photojournalist Craig Cutler explore the remarkable promise of gene research and treatment. “It’s a very simple principle,” commented Razelle Kerzrock, an oncologist and director of the Moores Center for Personalized Medicine, in the article. “You pick the right drugs for each patient based on the tumor profile, not based on a part of the body or based on what type of cancer 100 other people have. It’s all about that patient sitting in front of you.” Precision medicine. Individualized medicine. Personalized medicine. The breakthrough treatment options made possible by gene research are already being branded by a number of different creative names. But while these

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medical staff surrounding patient's beside graphic from stamp & chase

Are too many patients today “lost in transition?”

Since 1983 when Medicare launched the prospective payment system (PPS), the average inpatient hospital stay has declined from 10.0 to 4.5 days. During this same period, Medicare discharges to skilled nursing increased four-fold.  Health care providers are well aware that patients are being discharged at a higher acuity and with far more significant needs for continuing care. What often is not recognized is how vulnerable patients are during transitions between care settings, especially older adults and those with multiple comorbidities. Poor communication and coordination during care transitions can contribute to adverse events and preventable hospital readmissions.  As health care providers and systems are incentivized to manage episodes of care beyond the inpatient stay, hospitals increasingly are under pressure to transform the traditional discharge planning paradigm

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healthcare management can be overwhelming

Are “lazy” managers – or misguided organizations – to blame for high turnover?

It is rare that I disagree with the premise or findings of a Harvard Business Review article. They are generally well-researched by top scholars and thinkers on issues facing businesses today. But when I saw the headline, “Don’t Let Lazy Managers Drive Away Your Top Performers,” I was skeptical. Then I read the first paragraph of the article: “Many people believe that being a good manager only requires common sense, and that it is therefore easy to be one. If this were true, good managers would be commonplace at all levels of more organizations, and as a result, employee engagement and retention would be high. However, only 13% of workers worldwide are engaged at work, and employee turnover rates in the United States are at

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medical employee talking to patient

11 Seconds.

That’s how long, on average, a doctor will listen to a patient tell his story before interrupting.

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good economy graphic from stamp & chase

What’s not to love about a booming economy – unless you’re a middle manager

What’s not to love about America’s strong economy? More people are employed, wages are finally beginning to inch up for workers left behind in the past, and stock prices are rising. But for middle managers, a growing economy can bring unexpected consequences. Simply keeping a department staffed can be more challenging, let alone developing employees so that they are individually and collectively more successful. In September, Bloomberg reported that U.S. job openings rose in July to a new record. At the same time, so did the share of workers who decided to quit their jobs, hitting a level not seen since 2001. Job postings exceeded the number of unemployed individuals by 659,000. In our work with leading companies to support improved employee engagement, Stamp&Chase reminds managers

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