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SHSMD: CEOs Discuss Cultural Change Leadership

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, September 23, 2011

Marinello: It's about accountability; you have to be able to call people out. Coworkers have to feel comfortable and the best information comes from information on the frontline. Don't wait until you get a negative patient survey back saying that the hospital doesn't address my needs.

Sadvary: I really think the CEO defines culture. I once received an email from one of my staff about one my actions saying, 'Don't you care about employees anymore?' I appreciated she had the guts to tell me. If the nurses feel uncomfortable saying something, then it doesn't matter what types of tools and initiatives you have, it's not going to work. You have to establish a culture first.

Q. How does an organization change its culture?

Sadvary: In many ways, healthcare is more resistant to change than it should be. We'll see change on the technical side, that's easier received. The hard part is change for quality of care.

Kuhn: We tend to be on the risk-adverse side. We have to be focused on the leaders willing to change. Change management is going to be a key skill set going forward.

Marinello: We identify our stars and the tools that we give them to excel. You need to differentiate between who is truly engaged and who is there for the paycheck. Don't promote people just because they've worked their way up, that doesn't necessarily make them a good manager.

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