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Make Hospital Staff Accountable for Patient Experience

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, March 4, 2013

Teach Management, Too
Holland says part of teaching employees to be reactive and patient-centered is teaching management to be reactive and employee-centered. At Cabell Huntington, the leadership team has gone through training that centers around accountability and being reactive to employee behavior, both positive and negative, to teach new habits and shift staff attitudes.

"It's not about waiting, but immediately having that difficult conversation. Sometimes you have to tell folks what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. And if you have folks who are not behaving appropriately, you need to train your management team to handle that situation and do the counseling," says Holland.

In a culture of new expectations, Holland says it's also important to not go straight to disciplinary action, but counsel the employee about their behavior.

"Sometimes the employee just doesn't understand, and we're here to develop and coach employees to be successful. It's not fair to all of a sudden to take very aggressive action with an employee when you haven't been coaching them. It's important to use daily coaching, so our leaders are now out and about, giving regular and immediate feedback. It is important to give employees continuous developmental opportunities rather than once a year in their review."

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