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Employees Before Patients: Heresy? Or Management Gold?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, November 9, 2012

Berrett says many of his peers, at least when he first started speaking on the topic, would dismiss his focus on having fun in the workplace, team-building, and the big picture. They told him his leadership philosophies were "soft," and that they couldn't make much difference.

"Just the soft stuff?" Spiegelman retorts. "No, this is the hard stuff. There's nothing about productivity, financials, or performance in here."

Anyone can make decisions based on business fundamentals, they say. What's harder is building the culture that will sustain such initiatives.

Yet getting culture right can have a huge impact on those important areas.

"The fact is, we wouldn't be having this conversation if the economics of healthcare weren't changing," says Berrett. "Up to 7% of Medicare reimbursement will be at risk, and that puts most hospitals and health systems at risk for survival."

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2 comments on "Employees Before Patients: Heresy? Or Management Gold?"


Deb (11/16/2012 at 4:27 PM)
Human beings can't give what they don't have. This is very simply why patient experience must start with employee's well-being – on all levels. In a 2010 research study, when asked what supports and creates a healing experience for staff, medical professionals in a range of positions all said "caring for self." Upon further inquiry, this wasn't simply eat right, exercise and (even with hospital shift hours) sleep. Self-caring includes interactions with others, clinical and business processes and even the business model that actually support well-being. Research revealed qualities or attributes of what this. Equipped with such qualities, every person, whether the engineer keeping the temperature just right, or the night nurse, or the CFO, can make decisions moment-to-moment, adjust behaviors, processes, and emotional qualities to embody self-caring. For example, one attribute is connection. Respondents said this includes peer to peer connection; staff and patient connection; and spiritual connection. In what ways does your organization embody each of those for each staff person to have that as their daily experience? Research Study Executive Summary: http://experienceinmotion.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Executive-Summary-5-Dimensions-of-Self-Caring.pdf Research report available: http://experienceinmotion.net/staff-experience/

Mary K Parker (11/10/2012 at 7:47 PM)
The workers in the trenches often have better ideas about how to get the organization where it needs to be. The senior leadership has a better idea of the regulatory pressures the organization faces. Unfortunately, there's usually a huge chasm between the trenches and the towers, and very little communication happens in either direction. This book title is true. If the senior leadership looks after its workers and removes the obstacles and barriers to getting the job done, miracles can happen.