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Employees Before Patients: Heresy? Or Management Gold?

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, November 9, 2012

Compiled together, they hope, the results can lead to even better techniques on developing a culture of inclusiveness and teamwork.

OK, you might say, I'm convinced. This culture development stuff is all much easier said than done. But the authors have little sympathy.

"This won't happen overnight," Spiegelman says. "The challenge is to find the leaders who get it. Some of that might be generational—and establish a long-term strategy. It takes three to five years to turn around culture."

As for that provocative title, Spiegelman is unapologetic and insists he means it.

"The title is something that came from the philosophy I have in my own business," he says. "If you focus on employees first, that drives customer loyalty and you can invest profit back in your people and the cycle continues. You hear patient, patient, patient, but there's a blind spot that our leaders have. Customer satisfaction comes from employee satisfaction."


Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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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.