Leaders embody U of U Health’s focus on patient-centered care, respect for people, and continued improvement. Recently, Jessica Rivera, Carissa Christensen, Sue Childress, and Tracy Farley described their efforts to deliver a better health care experience for patients by taking care of their teams. In advance of individual articles from each leader, below are four big takeaways that can be put into action today.
Rounding–the act of connecting with patients and staff–is a leadership best practice. While few find rounding easy to start, those who master it are hooked. It is a daily habit that improves patient care, experience and engages the team. Susan Clark and her medical director, Dr. Dana DeWitt, have taken the practice one step further by rounding together as a leadership dyad, resulting in a more connected and authentic team.
According to Melissa Horn, changing a culture takes three years. She would know. Melissa has had the unusual leadership challenge of being “the fixer” for four different clinics at University of Utah Health as director of outpatient women’s clinics. Accelerate learned how Melissa creates authentic teams (hint: it’s hard work and there are no shortcuts).
Trust. That’s what we want. We want to earn and keep the trust of every patient. We want them to trust that we provide the best possible medical care. But more than that, we want them to trust that we will respond to their needs, coordinate our efforts, and provide them with available options. We want them to trust that we will answer our phones, explain their treatment, and value their time. The exceptional patient experience is an enterprise-wide system designed to deliver a singular output: trust. And, this enterprise-wide system is built on trusting our providers and our teams.
Chief Pharmacy Officer Linda Tyler thinks broadly about the leadership skills needed to deliver reliably safe care. Here, she shares an article about the importance of psychological safety—the #1 success factor identified by Google’s Project Aristotle, which studied hundreds of Google’s teams to figure out why some stumbled and some soared.
In addition to his day job as Director of ENT Clinics, Kirk Hughs orients all new specialty clinic and endoscopy employees to the Exceptional Patient Experience. His goal is to engage new team members about how they can create exceptional experiences for their patients.
Not even the most gifted leader can lead change alone. No one person can come up with the strategy, communicate across the organization, eliminate all the barriers, and manage dozens of change initiatives. In order for transformation to succeed, you need a guiding coalition.
Real teams are the antidote to the chaos of modern medicine. “Real teams know each other, feel loyalty to one another, trust one another, and would not want to disappoint one another” (Tom Lee, NEJM Catalyst 2016). Practicing are conversations between real team members about why the work matters. Our goal is to preserve and share the stories of the teams at University of Utah Healthcare.