This issue of Trustee was produced using a new design, production and content management system. Those of us who like to eat the same breakfast every day (me), go to the same restaurant every Saturday night (me) and buy the same style of pants every year (still me) — struggled with this massive change.
But health care has undergone more change in recent years — and it's not over by a long shot — than perhaps any other industry except mobile devices. Doubtless you have seen administrators, physicians and staff overwhelmed by the pace and magnitude of this metamorphosis. A few actions can make this process easier on everyone.
- Overcommunicate. Everyone retains information differently so assume that a presentation and printed PowerPoint slides aren't going to cut it when folks have questions later. Follow-up emails, flow charts, instruction manuals (digitally and on paper) and perhaps most important, a single place to direct questions, are essential. And make sure those in charge are on the same page. Conflicting information will negate these efforts.
- Respect the past. Only a fearless few will be ready to leave behind familiar policies and procedures without a backward glance. Those people make great cheerleaders. For the rest of us, old workflows and work-arounds made sense and got the job done, however inefficient and backward they may seem. So, allow folks a little time to mourn the passing of the old ways and don't overlook the potential value they may still hold.
- Say thanks. Everyone I've met through Trustee believes working in health care is a passion and a privilege. But when the workday becomes harder (even temporarily and for the greater good), it can send the best among us over the wall. Keeping folks on the right side of a mental breakdown can be as easy as acknowledging the challenges they face and thanking them for persevering. It doesn't require a budget, and, trust me, it works.
By the way, thanks to you for leading and supporting the changes that will make health care better for everyone.