Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CON Update

As you know from my recent blog posts this spring, Jupiter Medical Center spent significant energy to keep Florida legislators from repealing the Certificate of Need program. Certificate of Need is a regulatory process that requires certain health care providers to obtain state approval before offering new or expanded services here in Florida.

In my opinion, repealing CON was not good news for the consumer because it had the potential to not only increase cost, but could also lead to a decrease in the accessibility and quality of health care in our state. Thankfully, the Florida Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have eliminated CON. This means Jupiter Medical Center will continue to do what we do every day - offer the highest quality and most accessible care at an affordable price.

We were proud to work with others across the region to ensure that the bill did not come up for a vote in the Senate. But this work would not have been possible without the support we received from thousands of our fellow Floridians who sent messages, called their legislators and shared our efforts via social media. I am grateful and I thank them for their support. In addition, I am extremely thankful for the legislators who in return, took the time to listen and recognize the significance of the issue. Without them, we would not have had the success we did.

At the end of the day, the reality is that CON is smart and appropriate regulation that works and we are glad that it remains. Eliminating CON would end up benefitting the entrepreneurs that want to focus only on profitable services, instead of balancing these with vital services the community needs. When it comes to the people in our community, we cannot let profit be the sole driver of their health care.

However, we believe that the debate over CON is not over and will most likely get taken back up when the state legislature convenes in the fall. We will continue to do all we can do to make sure that CON remains in place and that all Floridians have access to the best and most affordable care. Stay tuned for updates here in the next few months on this vitally important topic and as always, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Empowering Others

As you may know from reading my most recent posts, I have continued to think about ways in which we can learn from the incident that took place last month on United Airlines Flight #3411. 

One question that has stayed with me the last couple of weeks is why at no time during the turmoil did a team member—from the gate agent to the pilot—step in to deescalate the situation and find a solution. The only answer I can come up with is that United employees have not been empowered to feel like they can take control and make on-the-spot decisions when needed.

Empowering team members is critical to the success of any business. Empowered team members are mission-driven, loyal, creative problem solvers who care as much about the growth and health of the company as you do.   As Bill Gates once said, “As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” Here are five ways in which you can empower your team and drive the success of your organization:

1. Vision First
The key to empowering team members is to make sure they know what they are working for and towards. Make sure you communicate the vision for the organization —its goals and aspirations—and how they are critical to its success once or twice a year. This will not only get team members pumped to do the work, but it will also empower them to help drive the organization forward.

2. Show them Who You Are
While it is critical to articulate the vision of the organization, it is equally important for team members to understand who you are – good and bad. No one wants to be on a team with a leader with whom they do not feel a camaraderie or sense of devotion. To that end, be transparent and lead by example. This requires you as the leader to really open up and show some vulnerability. Host regular meetings with your team to share your thoughts (and glean theirs as well) and help them understand what you are working towards. Open communication is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. At the end of the day, your team should never have to guess where you stand.

3. Recognize efforts and reward successes
Empowering team members means making them feel confident enough to take the initiative and make decisions. There is no better way to breed this confidence than by recognizing and rewarding team members who step up. It lets them know that their contributions, ideas and opinions are not only appreciated, but invaluable to the success of the organization. It also encourages them to continue to do what they are doing and inspires others on the team to do the same. This lets employees know their thoughts and opinions are valued and appreciated, making them more likely to speak up.

4. Present New Challenges and Opportunities
Team members need to continue to feel challenged and inspired so they can continue to develop and lead. Be on the lookout for growth opportunities, coach them on tactics to overcome obstacles and seek their help when challenges arise.

5. Get Out of the Way
To truly empower a team, leaders need to get out of the way and be willing to trust their team to do their work. Most team members feel more comfortable stepping up when they don’t feel like they are being monitored every second. They will then feel emboldened to make decisions and take control of what needs to be done. As their manager, don’t hover. Instead, you should express to them that you feel confident in their ability to do the job as they possess the tools for success. Then assure them that you are available for help and support and encourage them to take the lead.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Leading to Stay

I recently came across this quote by business magnate and Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat people well enough so they don’t want to.” 

As I read it, I had what some would call an “aha” moment.  Branson perfectly captures what I strive to do with my team every day. I want to inspire my team to give their very best, to develop and grow as professionals and to enjoy walking into work. 

I have an amazing team. They could have their choice of employment but thankfully they are here with me. To do right by them and the organization, I strive to lead through inspiration and empowerment. I work with my cohorts to help them harness their strengths and understand the value they bring to the organization. We set goals. We provide the resources they need to succeed. We contribute to increasing their capacity and skill sets. We reward accomplishments and we work to tweak things that are not working. We communicate honestly and openly and I believe, see each other as a collective unit all working toward the same cause. My hope is that at the end of the day they feel a collective ownership in what we do, partnering in a long and lasting contribution to Jupiter Health.

I have found that there are two types of team members. There are those who are motivated by a pay check and are simply financially driven. There are also those who, while working for a paycheck, are motivated by the pride they take in their work and their desire to do well for themselves and the organization. As a leader, you are successful if you can inspire some of those aforementioned people to become more of the latter while continuing to develop and encourage those who are already there to work harder and give more.

But inspiring your team is not just about making them feel good and keeping the work place harmonious. There are other, significant benefits to leading through inspiration:

  • Inspired employees are more productive. In fact, a recent study from Bain reports that inspired employees are twice as productive as simply satisfied employees. 
  • Inspired employees are loyal and less likely to leave. A low turnover rate is good for the bottom line.
  • Inspired employees are more creative and innovative, helping to find solutions and generate new ideas to drive the company forward.

Finally, it is not enough to simply inspire people. It also how you show your gratitude. Nothing deflates an inspired team member quicker than feeling like their hard work has gone unnoticed.

In addition to financial compensation, there are two key things you can do to recognize and reward your team. One, offer them the opportunity to expand their capacity by giving them the time and the resources needed to enroll in additional training or classes. Sure, they could take those newly acquired skills somewhere else, but they are more likely to put them to good use right where they are. Second, acknowledge a job well done. Small but meaningful gestures are critical to continuing to inspire and bolster your team members. A group email praising hard work, a shout out at a staff meeting or a phone call at the end of the day to say, “thank you” can have a tremendous impact.

I realize inspiring others is not easy and it takes time to develop a style that authentically works for you. But if you wake up each day and focus on how to truly inspire those with whom you work, you will come to find an organization of people who share your vision and your passion.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Podcast 002: Dr. Marshall Kapp - Deregulation of CON in Florida

With the Florida House recently passing a bill that would eliminate the Certificate of Need (CON) process in Florida and the bill now on deck in the Senate, I think it is important now more than ever for the public to have a good understanding of the possible implications this deregulation could have. Tune in to my podcast as I discuss CON with Dr. Marshall Kapp and hear his opinions on the topic.

Dr. Marshall Kapp is the Director of the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine & Law, and a faculty member at the College of Medicine and College of Law. He is a member of the American Medical Directors Association Foundation, Scientific Council, and the editor of the Journal of Legal Medicine, a publication by the American College of Legal Medicine. He is an expert on the Certificate Of Need Program (CON), and has co-authored the Healthcare Foundation of South Florida’s study on the need for CON in Florida.

 Key Takeaways: [:25] This episode's topic is Certificate of Need — Deregulation in the State of Florida. [:56] What is the Certificate of Need Program (CON)? [1:36] Read more about John's perspective on the deregulation of the CON at his blog. [1:48] Today's guest is Dr. Marshall Kapp and he will be sharing his view on the CON. [2:53] What is Marshall's opinion on Certificate of Need from an academic, scholarly perspective? [6:16] What makes the healthcare industry different, that regulation is necessary, and competition is not necessarily a good thing? [13:26] What would a deregulated Florida look like for the healthcare consumer? [18:00] Has Marshall seen the negative impacts of deregulation play out in other parts of the country? [19:30] John strongly believes that everyone in the community deserves access to the best, most affordable healthcare, so he advocates for legislators to put down the CON Deregulation Legislation. You, too, should reach out to your legislators and make your voice heard! Mentioned in This Episode: Inventing Health with John Couris Inventing Health on iTunes John Couris on LinkedIn

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

From the Top Down and the Bottom Up

As I outlined in my previous blog post, Flight Path for Success, the incident that took place on United Flight #3411 and the ensuing response could have been avoided. It would have entailed United putting the customer first, empowering team members to do the right thing and owning its mistakes. This incident also signaled a CEO that was out of touch with his customers.

Regardless of the size of your organization, a connection to one’s customers is critical to the success of any business. When you understand customer behaviors - for instance, what motivates them to engage, what causes them to look for services elsewhere - you will have a greater chance for success and a better handle on how to make a course correction when needed. You also demonstrate to your team that you personally care about the business.

One way to ensure this type of connection is to focus on your organizational structure. You want to keep the management layers between leaders and customers to as few as possible. For example, in most cases at Jupiter Medical Center there are only three-and-half layers between me and the patient. As a leadership team, a (relatively) flat organization allows us to have a real handle on who our patients are as well as what their needs are. We also continually look for opportunities where we can engage directly with them. Whether that is spending time in our clinics or treatment facilities or doing frequent rounds to each floor of the hospital.

Another way to maintain a connection is to provide a space to hear suggestions on new or improved customer service initiatives. Sometimes these are in the form of town halls or small group meetings with my team, but hearing from team members like this on how to continue to provide world-class service to customers is critical. Not only do we discover new and exciting opportunities to engage customers but you empower your team to take ownership of customer relationships.

In addition to listening to your team, you also need to be proactive in listening to the customer first hand. Consistent with this thought, Jupiter Medical Center has a Patient and Family Advisory Council that consists of former patients and their family members who volunteer their time and input to help improve the experience for others. This council ensures the patient’s voice and needs are integrated into hospital committees, task forces and daily decision making. In its second year, the council has grown to 15 members and has made a great impact on the organization.  

For us at Jupiter Medical Center, connection with our customer is simply embedded in our culture. We care for the health and wellness of our community one patient at a time. At the end of the day, this type of culture makes a difference - and our scores don't lie. We continue to rank #1 in overall patient satisfaction in Palm Beach and Martin County for the past 7 years as well as being #1 in likelihood to recommend. This alone outpaces the national and statewide averages but has also allowed us to remain the preferred institution in our community.

But for any organization, the bottom line is that a connection to your customers is critical and it starts from the top down. Think about it: as a leader, understanding the customer is our primary job. If we cannot stay attuned to the needs of the customer, then how can we expect our business to thrive?