Friday, October 28, 2016

Where We All Lead

In my blog post of last week, Culture Trumps Strategy, I mentioned that soon after joining Jupiter Medical Center, all team members engage in a three-day training seminar in Relationship-Based Care. One of the key focuses of this invaluable training is transformational leadership. This work is designed to not only strengthen team members’ leadership skills but to build a cohesive team that can deliver the highest quality care.

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership where managers work collectively with fellow team members to identify a change or goal and create and execute a plan to work through the change or achieve that goal. Transformational leadership enhances the performance, morale and motivation of all team members by encouraging everyone to take ownership for their work. It also enables team members to serve as a role model for their colleagues and helps them understand and harness the strengths of fellow team members while working on areas that need improvement.

At Jupiter Medical Center, my primary mission - and that of my team - is to deliver world-class quality-based health care. That is our collective goal every day. In order to be successful, I work to practice transformational leadership by inspiring my colleagues with the work we do. That means empowering them all to be leaders among their fellow co-workers, caring about them as people first and helping them succeed in all they do. I also encourage and support my colleagues to do the same.

Performing transformational leadership is also about being courageous. And by being courageous, I mean standing up and actively serving as a professional role model for others. For me, this is leading by example, as well as being authentic and honest with everyone you work with and come in contact with.

This practice of transformational leadership has helped Jupiter Medical Center to be a great place to work and has allowed us to hold on to fantastic team members. It has also improved the experience that our patients and visitors have from the moment they enter our doors as well as strengthened the way we work with our doctors and other medical professionals.

By fostering an environment and developing a culture where we all lead together we have developed a road map for long-term success.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Health Care Reform and the Presidential Election

As evidenced in the recent debates, the presidential candidates don’t agree on much. But they do agree on one thing – Obama Care as we now know it cannot go on.  Donald Trump wants to repeal it entirely.  Experts say a Republican president would have to clear a very high bar in getting Congress to kill the Affordable Care Act outright.  Hillary Clinton wants to “fix” the ACA, promising to broaden the accessibility of health coverage to otherwise excluded populations and reduce its cost.

Just this week, it was revealed that beginning next year, insurance premiums for customers who purchase insurance through will increase an average of 22% while the number of providers participating in the market place will drop by 28%. Federal health officials were quick to note that an overwhelming majority of customers will qualify for financial aid which can sharply cut the amount they pay in premiums. Regardless, this sobering announcement all but ensures that on January 21, 2017 health care reform will be at the top of the new Congressional and Presidential agendas.

In the meantime, and with just two weeks left in the presidential race, I would guess that there is a small percentage of the American electorate—maybe more now after this week’s announcement—for whom the issue of health care, more specifically health care reform, will be the deciding factor when they step into the voting booth on November 8. I would argue, however, that the fate of health care reform does not stand with the new president alone and that the outcome of the presidential election is not the best predictor for what health care will look like eighteen months down the road.

The future of health care will lie more at the feet of Congress than who will reside at 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue come January. Let’s not forget that the most recent change in health care reform came in 2015 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 when then Republican Speaker of the house, John Boehner, struck a deal at the eleventh hour in an effort to insulate incoming Speaker Ryan. This deal changed the eligibility of off-campus hospital outpatient departments for reimbursement of services under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System, among other provisions.
When the dust of this contentious election season settles, that’s when we’ll find out if the new president and Congress will be mired in partisan gridlock or whether they’ll see their way to affecting some real progress.  It’s going to take a bipartisan approach to fix the problems facing health care. The model as it stands now is simply not sustainable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Culture Trumps Strategy

I often get asked, how do you develop and retain a strong, high performing team?”  For us here at Jupiter Medical Center, it starts with building an authentic culture of dignity and mutual respect. We strive to demonstrate to our team members that, first and foremost, we value them as people. And while we certainly hold them accountable for their work and their actions, we seek to provide them with a work environment where they feel supported from a professional perspective as well as an emotional and a personal one.

I truly believe that in order to enhance team member performance and get the best out of my colleagues, I need be as supportive about their time away from the hospital as I am during work hours. For me, it is equally important to provide team members the tools needed to deliver their best work inside the hospital as it is to help them achieve and maintain that all important work/life balance. I want my team members to have fulfilling lives outside of their jobs. I want them to spend time with their families, contribute to their communities, explore their passions and take care of themselves. If they are able to find fulfillment outside of work, this will enable them to bring their best into the medical center each and every day.

This philosophy of management is the cornerstone of the transformational culture model known as Relationship-Based Care. In order to build and maintain a culture of mutual respect and authenticity here at Jupiter Medical Center, all of our team members—regardless of their position - are required to attend a three-day (24 hours) training seminar in Relationship-Based Care. Over the course of three days, team members focus on their own wellbeing and self-care as well relationship building and leadership skills.

We realize that this training is a significant investment in both time and resources, but we believe it is an investment worth making. This approach to management not only allows us to be compassionate and authentic leaders and employers, it also makes strong financial sense. Retaining team members is important from a bottom line perspective as high turnover leads to increased costs and decreased performance. In a 2015 study  by Health eCareers, one-third of healthcare recruiters ranked employee turnover as their top staffing concern and according to the National Health Retention and RN Staff Report for 2016 put together by Nursing Solutions, Inc., hospitals of similar size to Jupiter Medical Center experienced a 21.5% turnover in healthcare employees last year.

The fact is, in today’s workplace, you can have fantastic ideas and innovative strategies to grow your business and lead your market…but if you don’t have dedicated team members that are invested in its execution, you won’t get where you want to go.