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?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Flight Path to Success

Last week, a video surfaced showing a passenger physically dragged from an oversold United Flight when he refused to give up his seat for a United employee. Not surprisingly, this incident caused outrage and disgust as evident from the backlash on social media, calls for a United boycott and plummet in the airline’s stock price.

As someone leading a customer care driven business, I believe that what happened on United flight #3411 and the ensuing response could have been avoided. While there has been a great deal of Monday morning quarterbacking, it is useful to use the United incident as a vehicle. Specifically, it’s an opportunity to reinforce what can be done to deliver high quality care and service that focuses on the consumer, to build a workplace that empowers employees and to make a positive impact on the community it serves.

With that in mind, let’s review those key ingredients to building a world-class company that provides the best service possible:

  • Put the customer first. United failed to put the customer first that afternoon. While the airline might have been thinking about those customers waiting for a flight crew in Louisville, they did so at the expense of the passengers in Chicago. As a provider, your number one priority must be the customer. You must always lead with “what can I do to ensure that the customer gets what they need and has the best experience possible?” Not only is this the right thing to do, it builds your business. In addition, you are likely to retain the customer, and find that they become a passionate advocate for your business - recommending your services to friends, colleagues and family. The “likely to recommend” metric is critical in my field and one we strive to meet and exceed every day.

  • Empower employees to do the right thing. I must admit that I found it completely baffling that at no time did an employee - from the gate agent to ground crew to flight crew to the pilots - step in to deescalate the situation and find an alternative solution. Why didn’t anyone do what was right? I can only assume that United employees have not been empowered to feel like they can take control and make on-the-spot decisions when needed.  You must make employees feel empowered. They must believe they are capable and qualified to make a call that is in the best interest of the customer and the business when needed. Not only does it protect your employees but it breeds loyalty and a sense of ownership in the organization.

  • Have systems in place that you review regularly. I understand bumping passengers is necessary from time to time. Things like headwinds that cause weight restrictions and broken equipment are unavoidable.  And overselling seats is more likely to ensure maximum profitability. However, if you know an area of your business has the potential to negatively affect customers and that the repercussions are likely to cost more than the perceived profit, you might want to think of alternative solutions. For example, if flights out of Chicago have a significantly higher chance of overselling, consider decreasing the number of seats sold beyond capacity. Or if you consider my field - healthcare, and realize that things get backed up in your urgent care clinic starting at 3 pm, consider reducing the number of late afternoon appointments. My recommendation is that you should reevaluate your business for opportunities to maximize growth and productivity and minimize opportunities for dissatisfaction and disruption on a quarterly basis.

  • If you make a mistake, own it. If all else fails and a mistake still occurs, own it. We all make mistakes but it is the way we account for them that speaks volumes. Had the CEO of United immediately and profusely apologized, offering meaningful compensation and recompense, some of the fallout could have been avoided. Instead he doubled down, made excuses and attacked the injured customer. I realize there can be certain barriers (legal) standing in the way of an apology but at the end of the day, there is nothing more powerful than admitting that you made a mistake.

Building a business is challenging and there are times when there are forces beyond your control that prevent you from giving your best to your customers. But a situation like the one that occurred with United is completely avoidable. If you follow some key guiding principles, you, your employees and your organization will find yourselves on the flight path to a successful journey. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Podcast 001: Suzy Welch - Taking the Long View and Volunteering

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my first podcast. This first interview was held with Suzy Welch who is a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. She is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, 10-10-10, and co-author with her husband Jack Welch of the international best sellers, The Real Life MBA, and Winning

In this first episode of the Inventing Health podcast, her and I discuss the importance of taking the long view, and having passions outside of work. 

Tune in to find out more!

Key Takeaways: [:13] John introduces himself and the podcast. [1:20] John introduces his first guest — Suzy Welch. [1:51] "That's why you play till the end." — Tom Brady. Was there a time where this mentality served Suzy well in her career to achieve success? [5:57] Suzy shares her experiences of being passed over for promotion. It was the beginning of her learning that you don't have to have an immediate reaction to everything. [7:37] What type of techniques does Suzy have to deal with, keeping a long view and not getting frustrated with failure? [10:22] When it comes to thinking about the future, is it better to visualize, or write it down in lists? [11:59] We tend to limit ourselves with "but"s. Why do we do that? What gets in our way? [13:55] Suzy recently wrote an article about the importance of having passions outside of the office, specifically volunteer work. Why does she suggest that people find a philanthropic passion of their own? [17:05] What is Suzy's #1 health tip? [18:54] John summarizes the key takeaways from this podcast.   Mentioned in This Episode: Inventing Health with John Couris Inventing Health on iTunes John Couris on LinkedIn 10-10-10, by Suzy Welch The Real Life MBA, by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch Winning, Jack and Suzy Welch The Humane Society