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Brian D. Wong, MD, MPH — CEO

What are the symptoms of poor patient safety and quality and how do we avoid continually re-treating them with initiative after initiative?

Across the country, I consult hospitals suffering from poor organizational engagement, challenges with physician/hospital alignment, and ineffective leadership, to name a few. I see entire staffs comprised of isolated individuals doing their jobs the best they can. They are extremely limited working in this solo capacity. The Patient Driven Leadership Practice equips leaders to mobilize their organizations into patient centered problem solving teams. Patient Driven Leaders know that patient centered problem solving teams have the most impact toward significantly improving patient care.

In your work with small 25 bed rural hospitals to 500 bed healthcare systems, they're all trying desperately to improve patient care. Does the size of an organization affect how they approach their challenges?

No. Their biggest operational challenges all come down to how people act and work together... how they show up every day. More specifically, We influence everyone to look past what their jobs require and realize their role as team members.

What do you really mean by "How people show up?"

Most of us know what our jobs are, but when asked, most people are nebulous as to what their roles are and how everyone's role affects each individual's job. When we gain that knowledge, we all show up on the same page, we've gained the ability to work as trusted teams.

How can something like "Realizing your role," be a prerequisite to improving patient care?

Patient care, alignment, lack of integration, ineffective leadership... begins with gaining patient trust. And the only way to build patient trust is to compel physicians, nurses, administrators and staff members to work as trusted teams.

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Larry McEvoy, MD, FACEP — Client Advisor

As an ER physician, a physician-executive and the CEO of Memorial Health System in CO, how can you train your workforce to be more patient centered?

You can't. Our industry overwhelms us with initiatives and training with little value in return. If your workforce doesn't clearly understand that they are all Patient Driven Leaders and have the capacity to solve problems together, you'll train 24/7 with minimal results.

If that's the case, what do you do?

Since beginning to implement The T.R.U.S.T.E.D. Colleague Practice™ I've seen conditions change. As my workforce attains the key leadership behaviors to build a culture of Patient.

When your counterparts read words like "implement," they immediately think about their bottom line. Is this another costly program of initiatives?

No. The T.R.U.S.T.E.D. Colleague Practice's™ approach lessens the need for recurring costly initiatives. It zeroes in on the root cause of your problems and provides your medical staff and workforce with ability to look past what their jobs require and realize their role as team members. This practice is designed to create maximum change without adding "more to do".

Debra Parsons, MD, FACP — Lead Faculty

You've served as medical staff president of Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Colorado. What did you see as your biggest challenge that we can control?

At Exempla and every other facility I worked with, it was immediately evident that team problem solving skills were insufficient. None of us were ever trained to used our combined intelligence and experience to solve problems together. We need to treat problem solving as the business competency that it is if we really want to improve patient care.

will building a culture of Patient Driven Leaders ... ones with the ability to solve problems collaHow boratively... result in improved patient care?

All patients need the same thing, to have trust in the people caring for them. As leaders, we're responsible for giving patients that trust. And that begins and ends with our entire workforce trusting each other. When you gain patient trust, patient safety and quality will improve, and you,ll experience less challenges from reduced organizational engagement, poor physician-hospital alignment, lack of integration, ineffective leadership, and insufficient teamwork.

How does an organization achieve this Patient Driven Leadership culture and reap the benefits listed in your last answer?

By instituting the T.R.U.S.T.E.D. Colleague Practice (TCP), a daily practice that builds trusted teams and enhances yours and your workforce's ability to lead skillfully.

Carol Scofield — Faculty Member

As a key communications advisor to many organizations, what is the most useful insight you have to improve communication among teams?

When you gain patient trust, patient safety and quality will improve. And we do that by re-prioritizing our roles and leveraging the Trusted Colleague Practice™ to create the conditions that promote patient trust.

When you implement service excellence programs, what approach most ensures success on the ground and the highest return of investment?

Service excellence begins with everyone looking past what their jobs require and realize their role as team members. This leads to a more cohesive team speaking a common language, focused on solving foundational problems - which by default, eliminates dealing with time draining symptoms... simply said, a role clarity based service excellence approach doesn't add to individual workloads.

Having worked in service excellence training for various industries, how did moving into healthcare affect your work?

Whether I'm working with Fortune 500 companies or a small rural hospital in Nevada, achieving service excellence means giving everyone involved the very best experience possible. To reach this goal, we don't necessarily have to train and retrain new methods of working with each other. We need to get everyone working together as trusted teams and equip them all go show up as leaders in their own right. When I see leadership behavior throughout a workforce, I know that everyone is empowered as a an organizational role player, while simultaneously being best equipped to do their individual jobs. When this occurs, the beneficiary is the patient or client, regardless of the industry. To me, this is service excellence.

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A Patient Dies. A Hospital Heals -- a review of "Heroes Need Not Apply"

Dr. Brian Wong's highly anticipated book,'HEROES NEED NOT APPLY' is on sale now. Purchase direct from the publisher to get the best pricing and quantity discounts.

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At the Boardroom

Speaking With Answers

Discover why The Bedside Trust has been invited to deliver keynote addresses to over 25 hospital associations and healthcare institutes in 2009 alone. more>

Future Scan Journal

Healthcare trends and implications 2009-2014

by Brian Wong, M.D., Cofounder of The Bedside Trust

Click here to down a PDF of the article. >>