It is possible to create a values-driven culture within your organization, but a reminder that it must be driven from top down. The entire management structure must buy in if the staff is eventually to buy in. If you are partnering with other facilities or physicians, you must make certain that they share your vision and determination to incorporate, nurture—and push from time-to-time—a values-driven culture.
With metrics in place, you'll be able to measure performance and success. Frankly, though, you'll know it before any metric confirms it. You'll be able to physically see it in the day-to-day operations, in how people behave and perform—and in how patients respond. Of course, once such an environment is achieved, you must perpetuate it by keeping to the fundamentals that helped you create such an environment.
My experience is that when we create a better environment for our people and our patients, the results are happier patients and patient families, and happier staffs that perform at higher levels. Certainly it's more than just everyone being happy. Such a total healing environment helps patients recover faster and leave the hospital sooner, which lowers costs. Improved patient outcomes translate into higher patient satisfaction—and of course most important, a patient's return to health.
Finding good people is hard. Keeping them requires our dedication and continuous effort regardless of the economic conditions. Yet the lessons can be applied across the industry. Investing in our culture and living to a higher professional standard every day results in retaining a committed, happy staff. Most important: it creates a healing environment that delivers the very best in patient care and provides a lesson for healthcare reform.