Our Annual Industry Survey: The Challenge to Collaborate

Bob Wertz , February 13, 2012
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We explore that disconnect in our Physician Leader and Nurse Leader reports, but comments offered by respondents provide some additional insight.

A physician leader who says physician abuse or disrespect of nurses is uncommon offers this: "It's the other way around. Nurses don't respect the physicians."

One nurse leader who says disrespect is common notes that leadership can do only so much, and that the nurses must be more willing to speak up. "While we have a robust disruptive physician policy and follow-up, actions require knowledge of events, nursing remains hesitant to report, as do other disciplines."

Despite the industry's enormous challenges and demands, bright and dedicated people continue to devote their careers to healing and helping, and 81% of the survey respondents say that, overall, they are satisfied or very satisfied in their job.

Clearly, individuals should feel positive about the work that they do, but they also need to feel good about their profession. The survey suggests considerable room for improvement in the area of collaboration. Given the complexity of clinical care and diversity of business interests, achieving that cohesion will not be easy—but no one enters healthcare because it's easy.

As one nurse leader puts it: "We will only fix this when we stop blaming and decide to collaborate as a system." What no one knows is whether industry leadership will come together and address these challenges before, as one senior leader ominously puts it, "We must hit bottom first."

This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

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