HL: Asking the patients' input seems so obvious. Why wasn't it done before?
DV: We got so centered on us having all the answers as caregivers that we didn't really think about the patient actually being the one using the services and really having the answers. It gives you a whole new way of thinking about it that seems so commonsensical you think we would have done it. But we weren't.
HL: How do you get staff to buy into the mission?
DV: Whether you provide direct patient care or indirect patient care, we are all considered caregivers because we are all here for the benefit of the patients. That is something that is taught to all new team members at orientation.
We have created our highest awards in the system, called the Servant's Heart Award, around patient-centered care principles that honor those who truly are the epitome of those principles and actions not only in our organization but in our community as well.
We do videos of these folks and what they mean to the organization. There are community testimonials from fellow team members, physicians and managers. They are available on our Web site. It really provides that example for our team members of what they need to strive to emulate.