Q&A: Nurse Leaders on Affecting Outcomes Through Leadership

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , February 26, 2013

Watland: Agreed. And I think it's really important to be transparent; no secrets. Be transparent and open and honest with each other. I think that's very important. Trust and respect for relationships between management and staff, staff and staff, physicians and staff.

Because I think [when you do] that, everybody knows the vision and understands that, and there's open communication between senior leadership, middle leadership, and all staff.  Whether or not you agree with it or not, people are less insecure.

They're more secure in what's going on, they understand it; they have a better understanding of where they're going and why. I think the "why" is absolutely essential for people to know in the nursing profession and healthcare; why things are changing and why we're doing what we're doing and then having a voice in that. I think that's extremely important.

Davis: These changes take time, and you have to work at things and [do] multiple cycles of improvement and measurement. We have been implementing a process around failure to rescue and making sure that we're escalating subtle changes in the patient's condition quickly for action.

We've been working on this for many years, and just this past year we've been able to add technology to that to assist a nursing staff. So I think those [are] payoffs: When you can really install a strong process that improves care and then help to automate it, to actually make the work easier for the nursing staff who are responsible for it.

So I think this is more of a journey; this is the endurance run.

These are not sprints in the sense that so much of what we do [will be] one result building on another, strengthening our capacity; [that's] really the generative nature of work like this.

Look for part two of our conversation next week.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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