Changing Culture

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , December 13, 2013
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Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE
President and CEO
Beebe Medical Center
Lewes, DE

Jeffrey M. Fried,  FACHE

Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE

The reason why it is so difficult is because changing culture involves changing everything in your organization. It involves looking at every process and opportunity for communication. It looks at performance reviews, how you recognize people, the values that you communicate to the organization. It involves not just communicating but also getting everybody in the organization to embrace it and be engaged in what is happening.

What has worked for us is having a clear message about what we are trying to accomplish, setting high standards, reporting frequently on how we are doing, and letting the frontline staff who interact with the patients come up with the ideas about what we can do to improve patient satisfaction.

We are continuing to improve, and the more we can get people involved, the more creative and innovative can be the ideas they come up with. For example, several years ago our employees came up with the idea of creating a competition among the different units, departments, and floors. We looked at team sports. We have a quarter where we are focused on football and we use football analogies and terms to help promote the idea of competition when we are trying to do a better job. Then we go to basketball and baseball and NASCAR. That idea didn't come from anybody in leadership. It came from frontline staff.

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