As we know, healthcare leaders have challenging careers. We are constantly navigating the changing healthcare landscape amidst staffing pressures, quality and safety excellence expectations, financial demands, (pandemics), updates on the latest technology all the while continually attempting to avoid the ever-present political pitfalls. We are not just setting goals for the organization; we are in an evolving and advanced environment of constant re-prioritizing. Our daily, weekly and monthly world consistently brings to bear our honed skillset and acumen as a leader. It is why we accepted this mantle of leadership and responsibility in the first place. So, let’s once again bring innovation in as the umbrella under which all healthcare and human activity can function.
For years we have all participated in discussions regarding people being our most important asset. And they are. Amongst the constant barrage of re-prioritizing, what if we determined to re-invigorate our relationship with our employees, our colleagues, and our team members in innovative ways? What if we viewed our leadership role as an enterprise in human innovation? It is, of course, of the greatest necessity to focus on the process to improve care, enhance the supply chain, eliminate waste through the LEAN Methodology, etc.; nevertheless, we must actually place the same emphasis on enhancing our employee and colleague relationships as we imagine we do.
We have the necessary discipline to respond with the discovery process utilizing “Root Cause Analysis” (RCA) when a medical issue needs focused attention. Medical expertise and resources are rapidly concentrated in sessions for the process and medical review evaluations. Recommendations to avoid future mishap occurrences quickly follow. We immediately move and put the appropriate processes in place and the education occurs. We act to avoid any future repeat mistakes or breakdowns. We do this through a very disciplined process for problem-solving. We apply the RCA process every time a medical error occurs; however, isn’t an employee failing or requiring “A Written Warning” also an indication of a failure or error in our leadership? Isn’t this a loss to the organization? We spent time and money recruiting, orienting and educating this employee, yet they failed to thrive. What is our RCA equivalent for employee turnover? Do we not have the ideal interview process in place? Were we lacking in the orientation and mentoring process? Did we even spend enough time educating on process and consequences for a new entry to survive? Here is where we can truly expand the idea of innovation in healthcare.