It has been an unusual time: hospitals and health systems striving for optimal performance against a consistently unpredictable foe.  The predictions provided opportunity for preparations beyond the non-existent result; nevertheless, our ability to restructure and refocus our organizations produced confidence beyond the prior daily cadence. 

In actuality, we built so much more than just confidence.  We formed relationships internally with those we only knew from passing them on the hospital floors.  We created closer partnerships with vendors who responded in meeting our immediate demands for masks and gowns.  We put together processes to provide scrubs and screening and formed communications to aid all our caregivers in seeing themselves as a team who could handle anything and more.  In fact, not only are we prepared for the next unknown, but we have also rediscovered the profound flexibility to respond to any crisis.  In addition, we provide the most extreme environment of safety for our communities.  This is true inside every door of our hospital and within every space of our clinic.  It is what our communities deserve. 

We are a community asset.  Hospitals and health systems exist for no other reason but to serve their communities.  The tremendous support of our communities during the COVID crisis reminds us of and reinforces this sacred responsibility.  From encouraging signs and cheering neighbors to more meal deliveries than are possible to count, our communities have been the cornerstone beyond measure.  We can be proud and humbled.  To be called a “Healthcare Hero” leaves an imprint that makes you want to live up to this title each and every day.  The stress existed, but the warmth we can carry with us throughout our careers should never abate and always call us to be at our best with or without a pandemic looming.

What is next?  We welcome the patients back—safely and with regard to any outstanding fears.  The safest place from the COVID virus is within a hospital.  Patients can return for their care with confidence.

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Author: Rodney ReiderFor more than 25 years, I have been intimately involved in the healthcare industry and have positioned organizations to adapt to the continuously and rapidly changing healthcare environment. I have worked with boards, physicians, employees and the community to strengthen core services to customers, optimize performance and identify best practices and strategic alliances for new business development.