Patients Come Second: Why Not?

May 9, 2013
195 Views

patients come secondLast week I finished reading a book about leadership and employee engagement, Patients Come Second.  It was written by a health system CEO and the chief cult

patients come secondLast week I finished reading a book about leadership and employee engagement, Patients Come Second.  It was written by a health system CEO and the chief culture officer of a healthcare service company.  The combination of both their perspectives really does highlight how anyone working in healthcare is the patient experience.

Right off the bat, the authors defend the title “Patients Come Second”.  Why? Because lately we hear so much about how patients come first.  I’d have to agree that patients can only come first after healthcare leaders have truly engaged their employees.  Thus, I guess, patients really do come second.

Some of the other highlights for me were those points that hit home and/or new ways to approach the challenges faced day to day.  Read the book and share what stands out for you as a comment.

  • Finally… explaining why following a direction matters, as does, empowering subordinates themselves.  I always believed my role was to instill a drive for high levels of performance… that would sustain even after I was gone.
  • For my fellow shy quiet types, we really do need to step into our “people person” role – engaging and having a little fun.
  • Real leaders step up and show they are there for the people – even if it means leaders driving employees to work or covering phones during an ice storm… or perhaps covering the ER front desk and phones while the staff focus on the patients in the back.
  • No whiners, losers or jerks… cut out the cancerous people before the suck the life out of the organization and its people
  • Develop the moral courage as a leader to break free from the grasp of the crabs who will always be ready to pull you and your coworkers down
  • A mission and vision are more that a plaque! We must know the same division CFO
  • People who only focus on cutting costs to boost their financials are… lazy! I agree it takes a holistic approach to maintain the health of a bottom line. 
  • Don’t take your eye off the real ball.. the people who provide and support the care processes

The book also addresses the benefits of rounding, which has always seemed, to me, like a foundational core competency for leaders.  However, I once had a department manager stop me during my rounds after being at a hospital for at least a year.  She had always engaged with me when I came by with questions or just to say “hello” and ask how things were going.  But finally, she asked me why I did it and explained that she had never seen a hospital executive do that before in the organization.  As she stated, “We always go up to their office.”  This was one of the best compliments I have ever received!

(image: Patients / shutterstock)

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