‘Hospital Impact’ CEO Blogpost Reveals Interesting Gap in Leadership Awareness & Hopefully Inspires Conversations Among Senior Leaders, Consumers, & Frontline Staff

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Ideally, all healthcare leaders should understand how complicated the work nurses and other healthcare professionals do!  After all, they make critically important decisions about budgets and staffing that impact our ability to provide safe, quality care.

That’s why Lynn McVey, President and CEO of Meadowland Hospital Medical Center and Blogger for Hospital Impact’s post on 2/16/2014 seems so important.  In her story, “CEO gets patients’ view of complicated healthcare system”, she shares her experience with her 92 y.o. father during his recent hospitalization.  Hospitalizations, I should say, because “he entered three hospitals via three ambulances in three days for life-saving interventions.”  She stayed with him much of the time and got a birds-eye view or perhaps a reality check of what’s involved in providing care for someone who may need close monitoring and can’t advocate effectively for themselves.  She shared that even as CEO of the hospital she intercepted an incorrect lab test on her father’s behalf!

She is anticipated her father will be going home and has emerged from the experience with a new vision of nurse staffing that I think frontline care givers will find hopeful and validating.

lynnHer vision as stated in the post, “is for a 1-1 nurse/advocate to inpatient ratio. One nurse who has a contact list similar to mine. One nurse who will navigate care coordination. One nurse to take blood, obtain vitals, give medications, order food, recite patient allergies, repeat patient history to anyone who asks. One nurse to transport the patient to radiology and back again. One nurse who, by this close association, can advocate and protect the patient from errors.”

Now this may not be realistic from a budgetary standpoint, yet her ideas offer powerful input into the direction we need to head if we really REALLY want to provide safe, quality care!  And further, her senior position may help to raise awareness about this important perspective among her peers who are in powerful change agent positions!

BB closer Headshot 1-13 CherationsLet’s take Lynn’s insider perspective and promote some authentic conversations among stakeholders!  What do nurses need to provide safe quality care?  How can we help consumers and other healthcare leaders realize the importance of safe staffing without having to be hospitalized?  What can we do to convey the true costs of safe, quality care?  How can we all help keep costs down?  How can leaders provide resources to ensure quality care is safe and accessible to all.  I know the answers are not simple, yet am very excited about the potential for having open, honest conversations with our healthcare leaders and consumers!


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9 Responses to ‘Hospital Impact’ CEO Blogpost Reveals Interesting Gap in Leadership Awareness & Hopefully Inspires Conversations Among Senior Leaders, Consumers, & Frontline Staff

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  5. Lynn McVey says:

    Holy Moley! This is so cool! Thanks so MUCH, Beth for spreading the word. I’m like the comedian Lewis Black and mad at everyone attached to this healthcare mess, so I’m so happy to read your uplifting blog. Thank you again.
    Olga reminded me of what I used to do anytime I was starting a new position. I would play “secret patient” before they knew who I was. I had a mammogram at one hospital and was very pleased with the service. At another, I called to see how easy it was to make an appointment. Their CEO thought they were open 7am-7pm-7 days/week. Unfortunately, they were only open for appointments from 9am-3pm 5 days/week. A hospital holds so many, many secrets. Ugh!
    I will share this with my Dad tonight who is being discharged from cardiac rehab tomorrow; another great team of nurses took care of him.
    There are SO many things we can do to repair this system. The biggest obstacle is what someone said to me last week, “The power behind resisting change is enormous.” I dream of standardizing our 5000 hospitals and find 30% of efficiencies, rather than watch 30% of our hospitals close. Sigh.

    • Hi Lynn,
      You are so welcome and thank you. I’m glad to hear your father is recovering and hope he likes the piece. He must be very proud of your work.

      I think your experience and our dialogue opens the door some exciting and rich conversations! I’m thinking of a column of sorts where we could have some open, honest, respectful conversations about staffing, collaboration, patient experience, medical errors and ideas from you. Publish here and maybe in Hospital Impact? We could engage a collaborative physician like Ken Cohn and patient advocate like Martine Ehrenclou? Would you be interested? Launch later in the spring or summer? We could listen, validate, role-model, brainstorm? Your thoughts?

  6. Jim Murphy says:

    Comment by Jim Murphy

    It’s amazing how much more insight we get when things get personal. How unfortunate that it can take personal suffering for us to see things.

    I second Olga’s thoughts on educating CEO’s. Indeed, such experience has actually been provided to doctors in training.

    Certainly CEO’s who keep close to the front lines will be more successful than those who stick their upper-story executive offices. For proof, see, for example, see Jim Collins, Good to Great.

  7. Hi Olga,
    I so agree and appreciate your invitation to hear from front line staff. In my opinion this is a new beginning. It may not lead directly to input b/c many front line people may be unsure of leadership’s real interest, may lack confidence to share concerns, or may not be skilled in bringing them forth openly with a willingness to compromise and collaborate with leaders. Nevertheless, I believe that your genuine interest in seeking input is extremely important. I hope you will keep asking and listening as opportunities arise and as true abilities to co-create grow from leaders and staff.

  8. Olga Rodriguez says:

    Hi Beth,
    Excellent observations and comments by Ms. McVey. There should be a requirement for perspective CEOs to be a “secret patient” in a hospital prior to taking the job. I think it would be an eye opening experience.
    As to what nurses need in order for them to provide safe and quality patient care, I believe there are numerous factors to consider. I would like to hear comments from the front line staff. I would also like to see are the different perspectives from nurses working in a for-profit vs. non-for-profit hospital. Then, we should look at best practice in both camps.

What are your thoughts?