This title is controversial and edgy, and it borders on being offensive. And guess what? That is exactly what we as an industry need in order to bring about change. A big collective slap in the face! –Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett, authors “Patients Come Second”.
Have you read “Patients Come Second“? I found it to be a super book that makes an absolutely crucial case for supporting the workforce in order to make sure that patients really do get high quality care. And shaking up the system for this purpose is fine by me!Support for the idea that if you take care of staff, you will be taking care of patients! Click To Tweet
This book is easy, even fun to read and full of real world stories and examples that support the idea that if you take care of staff, you will be taking care of patients! I especially appreciated their emphasis on the value of relationships and exceptional teams. Just think about how important both are to therapeutic, inter-professional relationships, and the culture at large. My favorite example is their application of the concept to our very stubborn and mysterious problem with hand hygiene noting that the hospitals with the best success in staff compliance with handwashing are “…the ones that don’t try to enforce a rule or come up with some kind of gimmick like giving out bonuses or putting up posters”. Instead they suggest that leaders who make a point to connect positive behavior with the values of staff and goal of safe quality care are the most successful. (I’d add that they should also make sure that adequate resources are available e.g. staff, time, soap, etc.)
The book was recommended to me by Lan Nguyen, CEO of ManageUP PRM during the course of our conversation about the importance of engaging employees in order to provide high quality and safe healthcare. (I’m a clinical consultant for ManageUp and find it so refreshing to have conversations like this. Later in January we’ll be seeking some nurse leader feedback about employee engagement so stay tuned for that!)
They don’t really talk about complexity leadership, but in my opinion that is exactly what this is, i.e. supporting the workforce so that safe, quality care is what emerges! If you are a staff nurse the book will likely affirm or maybe clearly articulate what you already know in your gut. If you are in a leadership position and trying to improve patient experience or addressing any organizational challenge, “Patients Come Second” will give you some great resources, ideas, and encouragement to lead in this way. And by the way, medical improv is an excellent way to build the emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills necessary for positive relationships and teamwork! 🙂