What Separates us in Healthcare Organizations
I began asking myself this question recently: Within a healthcare organization, what KEY things separate us as people functioning in their specific roles, and responsibilities?
Scanning a typical healthcare organization, there are many different specialty areas that play an important role in the care of a single patient. Health care professionals have obtained in some cases many years of education to become a professional in a particular area of expertise.
The numerous specialties that have been established in healthcare are due to the complexities of the human body, and possible diseases, disabilities, trauma, social determinants that could affect a person’s mental or physical well being or life.
The Patient is the Common Denominator
The patient, has always been the common denominator in the equation of care among all the professional occupations. This abundance of specialization has become one of the challenges and possible reasons that healthcare to the consumer seems to be fragmented and so complex to navigate.
If this is observed from a patients perspective, then is this the same from people working intrinsic to the healthcare environment?
In observation as a health care professional, it appears to be minimal interactions, on a deeper personal or relational level between professionals. A simple example could be the laboratory staff processes the lab test with little if any interaction with the nursing staff that ordered if for the doctor. Large tertiary care centers have thousands of employees and it would be extremely difficult to know all the staff, but having a personal relationship among staff that work together seem to benefit the colleagues and ultimately the patient.
Relationships Build Teamwork
Relationships build teamwork and we know that dreamwork happens when there is teamwork. Building teams is depended on high levels of communication and getting to know the members of the teams on a deeper level. It is about valuing what each member and what they can bring to the team. Team building should be a proactive leadership methodology.
Colleagues are required to come together when there are problems, and if this is the only time they work as a team this does not lend itself to building camaraderie, but could possibly build measures of dissension.
Root Cause Analysis
A ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS is a valuable exercise that is used in healthcare setting to bring people together to take a deep dive into a problem to try and determine how to prevent it from happening again. Sometimes professionals can come away from the exercise with the feeling that this concern could of been preventive, but the organization did not operate in a proactive environment.
Root cause analysis is a REACTIVE ANALYSIS AND NOT PROACTIVE ANALYSIS.
So the next question is how do we create an environment of excellence in being proactive in identifying risk and problems? This take me back to what separates professional and departments in an healthcare setting?
To build a people approach to functioning proactively there must be an intentional focus on building relationships between different professionals and departments. There has to be a culture of valuing the roles that are held by all professionals. There must be an intentional commitment to never settling for average and seek for continuous improvement and a culture of excellence.
No Wall is Insurmountable
When all is said and done there are not insurmountable walls that separate healthcare professionals. Healthcare leadership should strive to build strong teams of healthcare professionals that exhibits sustainable relationships. Professional and personal satisfaction among colleagues will improve and the most optimal care for patients will be delivered.