Limiting Language for Healthcare Success

I was recently reading an article in Healthcare Finance News and I was struck by the author’s insight into the fixed mindset that I see with many provider organizations. They were looking back to Blockbuster Video and their domination of the home entertainment market. Then along came Netflix. Where is Blockbuster today?

The writer went on to point out how many organizations…let me rephrase that, some leaders will blame money or time for their slow progress in change. They wait for a others or their suppliers to innovate. I hear it in the language that then reinforces their beliefs:

  • “That is the way we have always done it”. Well that is how all video stores before and after Blockbuster did it also.
  • “We’re different,” is perhaps my favorite. So are Apple and Toyota, yet they both leverage their supply chain and manage their vendors throughout the procurement to payment cycle.
  • “I’m too busy to look at that now”. – Too busy is a symptom of not prioritizing the important over the urgent.

    Too Busy

Yet, it does not have to be this way. Leaders can slow down and prioritize their time, communications, and activity. The 1:1 meeting and team meetings are a simple example of how providers can leverage time and energy. These are often the most frequently cancelled meetings.

By scheduling regular meetings, you can connect your teams to the organization and its initiatives. You can connect them to their performance and metrics. And, you can connect them to each other, which can eliminate a lot of the interruptions and firefighting that happens every day. If they know that they are going to hear about the organizational news on the thirds Tuesday, they don’t have to interrupt their supervisor to confirm the gossip they are hearing today.

When we take time to connect with our team members 1:1 on a regular basis, we establish relationship, we demonstrate concern for their performance, AND we can identify roadblocks before they become a crisis. The number one reason for employee disengagement is the relationship with their manager. These meetings can be powerful in building these relationships.

Yes, healthcare is different and yet part of the reason it is different is there is a filter bubble around the industry. It would be helpful for leaders in Health organizations to network with and visit with leaders from manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. There are very definite “best practices” to be shared.

  • Such as, how to greet a patient, (Like you would greet a guest)
  • Perhaps putting your whole supply chain on EDI versus just the 20% that drive 80% of the spend. (That still leaves you processing 80% of the transactions manually)
  • Creating patient flow – diagrams and structures so that the patients journey throughout the organization reflect the organizations values.

If you would like to learn more about how communication can help your teams align, engage and execute please send me an email at

Image via audiencestack on Flickr

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