Archive for May, 2009

Announcing a New Study on Behaviors that Impact Safety

May 28, 2009

The research is clear – teamwork, communication and a collaborative work environment each directly impact patient safety, patient satisfaction, employee and physician turnover, and even healthcare costs. The expectations upon healthcare organizations to address these issues are also clear. With the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert last summer, leaders must create and implement a process for managing disruptive and inappropriate behaviors.

What is less clear is how well-trained healthcare professionals are in addressing and managing the types of unprofessional behaviors that undermine these same outcomes. In partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Studer Group is launching what we hope will be the largest ever study of disruptive behaviors in healthcare. Our goal is to identify the types and frequency of these behaviors and the tools and skills you have to deal with them. Whether you deliver direct patient care, provide support services or serve in an administrative capacity, I invite you and your colleagues to take part in this study.

This study was first announced in our monthly newsletter and remains open through Friday, June 12th. Click here to complete the survey. The 20 minutes of your time to complete the survey will provide insight into the training and resources needed in healthcare organizations to address disruptive behaviors that affect the well-being of staff and the outcomes of the patients we care for. We commit to sharing the results of the study broadly and free of charge this summer.

Every day, each of you makes a difference in the lives of the patients and families you care for. Thank you in advance for taking the time today to make a difference in your work environment by spending a few minutes to tell us about your experiences.

Yours in Service,

Craig Deao
R&D Leader
Studer Group

Studer Group and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Disruptive Behaviors Study

May 14, 2009

Have you personally experienced disruptive or intimidating behaviors in your organization? Or have you been in a position where you were aware of others” unprofessional behavior and found it challenging to manage? If the answer to either is yes, were you knowledgeable of your organization”s policies and practices in place to address these behaviors, and did you have the skills for managing the situation?

Effective January 1, 2009, the Joint Commission has a new leadership standard of “zero tolerance” for intimidating and /or disruptive behaviors in accredited organizations. We want to hear about your experiences with disruptive behaviors in your work environment and how well you feel supported to address and manage those behaviors.

In partnership with Vanderbilt University, the Studer Group is launching what we believe will be the largest ever study of disruptive behaviors and managing them in healthcare. Our goal is to identify the types and frequency of disruptive behaviors in healthcare and the tools and skills you have to deal with disruptive behaviors. If you work in health care, whether you deliver direct patient care or provide support services, I invite you and your colleagues to take part in this study.

Click here to complete the survey by Friday, June 5th. The 20 – 30 minutes of your time to complete the survey will provide insight into the training and resources needed in health care organizations to address disruptive behaviors that affect the well being of staff and the outcomes of the patients we care for. We commit to sharing the results of the study broadly and free of charge this summer.

Every day, each of you makes a difference in the lives of the patients and families you care for. Take the time today to make a difference in your work environment by spending a few minutes to tell us about your experiences.

Yours in Service,

Quint Studer

Happy Nurses Day from Studer Group

May 6, 2009

Today, all across the country we kickoff a weeklong celebration of the nearly 3 million nurses who provide compassion and quality care to the rest of us. At Studer Group we are fortunate to employ, work with and serve thousands of nurses and nurse leaders. While nothing we can write in a blog will be sufficient to thank you for your tireless service, I thought you might appreciate hearing from one of your own. Recently we received the following tips from one of the most effective nurse leaders we have met along our journey. She has maintained patient satisfaction at 99% for more then 4 years, employee satisfaction above 90% for 3 years and single digit turnover as long as we have known her. We asked her to share some tips for nurses. I hope you enjoy these. They will also be part of a book later this year. On behalf of all of us at Studer Group, Happy National Nurses Day!

– Quint Studer


Going into the trenches without tools, guidance, and support sets anyone up for failure!!!”

– Sherry Thompson, RN, BS, CCRN

Just some thoughts and what I have learned from my early years as a new manager:

  • First and foremost, don’t ever think you have seen it all . . . because you haven’t and you never will.
  • You need to keep a presence on your unit, not stay locked away in your office (it is acceptable to close your door and cry occasionally).
  • Get out into the trenches on a regular basis, all shifts, even weekends. I don’t mean for you to do their work for them by taking full assignments; what I mean is actually experience some of their functions. I will answer call lights, empty bedpans, start IV’s, give a bath, answer phones if ringing too long, help physicians, help in a code, etc. My presence when they are “sinking” helps calm the storm, even if I don’t do that much. It is the fact that I am present that sends them a message that I acknowledge their skills and respect what they do.
  • Rounding on your staff means knowing your staff and making yourself aware of their life outside the hospital. No, you cannot solve their issues, but empathy goes a long way in helping them focus when they are at work. Learn about their families, their pets, their hobbies, about the current crisis in their life and remember to ask occasionally about what is important to them. I have over 80 employees and know at least one thing about each of them, so it is not impossible! They have touched me and I have grown.
  • Accountability is the keystone to team morale. Early on in my career as a manager, I tried to be everyone’s friend. Does not work!!! Start with communicating the expectations, use tough love and if that fails, do what you have to do for the whole team. You can save some people and some you can never fix!!! As you round and see positive behaviors, tell that person right then and there how much you appreciate them. If you see negative behavior, tell that person right then and there what is not right.
  • Joy and laughter are so very important!!! In the beginning, I was so serious and wanted everything to be so perfect. Patient care is stressful enough and if we cannot have joy and laughter in what we do, we will burn out long before we should. Case in point: Upon waking this morning, I made my usual phone call to the night supervisor to see what census was for my two departments. He told me, “Intermediate got killed last night; they got seven admissions in a four hour span. They weren’t too happy but it did finally settle down.” I hang up and my first thought was maybe I will go back to bed for awhile and go into work after night shift has left. NOT!! This is what I actually did…The moment I arrived on the floor, I walked up to the group of night shift staff and said. “Has anyone told you lately what an awesome team you are? I heard you had a “s_ _ t storm” last night and I also heard you did a great job!” They actually started laughing, not complaining. Negative turned to positive by laughter!!
  • I believe that rounding on my staff is the most important and effective tool I have in my manager bag of tricks!!! Happy staff equals happier patients!
  • Rounding on my staff with purpose, with putting their needs first, is the one sure way to gain and retain their respect and commitment!

One year I received a wonderful book as a Christmas present from one of my staff RN’s. The author is John C. Maxwell and the title is “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow.” The chapter on commitment really helped me understand how to stay better connected to purpose in my position as a nurse manager. The author stated that commitment starts in the heart and he quoted NBA legend Michael Jordan as saying that “heart is what separates the good from the great.” Mr. Maxwell teaches that if “you want to make a difference in other people’s lives as a leader, look into your heart to see if you’re really committed.”

So as we celebrate Nurses Week 2009, I encourage you to take the time to look at your commitment as a leader. Is it at a level that is keeping you connected to your staff?

For further resources and information on how to celebrate Nurses Week, I invite you to log onto the Studer Group website: www.studergroup.com/nursesweek

Celebrate our gift of nursing!

Sherry Thompson, RN, BS, CCRN
Director Intermediate/Critical Care Units
Pekin Hospital (Pekin, Illinois)

The above tips are excerpted from a new nurse leadership book which will be released in August 2009. The book was written to provide basic leadership fundamentals to help nurse leaders be successful. Be on the lookout of this great new resource for nurses at www.studergroup.com.