Setting your 2012 work resolutions


Like most Americans, your New Year's resolutions might be to lose weight, exercise more, achieve professional growth or be a better person--goals that Northwestern University discovered topped the most popular resolutions' list, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In addition to personal goals, though, consider setting professional goals for both yourself and your organization. Industry experts and Hospital Impact bloggers wrote about their goals for the New Year and a few tips. Consider making similar resolutions in your work life:

Commit to the patient experience. With Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores and therefore reimbursements tied to patient satisfaction performance, you must integrate the patient experience into your strategy, Jason A. Wolf, executive director of The Beryl Institute, wrote in a blog post. More hospitals and health systems are pledging a better patient experience, with promises of short emergency department wait times or even or administering customer service training for staff.

Understand the "flow" of hospital employees. Nursing and support services--those closest to the patient--are the least engaged of all healthcare employees, Fast Forward Consulting President Anthony Cirillo cited a Press Ganey report in a recent blog post. "Healthcare staff has to be in the flow in order for the right flow to take place for patients," he said. With value-based purchasing on the front of everyone's minds, people must take a step back and remember the mission and reignite the passion and purpose. He continued, "You can't build HCAHPS scoring into performance evaluations and expect a sea change of innovation. ... employees need an extrinsic motivator for flow to take place."

Get on board with social media (in a not-annoying way). Social media sounds simple enough, but it is really a commitment, as Lifespan Senior Media Relations Officer Nancy (Cawley) Jean wrote in a blog post. Engagement takes time, whether it be Facebook status updates, tweets or LinkedIn posts. Schedule time to become truly part of the social world, she said. With that said though, remember to do it appropriately. It's a delicate balance of being engaged and annoying, as Jenn Riggle, associate vice president and social media leader of the Health Practice at CRT/tanaka, pointed out in another blog post. She suggested making social media personal and not being part of the noise.

Go green. As Florida's West Kendall Baptist Hospital learned, going green can pay off. The hospital built the facility from the ground up with the opportunity to be green at the start, according to Vice President of Operations Lourdes Boue. The $200 million-plus, multi-year hospital construction project aimed to save energy, recycle and improve waste management through dual-flush toilets, use of recycled materials, water-efficient native landscaping, and eco-friendly paints, tiles and accessories--things that have paid off in lowered operating costs and tax rebates. "There is nothing healthy about waste, nor is it good business sense," Boue wrote in a blog post. Not only has the initiative earned the hospital LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, but the hospital has yielded results in patient and employee satisfaction, she said.

Have daily check-in meetings for IT implementation. When Florida's Cape Coral Hospital Florida implemented a new information system, Chief Administrative Officer Scott Kashman participated in daily check-in meetings during this "major undertaking," as he called it in a blog post. The process included three types: daily "super user" meeting with representatives from each department to discuss concerns, a daily "safety huddle," and a "leadership work-flow group meeting" to identify breakdowns or gaps and to resolve issues. The group meetings helped to streamline coordination across the organization.

Say "thank you." I've said it before, and I'll say it again. "Thank you" really does matter. Expressing appreciation to employees and peers reinforces what they are doing well and carries over to patient care. Remember that employees are customers too.

Have any resolutions or tips for keeping them? Share them on our LinkedIn group or in comments below. - Karen (@FierceHealth)

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