Management by Checklist

In the world of patient experience, we have a lot of evidence-based best practices that we’re constantly measuring: bedside shift report, hourly nurse rounding, MD-RN team rounds, leader rounding, and more. We spend a lot of time checking off boxes on the checklist to be sure all of those things are being done.

It’s important that we do these things. But how do we get people not only to do these things but do them well?

I’ve seen far too many managers send out communications that outline a process and direct people to action but few that have been all that compelling. That may be management but it’s not leadership.

The thing that moves people to action isn’t always a directive. And even if they do start moving, there’s no guarantee they’ll be moving effectively.

We make lasting change through relationships. People are far more likely to make a change when they understand the reason behind it and trust the person leading the change.

When we spend time with staff, understand what drives them, recognize the challenges they face, and get to know them as people, we begin to earn their trust. I’m far more likely to get behind a leader who knows me than one I’ve never even seen.

The checklists aren’t enough. Help your team connect to the why. When leaders lead with trust, mutual respect and connection, they create teams who not only make the change but do it well, with intention and purpose.

Author: Kate Kalthoff

It's simple: leave people, places, and things better than I found them. For more than 20 years, Katherine Kalthoff has been working to improve the way healthcare organizations connect with the people they serve. She began her career at Gift of Hope, the organ procurement organization for Illinois, approaching families and securing their consent to donate a loved one’s organs for transplant. Through compassionate, empathetic listening, Kate led the Family Services team to one of the highest consent rates in the country. From there, Kate went to Advocate Health Care, Illinois’s largest healthcare system, as a Physician Relations and Business Development Manager, improving physician satisfaction and strengthening the relationships of both the employed and independent physicians with the system as a whole. Just prior to joining Northwest Community Healthcare as the Patient Experience Officer, Kate was the first Manager of Patient Experience at DuPage Medical Group where she built a platform of organization-wide service excellence through her inspiring brand of education, training, and one-on-one coaching. A much sought-after speaker and trainer, Kate has a very simple approach to her work: leave people, places and things better than you found them.

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