In case you missed it, a new report was just released that has Medicare’s new chief, Donald Berwick, under heavy scrutiny. We don’t yet know how it will impact the current CMS rating system, regulations and reimbursement, but it undoubtedly will.
The report stated that “one in seven hospitalized Medicare patients is harmed during their stay. About 1.5% of those patients, about 15,000 people a month, suffer a complication that contributed to their death…” The report goes on to suggest that on average over 40% of adverse events are preventable based on a one month study of 134,000 Medicare patients during October 2008.
This is serious folks… and expensive! Not only in terms of hard costs, but loss in patient and family confidence, scrunity from outside agencies, and a typical managerial reaction that pushes down hard on the levels below creating stress and fear in the work environment.
There are several things you can do if you aren’t already:
- Make safety a top priority. Make it part of compensation packages, annual reviews and bonuses. If it’s not on your scorecard, add it.
- Create policies and procedures that work. Ask for input at the front line level ensuring buy-in and a feeling of appreciation for your staff.
- Improve communication between all levels. As a leader, if the people aren’t following you, it’s your fault, not theirs.
- Reassign, or remove, employees within the organization that do not follow processes and procedures that demand safe practices. Sometimes you have to force turnover.
- Hire people that will consistently follow the rules and do the right things.
- Make sure you have the right person in the right job.
- Develop managers who can effectivley interact and communicate with employees.
We know that when you hire the right people, they do the right things – like complying to rules. We also know that employees don’t quit managers, they quit companies. When you get these two things right, many company objectives fall easily into place.
Running an optimal organization takes more than hiring the right people, it takes people who know how to communicate and motivate them to do their best day in and day out. When workers feel treated with respect, fairness and understanding, they tend to stick longer with the organization and perform at higher levels. You can do the math on that one.
What are you doing to ensure you are hiring the right people? If you are still relying solely on interviews, background checks and experience you are already way behind the curve. If you haven’t consider adding a behavior assessment, like Predictive Index®, you should. Not only will it make your hiring faster and easier, it provides a tool that your administrators, directors of nursing and other key staff can use to help them be better managers.
I encourage you to take proactive steps now before more regulations are forced on you by our well-meaning bureaucrats.