Leadership
Clip
“The Needs of the Patient Come First” (03:49)

“The needs of the patient come first” is a Mayo Clinic refrain, according to Eddie Greene, Director of Diversity in Education. Is there an opportunity to grow that patient-centered approach to leadership at other organizations? University of Utah Health Care CEO Vivian Lee and MetroHealth System CEO Akram Boutros weigh in.

“We can’t be a great medical center if our patients don’t think we’re great.” In response to these words from Lee’s predecessor, University of Utah began its patient satisfaction surveys in 2008. “What was really important was the questions that we asked our patients, which were about respect, about communication, about engagement in the decision-making process,” says Lee. She notes that initially, patient feedback was provided to physicians privately so that they could distill and determine how to respond to it themselves. “I really believe that set us on the journey to being a patient-centered organization,” Lee explains. “Because the questions that we asked were questions that our physicians helped us choose, and they weren’t about the food, they weren’t about things that the physicians couldn’t control. They were really about that relationship.”

“Physicians got onto this positive reinforcement situation where it just felt good to read good things about you from your patients, [and] the whole mindset of the organization just became so much more patient centered,” she adds.  “And I think that’s the first step to this transformation.”

“Physicians have an undue burden they place upon themselves, which is that they feel like they are the captain of the ship, they’re in charge of everything. We teach medical students: don’t trust anything unless you did it yourself,” says Boutros.

To lessen this burden at MetroHealth, they decided “to create the camaraderie that we talked about.” This started with the implementation of TeamSTEPPS, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in a couple areas of the organization. The pilot worked well, according to Boutros, in providing psychological safety. “Within 11 months, we decided to become a training site,” he says. “And now, 3,600 or 3,700 of our 7,000 employees are trained in TeamSTEPPS. It’s organization wide, everyone supports each other knowing that the patient is at the center, and if I watch you fail, that’s as much my fault as it is yours.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Leadership: Translating Challenge to Success at Mayo Clinic, June 2, 2016.

More From Leadership
Sands01_pullquote clinical research partnership for learning health care

Real-World Advice for Generating Real-World Evidence

If envisioned and implemented properly, a partnership between clinical delivery systems and clinical research programs can get us closer to the goal of achieving learning within the care continuum and discovering evidence that is available when it is needed.

The Largest Share of Organizations Do Not Have a Formal Strategy for Clinician Engagement

Leadership Survey: Why Clinicians Are Not Engaged, and What Leaders Must Do About It

Clinician engagement is vital for improving clinical quality and patient satisfaction, as well as the job satisfaction of clinicians themselves. Yet nearly half of health care organizations are not very effective or not at all effective at clinician engagement.

Rowe01_pullquote - clinician well-being - fighting clinician burnout and creating culture of wellness takes all stakeholders

Defending the Term “Burnout”: A Useful Tool in the Quest to Ease Clinician Suffering

Health care leaders must take a preemptive approach to clinician well-being that is supported by all stakeholders and prioritized on an equal footing with essential clinical and financial measures.

Screenshot from the NewYork Quality Care Chronic Condition Dashboard

Success in a Hospital-Integrated Accountable Care Organization

How NewYork Quality Care achieved shared savings — by strengthening collaboration, enhancing care management with telehealth, and transparently sharing performance data.

Miller03_pullquote social determinants whole-person

How a State Advances Whole-Person Health Care

Pennsylvania addresses social determinants of health by bringing together managed care and social services organizations to expand access to vital resources.

Abigail Geisinger Scholars Program for Medical Students -Ryu02_pullquote

Why a Teaching Hospital Offers an Employment-Based Tuition Waiver Program

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine subsidizes medical students’ education in exchange for their willingness to practice at Geisinger Health System.

Michael Dowling and Charles Kenney headshots

Rebooting Health Care: An Optimistic Outlook

The U.S. health care system may seem broken, but it’s on its way to greatness, according to the authors of Health Care Reboot. They discuss their optimism for U.S. health care reform, particularly on the social determinants of health, payment, consumerism, and technology.

Action Steps for Risk-Share Contracts for Medical Devices

Challenges and Best Practices for Health Systems to Consider When Implementing Risk-Share Contracts for Medical Devices

When done right, value-based contracting for medical devices can ameliorate shrinking margins at health systems, leading to a virtuous circle.

Health Care Organizational Culture Emphasizes Patient Care Only Slightly More Than the Bottom Line

Survey Snapshot: Who Should Lead Culture Change?

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members feel that culture change at their organizations is heading in the right direction, but differ on who it should come from, and reveal too much balance between emphasis on bottom line and emphasis on patient care.

Culture Change Within Health Care Organizations Is Changing for the Better

Leadership Survey: Organizational Culture Is the Key to Better Health Care

Although three-quarters of Insights Council survey respondents say culture change is a high or moderate priority at their organizations, survey results show a lot of work on organizational culture remains to be done.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Leading Transformation

280 Articles

Ripe for Disruption: Why and How…

For big tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google, the health care sector looks ripe…

Physician Burnout

52 Articles

Survey Snapshot: How Do You Know…

The NEJM Catalyst Insights Council discusses strategies for clinical engagement.

The Next Frontier in Reducing Costs…

To create meaningful point-of-care guidance so that patients can make informed medical and financial decisions,…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now