What Does it Mean to Really Engage Employees, Physicians and Patients?

What's Right in Health Care® is Studer Group's annual conference on leading practices. The spotlight is on high-performing healthcare organizations that are making major clinical and operational improvements, and sustaining these results over time.

We begin our 7-part Insight series with an overview of the 2016 event and an introduction to this year's conference theme - engagement of employees, physicians and patients. In Part 2, we'll review practical engagement ideas from healthcare leaders across the United States and internationally who were on-hand to share their experiences.

Since its launch in 2003, What's Right in Health Care has evolved into one of healthcare's largest peer-to-peer learning venues. The 2016 conference was attended by more than 1,200 clinicians and healthcare leaders from the United States, Canada, Australia and the Philippines. The agenda included keynote talks by some of the most sought-after speakers in the industry, 35 breakout sessions featuring case studies and current trends, learning sessions led by top leadership coaches, and the popular 10 Minutes that Count, a high-intensity line up of insights from proven performers.

What's Right in Health Care 2016 was a celebration of success, with all of the energy and excitement that typically marks Studer Group events. The organizations represented included accomplished award-winners and top-ranking institutions on industry surveys such as HCAHPS and CG CAHPS. Five veteran healthcare leaders were inducted into the Studer Group Hall of Fame, and a new award, the Quint Studer Difference Maker, was introduced. It was an extraordinary assembly of healthcare experience, and an opportunity to recognize what has been accomplished so far.

The 2016 conference was also a serious appraisal of challenges that lie ahead. There was a strong message from presenters and a keen awareness among participants that healthcare is passing through a period of unprecedented change. Meanwhile, the demands for care continue to grow in both volume and complexity. Safety and quality issues persist, and the resources available to manage all of this are constrained, if not diminishing. The executives, managers, nurses and physicians in attendance know that they must continue to find ways to take their teams and organizations to the next level of performance during a time of transformation and uncertainty.

Debbie Ritchie, president, Studer Group, welcomed participants and introduced this year's conference theme: engagement. She linked the theme to Studer Group's mission - to make healthcare a better place for employees to work, physicians to practice medicine, and patients to receive care - by inviting the crowd to consider how all of us in healthcare are engaging these three stakeholder groups.

Conference host Dan Collard, managing director, Huron, talked about how key words and topics have evolved since the first What's Right in Health Care conference 14 years ago. Initially the focus was on the tools and tactics of the Evidence-Based Leadership SM framework. Alignment and accountability then took center stage, followed by a shift in emphasis to patient satisfaction and patient experience. Leaders are now focusing on engagement as something that is integral to all of the above and critical to the next stages of performance improvement. Conference attendees were asked to think about what it means to really engage, and to do so simultaneously with the "mind" (metrics, strategy, tools and tactics) and the "heart" (connection to mission, vision, values and the core purpose of healthcare).

Award-winning health leaders were recognized at What's Right in Health Care. 2016 Studer Group Hall of Fame inductees were:

  • Brian Dieter, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Mary Greeley Medical Center (Ames, Iowa)
  • Pauline Grant, MBA, chief executive officer, Broward Health System (Pompano, Florida)
  • Kevin A. Roberts, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, Glendale Adventist Medical Center (Los Angeles, California)
  • William "Bill" Sexton, chief executive officer, Crossing Rivers Health (Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin)
  • Eric Hanna, president and chief executive officer, Arnprior Regional Health (Ontario, Canada)

The first winner of the new Quint Studer Difference Maker Award was Glenn Pascual, DHSc, MBA, eMHL MSN, OCN, CPXP, BSN, RN, director of operations and director of hospital service, Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center (Woodland Hills, CA)

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