How Do We Change?

Premier Pulse     February 2020

1134192644By Andre Harris, MD, chief medical officer, Atrium Medical Center 

plural noun: habits

  1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

"we stayed together out of habit"

Many people have stated the way we deliver medicine today will not be the same in the near future.  Remember a time when banking required making a trip to your local bank with a paper check in hand?  Now these transactions can be completed by taking a picture with your smartphone. The need for change is one part of the puzzle. The ability to change requires more effort.

For change to occur, I believe three things should happen. First, a clear and obtainable goal must be set.  Second, communication of the goal must be exhaustive. Lastly, each person must be willing to accept change. The need to shift our organization’s culture may be crystal clear from an executive standpoint, but acceptance and execution may not get past the floor on which the idea was created.

A successful coach will not just have a play in their head but will clearly explain each step to their team on how obtain that goal. Everyone learns at a different pace, which means the coach will need to provide multiple examples to overcommunicate their idea. For example, one player may understand the play by watching others, the second may look at it on paper, and the third player may need to physically run through the play before it becomes second nature.

At the end of the day, no matter how one may learn the play, each team member needs to accept accountability to see the goal through. My last point is likely where most initiatives go to die. Whether you work in environmental services, nutrition, patient access, nursing, or as a physician - everyone must get behind the vision to see real change.

Premier Health’s future success may come as a vision from the C-suite, but the ability for our system to excel and thrive in the future is based on each individual in the system.

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