Barbara Simmons, CEO of Plantation General Hospital in Florida, is trying to make her hospital more customer-friendly and a better place for workers.
Culture change Barbara Simmons, CEO of Plantation General Hospital in Florida, is trying to make her hospital more customer-friendly and a better place for workers.
is knee-deep in this journey.
Two years ago, Simmons, chief executive officer of Plantation General Hospital, decided it was time for change.
After four years at the top, she wanted the hospital to give even better customer service to patients and their families and to the physicians that partner with the hospital.
wanted the hospital to be viewed as a place of healing, where departments work together and employees offer solutions.
"I knew it had to start and end with me," Simmons
Over the years, the 265-bed hospital just west of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had tried all kinds of "flavour of the month" motivation programs that never really took hold.
To make it stick, she
wouldn't limit the initiatives to managers; she
would get companywide buy-in and show that she
personally was committed.
"The bottom line for us is that our community is changing.
A large percentage of our patients are uninsured and rely on us to take care of them."
called together her
top leaders to create a new mission statement and core values.
In March, those leaders began training 800 hospital employees on what behaviour they were expected to demonstrate.
Evaluations were created around those stepped-up performance requirements.
put herself out there as a catalyst for change, huddling with nursing managers every morning to hear their feedback from patients' families.
encourages managers to bring nurses who give extraordinary service into the huddle for recognition.
Of course, hospital-wide, selling mangers on change hasn't been easy.
has pushed up against the "been there, done that" attitude of complacent middle managers.
"We had done a good job of director and staff training, but we realized we had not done a good job with middle management, who are the unspoken leaders."
discovered that each manager had different standards on issues such as tardiness or dress code.
now is launching a new middle-manager training program to ensure consistency and accountability.
recognizes it takes three to five years for organizational cultural changes to take hold.
finds early results promising: Employee satisfaction is up, turnover has dropped, and surveys suggest the community has taken notice of improved patient service and happy employees.