Posted June 08, 2017

Celebrating What’s RIGHT in Healthcare


What's Right in Health Care ® is Studer Group's annual conference that shines a spotlight on high-performing healthcare organizations that are making major clinical and operational improvements and sustaining these results over time. Since its launch in 2003, What's Right in Health Care has evolved into one of healthcare's largest peer-to-peer learning venues. Each year, the conference brings together more than 1,000 clinicians and healthcare leaders from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and the Philippines.

As we prepare to celebrate the 15th annual What’s Right in Health Care conference this year (August 1-3), it is a chance to recall some of the key lessons learned at last year’s conference. In 2017, we’ll see these themes further explored in the curriculum along with the newest and most innovative thinking on other emerging trends in healthcare.

Engagement Ideas and Insights
One of the differentiators of the What’s Right in Health Care conference is that most of the breakout sessions are presented by working healthcare professionals. Attendees get first-hand accounts of tactic-driven successes that can be replicated to improve results in any organization. Some of the featured presenters and curriculum at last year’s conference include:

  • Lafayette General Health System, Lafayette, Louisiana, is maintaining engagement ratings at or near 90 percent and posting major gains in indicators of patient satisfaction, quality and growth. David Callecod, president and CEO, and Marisa Alack, vice president, described how the design and implementation of key performance evaluation and validation tools was turned over to staff "and that's when the magic started to happen".
  • Columbus Community Hospital (CCH), Columbus, Nebraska, is one of just 117 U.S. hospitals that have achieved top-performer distinction from The Joint Commission for five consecutive years. A team of CCH leaders explained how they have implemented a full spectrum of evidence-based tactics. They see their people as "their greatest asset", and suggest that "if you take care of your people, they will take care of your patients".
  • Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Barrie, Ontario, has been the site of a workplace transformation since 2007. The organization has moved from low employee satisfaction, morale, and trust, to a "culture of engagement", where employees and physicians want to do their best work, are informed and accountable, and live the organization's mission, vision and values.

At the 2017 What's Right in Health Care conference, breakout sessions and keynotes will again highlight best practices for engaging stakeholders at every level. Craig Deao, Studer Group’s foremost engagement expert, will discuss the research he has done on the subject, while representatives from Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation will outline their best practices for improving staff engagement with rounding.

Building High Reliability Organizations (HROs)
Another hot topic at What’s Right in Health Care 2016 was the issue of building high reliability organizations (HROs). This challenge was articulated by Dr. Mark Chassin, president and CEO of The Joint Commission, the predominant healthcare accrediting body in the U.S., with performance standards and certifications that are recognized worldwide. Dr. Chassin's message was clear: despite nearly two decades of intense improvement efforts, healthcare continues to be plagued by serious quality and safety problems. Too many patients suffer from preventable infections, falls with injury, medication errors and other adverse events. "We have made progress," he acknowledged, "but we haven't made enough progress. We still see routine safety procedures failing routinely".

This year at What’s Right in Health Care, the topic of high reliability promises to be front and center including a breakout presentation by Madigan Army Medical Center.

Challenges and Opportunities for Physicians
Also at the 2016 event, Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and a Studer Group speaker, discussed rapid technological change from a physician’s perspective, noting that there have been breakthroughs, and the potential benefits are substantial, “but we aren’t there yet.”

Managing technology is just one of many factors - along with heavy patient loads, long hours, feelings of isolation and high expectations - that are contributing to physician burnout, the subject of a talk by Dr. Jeff Morris, Studer Group physician coach and speaker. Symptoms range from exhaustion and apathy, to depression and even suicide - roughly 400 physicians in the U.S. commit suicide each year. And burnout matters not just to individual doctors; it is associated with increased medical errors and malpractice suits, and decreased compliance and patient satisfaction.

In Chicago this August, presenters from MultiCare Health System will highlight their field-tested strategies for enhancing physician communication, and representatives from UNC Chapel Hill will share tactics for improving care access.

Connecting to the “Why” of Healthcare
A consistent message heard throughout What's Right in Health Care 2016 was that the best tools and tactics are only effective and sustainable when they are supported by the culture. This begins with engagement, motivated by both the metrics of performance and the passion for patient care.

Rich Bluni, RN, bestselling author and national healthcare speaker, acknowledged the critical importance of proven, reliable methods, but then purposefully shifted his focus to the spiritual and philosophical dimensions of healthcare. He drew from his background as a nurse and told compelling, personal and heartfelt stories about patient encounters loaded with disappointment, anger and worry, as well as relief, joy and inspiration. The nods, smiles, and tears from a captivated audience suggested that there was resonance, and many could relate to these very real and human stories.

The 2017 event also promises to help you reconnect to the passion that brought you into healthcare with an array of inspirational speakers and topics. These presentations include:

  • “The E-Factor: How Engaged Patients, Clinicians, Leaders, and Employees Will Transform Healthcare” by Craig Deao, MHA
  • “The Heart of Engagement” by Rich Bluni, RN
  • “Eyes Wide Open: Choose How You Live and Lead in Every Moment” by Isaac Lidsky

Bringing Diverse Ideas Together to Drive Improvement
"Connecting the dots" seemed to happen naturally at What's Right in Health Care 2016. Craig Deao, Studer Group senior leader, author and speaker, used his keynote session to pull together core ideas and introduce some of the most recent thinking on how Studer Group can best support its international network of partner organizations. He focused on engagement, starting with healthcare's extraordinary pool of human capital. He believes "we have some of the most talented, passionate people of any industry" and that leveraging this talent through key engagement strategies will be critical to success. Engagement is the new "core competency in healthcare", and the next round of resources from Studer Group will support engagement skills and competencies across all stakeholder groups.

As we look ahead to this year’s event, we are excited to discover the themes that will emerge at the 2017 What’s Right in Health Care conference.

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