Thursday, June 07, 2012

In Baltimore with UMMC

I was honored to be asked to present at a seminar in Baltimore yesterday for a group of nurse managers and other folks from the University of Maryland Medical Center on the topic of financial decision-making in health care.  It was organized by Liz Barron and her colleagues at the University's Robert H. Smith School of Business executive program office.  I was paired with Dr. Michael Faulkender for the day's session.

As my readers know, I am generally impressed with the good intentions and thoughtfulness of people who have chosen to help administer hospitals.  They evidence a caring attitude and desire for self-improvement which are exemplary.  This group was no exception.

The thrust of my talk was to demonstrate that improvements in quality and safety create a virtuous cycle with the financial needs of a hospital.  This is especially so if the improvements are based on a philosophy of front-line driven change, like Lean, with managers serving in the role of servant leaders.

This resonated strongly with many in the audience, but none more so than Terrie Young, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer (seen above, right, with Dr. Trudy Hall, chief medical officer) of University Specialty Hospital.)  As she put it to me afterwards, "Who are we to tell folks how to improve the organization?  They are on the front lines, seeing it every day."  Exactly.

(Addendum:  Here is a self-referential link.)

Liz and colleague Caela Coil started off the meeting in an unusual way, with a tribute to Robin Gibb, the recently deceased member of the Bee Gees.  Playing "Staying Alive" to the audience got them moving and shaking off any possible post-lunch lethargy!

1 comment:

Liz Barron said...

Thanks for posting Paul--and thanks for speaking. I'll reblog this on our blog. ;) Liz