May 31, 2019 | Leadership
Hi all I have been thinking a lot about journeys lately – no, not the band although their music remains some of my favourite ever – but the journeys I’ve taken in my life. It’s funny how much we can get lost in the day-to-day busyness of work, parenting, housework, of joys and losses and all that comes with being a human being. Sometimes it’s a good thing – a really good thing – to stop and think about where you are and where you have been. I’ve been doing this a lot lately. Maybe this is because I’m coming up to a big birthday (60) and a big wedding anniversary (40 years) or maybe it’s just God telling me that I need to spend time remembering important people and things. I don’t know why but I do know that this reflection has trickled over to us and our HDGH family and the journey we’ve been on. I’d like to take you back to four years ago. It likely seems like just yesterday to some of you and maybe a lifetime ago to others. For me, it seems like just last week in many ways. Four years ago (June 14 – 18, 2015) we were preparing for our 1st Accreditation survey as Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. Remember that our current organization was “born” on October 1, 2013 and a short 18 months or so later we were experiencing our first survey with Accreditation Canada. I remember being nervous and unsure of what to expect. Would we be ready? Would the surveyors “get us”? Would our staff be willing and able to represent who we were and who we could be? Our leadership team was still coming together, staff were just beginning to trust in our vision, we were still learning about the potential here at this campus and we weren’t sure that we were ready to tell our story in the way it needed to be told. But – we did it. Accreditation Canada came, they helped us tell our story of change, of success and of future planning – and awarded us Accreditation with Commendation. I was elated! Not only did we succeed, we did incredibly well given our short time together as a family. Four years later Accreditation Canada is with us again. Again we will tell our story. This time however I am not nervous – and I hope you all aren’t either. We have a remarkable story to tell. A story of growth. A story of innovation. A story of change and improvement. A story of safety and quality. Our story is one of hope and vision – values and mission. Our story is told by staff – it’s told by patients/clients– it’s told by our community partners, our volunteers and physicians. It’s told by me and by you. The HDGH story is our shared story – a story of how we have come together as a family to serve our community in new and innovative ways. We have a lot to say. This week I chaired a meeting with the leaders who are working so very hard to get us ready for accreditation. In previous meetings, I routinely talked about how much we had to get done, the need to be sure we were prepared, their role in ensuring all of our HDGH people are proud of our work and ready to talk about it. Mostly, I talked about MY expectations of them. This meeting though, I asked the group to reflect on the past four years and tell the room one thing that they were incredibly proud of. The room was quiet for a brief moment and then the sharing started. We heard about the increase in different disciplines teamwork, our investment in education and staff training (more than $20,000/year in bursaries and supports), and the 51% reduction in forms. We also heard about our Unit Based Councils and Patient and Family Advisory Council and their contributions to our organization as well as the many quality improvement initiatives and commitments to safety. I know that in that meeting – in that moment – I was clear that HDGH has arrived at the place we aimed to be. I am not ashamed to tell you I got emotional and had to collect myself. I was hearing first-hand that we are a high quality, patient-centred hospital. We ARE a high performing hospital with the metrics to prove it. But that’s not all we are. We are a hospital that knows that our job – our number one job – is to take care of our patients/clients and protect our staff. That is eminently clear in our results. I am incredibly proud of everything we’ve done – including the failures and mistakes we’ve had and we’ve learned from (the TV policy is one that stands out in my mind).
For me, there are three things that epitomize my own thoughts on what we needed to do to be a hospital that the community, our patients/clients and their families and our staff/volunteers and physicians can count on.
In closing, I encourage you to think about what YOU are most proud of! Shout it from the rooftops so to speak!
Be proud – be vocal – be you!
As always I welcome your comments and suggestions
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