One thing I love about my work (and there are many things to love) is the opportunity to meet and mingle with others who are as passionate about improving the patient experience as I am. When I look at my travel schedule this week, it might appear draining, but, in reality, it has been a rejuvenating experience. That’s because I’ve been able to meet and mingle with people who are in the trenches, doing great things for patients and their communities. That always helps me re-connect to purpose at the same time.
I started the week working with a team of nurses, case managers, physicians, and other disciplines on improving their system for completing follow-up phone calls. It was clear that they are driven by what is best for the patient and the patient’s family. Their commitment and willingness to work together for a common goal is inspiring and reminds me that there are thousands of teams working around the country to make life better for their patients. That feeling was reinforced in the second half of my week’s travel.
I’m honored to have been invited to serve as the closing keynote for Inova Health System’s quarterly leadership Institute. Yesterday, I spent most of the day listening to their leaders tell stories and give awards for amazing accomplishments. The energy in the room and the spirit of service was infectious. What was evident to me was the alignment of their core values with their strategies and resulting actions. Some of their award-winning accomplishments were spearheaded in the trenches by front-line staff. Others were initiated by middle managers or senior leaders, but all were bound together by a common thread, a common message that fuels their actions. When I experience this level of alignment, I get the overwhelming sense that I’m at home. I’m with “my people.” That’s because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we are all fueled by the same desire to shape a better experience for patients and for those who are serving the patients.
It’s important for all of us to find like-minded people on our journeys toward better healthcare. It reminds us that, although there is much work to be done, we’re not alone. Look around your organizations for “your people.” Find them and unite under a common vision for excellence. It will help lift you when the road seems long. I may be traveling and away from home, but I’m blessed to find my people in pockets from coast to coast.