Mary Ackenhusen | September 25th, 2014
“I think ‘Provide the Best Care’ means so much to so many different people… it depends where you are right? And we have to remember, everybody is not a bed-side nurse in hospital or a bed-side care aide.”
That’s part of my discussion with Laurie Dawkins, which is the first segment in this first edition of True North Now–an audio magazine podcast. I invite you to listen, or read the transcription below, and then join the discussion by posting your comments or questions below. Thanks for tuning in!
In this edition:
- What does ‘providing the best care’ mean to you (CEO Mary Ackenhusen) at 2:15
- Redesign of the clinical teaching unit at VGH (interviews with staff) at 6:00
- iCough initiative in Richmond reduces pneumonia (Elan Nattrass interviewed) at 8:28
- Health Connection Clinic on the North Shore (patients and staff interviewed) at 10:35
20 Min. 8 Sec.
You can also download this podcast to your device: › Download MP3 file
LAURIE DAWKINS: As we sit down to talk about True North goals and Providing the Best Care, is there something that springs to mind for you personally, like you have a vision in your head of ‘this is what it looks like if we get there’?
MARY ACKENHUSEN: Well, when I think Provide the Best Care, it means so much to so many different people… it depends on where you are right? And we have to remember, everybody is not a bedside nurse in a hospital or a bedside care aide or in mental health in community, you know you’re an accountant… what does provide the best care mean? Well it means you know, how you bring forward those numbers to support the managers and the clinicians that are trying to do the best they can in terms of improving the quality of care within their budget. So that’s providing the best care for maybe a support person. Providing the best care if you’re in a hospital might be making that family feel really important in the process.
LAURIE DAWKINS: Is there one thing—one or two things—that we as a group need to focus on over the next six months to try to advance the goals? Is there anything we should be making a tangible effort to do differently or more of?
MARY ACKENHUSEN: There’s no one thing, so it’s maybe one concept and that’s really empowering everybody to feel comfortable that they can bring forward those ideas and actually start to action them or to work with their leadership or their colleagues to try to action these good ideas. The small ones and the big ones. And that’s probably one of the biggest challenges in an organization of this size with the bureaucracy that we have… with the history that we’ve had… is how do you create that freedom that people want to do that and that they feel comfortable doing that.
LAURIE DAWKINS: I think that is something that people struggle with. They find themselves part of numerous redesigns and I’ve heard it said you know they’re fearful going in… they want to contribute to a better workplace but they’re also fearful… ‘what if I’m leaned out of the process along the way’ you know.
MARY ACKENHUSEN: Right, and I think that’s one of the things very much in the front of my mind is: how do we make it safe for people? Because you shouldn’t ever feel that you’re redesigning yourself out of a job. That said, to survive and to thrive in current health care, you need to be adaptable. So, not adaptable like ‘I[m going to be moving out of VCH’ but adaptable that ‘I’m going to have the skills and I’m going to have the confidence that I’m going to be taken care of and that when I redesign to create better care, the best care, that I’m going to have a really great job at the end of this and it might not be the same job I have now, but that’s OK, because I’m open to learning new skills, I’m open to working with new teams, I’m open to that because I can understand where that’s getting us. And that’s True North.
LAURIE DAWKINS: Thank you, I think that’s always the elephant in the room. People are afraid to talk about it.
MARY ACKENHUSEN: I would be very interested to hear more about it and I know there’s an opportunity with this podcast that people can write back in and kind of talk about their comments. I am very interested in: What creates safety for you as an individual? What would make you feel confident that VCH has your back and that you want to give everything to move VCH and health care forward? What would that take?
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More VCH News Radio
Listen to the rest of the September 2014 edition of True North Now.