Any business today is impacted by the economy, market, competition, location and the changing needs of society in general. Believe it or not, hospitals are no different.
Our ageing population is driving the demand for more hospital beds in Australia, while there is a shortage of nurses as well as a nursing workforce that is also ageing. The whole sector is under pressure yet, like any other business, hospitals are trying to make a profit.
One of the key drivers in business is the happiness and engagement of employees and how that translates into the treatment of customers – in a hospital, that means patients.
Interviewing Cathy Jones, National Manager of Quality and Compliance at Healthscope, I was inspired to learn that hospitals are making fundamental efforts to improve patient care beyond the national standard.
With approximately 45 hospitals around Australia and more than 18,000 employees, Healthscope’s staff development and training has three objectives:

  1. Redefine what best practice is in Healthscope hospitals.
  2. Never rest on your laurels and continually practise to improve.
  3. Be realistic about how best to deliver messages and training in a hospital environment where staff resources are stretched.

Patient outcome, patient experience, staff experience and financial performance are the four factors that define best practice at a Healthscope hospital. The best-performing individual hospitals in the network have a balanced weighting of all four.
What is refreshing when listening to Cathy is that the practice in leadership never stops, no matter how high up the food chain you are. Keeping close to the customers (their patients) is a key activity for Cathy in order to continually get close to the actual experiences and potential gaps of the performance of the staff.
“Being seen as a leader on the floor is certainly a behaviour of proactive leadership, says Cathy:
We require our nurses to do time-based rounding of the patients. So instead of just popping in when the patient presses a call bell, they pop in every hour or in some cases every two hours to make sure the patient does not need anything. This proactive activity actually saves the nurses time and also tells the patient that we care about them”.
I don’t think any of us can afford to stop practising.
When we serve people; our teams, our organsiations, our customers, we must realise that this is a daily practise that requires commitment and vulnerability to keep looking at how we can be better than yesterday.
None of us ever truly get to a place where we can rest on our laurels. Leadership in service is a practice.
To learn more about how Healthscope have implemented a practise mindset for their service cultures, grab your copy of  Creating a Customer Service Mindset and read on.
Jaquie Scammell
‘Love Being in Service’

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