What Matters to You

As physicians, we tend to offer solutions and process thinking to our patients to solve their problems and stumbling blocks. Yet, as a group, physicians are facing burnout at unprecedented rates and are having trouble solving our collective problem. Single physician centered solutions, like practicing mindfulness, can be helpful but doesn’t not impact the overall systems of practice.

To that end, we are trying a new approach at Guthrie. The Guthrie board made it a high level FY20 goal to examine root cause and explore options for reengaging physicians, APPs, nurses, techs, front desk teams. I am the physician lead on this project with a nurse lead and a brilliant facilitator from Operational Experience.

We used the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s article “Improving Joy in Work” as a base for our year long Engagement Project. We looked at the data from Press Ganey and a Mayo evaluation of our system over the last 2 years. We chose areas to target.

The bulk of the project is having eyeball to eyeball conversations with people within the organization with the following specific questions: What matters to you? What makes for a good day? What matters to you in your work? What is the most meaningful or best part of your work to you? And after that is discussed, a secondary consideration has been posed: What gets in the way of what matters?

We have had 500+ conversations. Creating a time and space for this intent has been a wonderful experience. As physicians, we often just push through and continue through all difficulties. This project created a pause for reflection on what matters to us and how we can capture more of that.

The major themes that arose in physician conversations are about desire for recognition and a demand for improved communication. Each area was presented a Go Forward Plan specific to that team or unit. Plans have been tailored to the discussion of the area, to include creation of physician and APP small groups (Affinity groups) and daily 5 minute communication tactics.

We have just finished our halfway point with this work. The pulse data is very promising, and we can feel a difference in our work environments.

So, what matters to you at work? What are your barriers to having a great day most days??
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