Bringing Core Values to Life at Laser Spine Institute
By Karen Speicher, Patient Care Consultant, Laser Spine Institute
At the Laser Spine Institute, we’ve been on a journey of creating a progressive culture of positive, proactive care that is committed to sharing our healthcare values with our patients now and every day moving forward. We believe that bringing these core values to vibrant, thriving life within our organization takes not only time but studious cultivation and we further believe that the discovery phase of this journey was absolutely key in gathering the proper informational seeds that we required to begin.
Make a CHOICE/Be a CARE Champion was planted when we began to actively seek out vital first-hand information from our patients, listen intently to their stories, and then compile and process their crucial feedback, giving ourselves the best opportunity to serve moving forward.
In 2013 our Vice President of Patient Experience, Jason Jones, initiated step one of our current discovery phase by shifting our focus to our staff and then inquiring as to exactly what type of organizational core values they wanted to represent in the direct future. These questions included but were not limited to:
- What type of staff do you as an individual want to be a part of?
- What standards, practices and behaviors should our staff strive to achieve each and every day?
- What are the core values that we most want to present to our patients?
It was in this phase that we began to carefully dig deeper into the valuable experiences of our professional team, gather invaluable insight and information, more thoroughly seek to understand our roles as healthcare providers and thoughtfully prepare to implement our values with confidence and constant care.
The Implementation Phase: Sharing the Core Values
In this phase, the Laser Spine Institute went into action, not only gathering and collating the vital feedback of staff and patients but proactively partnering with a creative marketing team that insured the message of LSI’s core values was disseminated throughout all levels of the organization. It was this faithful propagation and energetic promotion of the core values that enabled the entire LSI Team to unite and fortify their own values into an effective healthcare strategy that benefits all.
Just a few of the forms in which this campaign took effect were-
- Intranet promotion
- Fresh, informative newsletters
- Team Meetings reinforcing the message
- Inspirational screen reminders
- A CHIP Program
The CHIP Program, initiated by Jamie Butler from LSI, was a unique, creative endeavor in which specific core values were represented as specific colors and staff were encouraged by fellow staff members who nominated them as the finest professional representation of that specific value/color and then rewarded with a reimbursable point system. The program was just one of the most positive messages of success and committed teamwork for all and led directly to an overall celebration of commitment to a team ethic, continued team excellence and an enduring team gratitude.
Making it Personal
Now please allow me to share my own personal experience with the CHOICE core values at the Laser Spine Institute. This experience was not as a consultant, but as a patient who was able to witness those values in action on a day-to-day schedule.
2 ½ years ago I underwent a life-altering surgery at LSI.
It was life-altering because at that time I had been suffering through almost constant pain for over 7 ½ years and so I’d arrived at LSI as a more or less typically desperate patient: Dreadfully miserable in both body and spirit, consistently irritable with myself and others, occasionally critical of everyone around me and absolutely hopeless concerning any possible future.
The empathetic staff then took me in and lovingly, calmly, patiently embraced all of me as their team gently guided me to and through my path of recovery. Of course they insured that I was able to receive the direct, uplifting sustenance of the LSI core values at work and on a daily basis as my life slowly, steadily changed with each gratefully passing day into something far greater than anything I’d even imagined in a very long time. It is one thing to intellectually comprehend the message of recovery from the staff at LSI that is reinforced by the core values, it is quite another to be held in embrace of their loving care and graciously healed from the consuming darkness that is chronic pain.
It is no exaggeration to state that their hearts were filled with nurturing love and mine is now filled with gratitude.
Bringing the LSI Values to Life
The CHOICE values have now been implemented for more than 2 years with tremendous success which led us directly to a further Discovery Phase. In early 2014 this Discovery Phase centered around two basic patient care questions for our staff-
- How can you best live out the values in your professional role?
- What exactly does Patient Centered Care mean to you?
The enthusiastic feedback we received from our query further enriched our understanding and heightened our human awareness of the steps we had to take in this continuing phase. In addition, the simple stories of some of our most basic human connections were not only inspiring but educational. We were moved to share these stories by requesting that each department nominate 2 or 3 staff members for our newly created, “The CHOICE Video Life Project”, a source of video recollections that further enhanced our understanding of our unique relationships and responsibilities. These stories are now available at My Planetree and we consider the stories to be among the most powerful learning tools we have that best allows us to share who we are and what we are about.
The Next Step: Bringing Life to the Values in our Job Descriptions
Based on invaluable input from our teammates and through Planetree Retreats, Patient Centered Care Trainings, New Teammate Orientation and our own continued, ongoing feedback, we are now confident that we can successfully mold our CHOICE Values to our specific job descriptions and create a care system that is even stronger and more effective.
To that end, in the next month we’ll be rolling out specific strategies, practices, and behaviors that have been designed for each job description. We are greatly looking forward to measuring the anticipated success of this new process. This next step, of course, is fully in partnership and takes effect with the full cooperation of our Human Resources Department.