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Healthcare today is changing at an incredibly rapid pace and the stakes have never been higher. In order to weather this storm and come out on top, the industry needs to look at innovations, leaders, patient experiences and all around past successes and failures. This is what The Report Room is all about. Brian Weirich is himself a skilled and experienced nurse leader who wants to help those in the nursing field up their game in terms of patient care and experience. His passion is to see the medical profession and nurses, in particular, become more skilled in not only the technical aspects of their profession but also in the softer skills such as compassion, empathy, communication, and more.

If you are a healthcare professional, Brian wants to help you keep your heart aligned with the reason you got into healthcare in the first place - to help people who are suffering the worst experiences of their lives.

The Report Room - Nursing professionals, health care, medical profession Brian Weirich DHA(c), MHA, RN, CENP - registered nurse, nursing professional

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Healthcare today is changing at an incredibly rapid pace and the stakes have never been higher. In order to weather this storm and come out on top, the industry needs to look at innovations, leaders, patient experiences and all around past successes and failures. This is what The Report Room is all about. Brian Weirich is himself a skilled and experienced nurse leader who wants to help those in the nursing field up their game in terms of patient care and experience. His passion is to see the medical profession and nurses, in particular, become more skilled in not only the technical aspects of their profession but also in the softer skills such as compassion, empathy, communication, and more.

If you are a healthcare professional, Brian wants to help you keep your heart aligned with the reason you got into healthcare in the first place - to help people who are suffering the worst experiences of their lives.

    The New Belgium Brewery Employee Retention Model. Should Healthcare Follow? - Featuring Brian Simpson - Episode #12

    The New Belgium Brewery Employee Retention Model. Should Healthcare Follow? - Featuring Brian Simpson - Episode #12

    New Belgium Brewery has nothing to do with the healthcare industry. And that’s exactly why I chose to interview Brian Simpson of New Belgium. Brian is one of many employees of the company who has been there for a long time - almost 20 years in Brian’s case, and I wanted to find out what enables the company to retain its employees for so long. You’re going to be amazed at the things this company does to make its employees happy - but it’s more than that. They’ve convinced their employees that they are truly cared for because they are.
    You learn the core values of New Belgium Brewery on day one. And it never stops. The healthcare industry is slowly learning that the values at the core of what we do need to saturate the culture of the organization and be better communicated early on in the hiring process. New Belgium Brewery makes sure that every new hire understands both the history and the values of the company beginning on day one. They also help employees understand that it’s the employees that make the company what it is. If that sounds impossible to you I challenge you to listen to this episode. You'll hear how the company has done it and I want you to ask yourself what we could do in the healthcare industry to make similar changes… and why do they seem so far fetched to us?
    The healthcare industry needs to stop thinking of itself as a Fortune 500 company. When an industry thinks of itself as a big player and doesn’t get down to the level of its team members, it’s no wonder that people are treated as commodities and the morale of the organization suffers. Not only that, performance declines and its customers (patients in our case) are not cared for well. What can we learn from other industries about culture and employee retention? A lot in my opinion. I’m excited to start the conversation about innovative ways to care for our people better and build healthcare teams that thrive and carry out the vision of patient care in extraordinary ways. New Belgium Brewery is an example of a company I’d love to see us model.
    How New Belgium makes its employees the boss after only one year of employment. We often talk about giving our people ownership of the organization, but do we really mean it? New Belgium Brewery has taken that to a whole new level by giving each employee stock in the company after only one year of employment. It’s one of the ways that ownership is made a reality. Along with paid sabbaticals, employee rewards and connections, and a host of other innovative means the New Belgium leadership is setting a new standard in culture and employee morale that the healthcare industry needs to learn from. I hope you listen and open your mind to the possibilities of what might happen at YOUR organization.
    When healthcare matters to a brewing company they hire a doctor. No kidding. The leadership of New Belgium Brewing was concerned about the health of their employees, so instead of encouraging them to get regular checkups or fund a new healthcare incentive they did the unthinkable, they hired a Doctor of their own to be on site for the benefit of employees and their families. The response has been overwhelming, with employees and their families not only appreciating the gesture but also taking full advantage of the doctor-patient ratio that makes truly personal care a reality. You can learn more about how this brewer is making a difference in the healthcare of its employees, on this episode of The Report Room.
    Outline of This Episode [1:08] Who is Brian Simpson and why did he go to work at New Belgium? [2:12] The history of New Belgium Brewery. [4:00] The role of core values and beliefs at the company. [8:38] The New Belgium milestone program for employee retention. [10:00] How the company provides paid sabbaticals. [15:00] Why New Belgium Brewery brought healthcare “in house.” [17:37] What Bria

    • 20 min.
    Improving Organizational Culture Through Improving Individual Team Members - featuring Kit Bredimus - Episode #11

    Improving Organizational Culture Through Improving Individual Team Members - featuring Kit Bredimus - Episode #11

    Improving organizational culture in the healthcare environment can be an uphill battle. The stress and pressure of the jobs we do make it easy for discontent, frustration, and irritation to rule the vibe of the organization. But Kit Bredimus and his team at Midland Memorial Hospital were not happy with the continually low scores they received for patient satisfaction and sought ways to change the culture. What they discovered is that it’s impossible to change the organizational culture without positively changing the people who make up the culture. That meant creating ways to care for the individuals on the staff. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. You can hear this healthcare miracle story on this episode of the podcast.
    How a terrible track record and awful organizational culture transformed. The reputation of Midland Memorial Hospital in its own community was anything but stellar. The community didn’t trust the hospital to provide good care and the patient survey forms showed it to be true. Kit Bredimus grew up in the Midland area so he knew the challenge the team was up against when the hospital leadership began their consideration of The Values and Culture initiative. They were skeptical but were quickly proven wrong as the medical team at Midland Memorial began to take on a new life. You can hear the story on this episode, so be sure you listen.
    What to do when the staff resists new hospital policies with a “flavor of the month” attitude. Throughout the history of Midland Memorial Hospital, many things had been tried to turn around the sagging patient satisfaction scores. The efforts either didn’t work, didn’t stick, or were not taken seriously by the hospital staff so the results were nonexistent. When the Values and Culture Initiative was introduced many of the old timers at the hospital saw it as “the flavor of the month” - a new initiative that would be around for a while but would fade out fairly quickly. But something was different this time. One thing the leadership focused on got everyone on board and brought about lasting change. Find out what it was in this episode.
    To improve organizational culture you’ve got to improve the lives of its members. The primary approach that brings about true organizational change is not one that focuses on the desired outcomes or results that are needed. It’s an attitude from the leadership on down that fosters a sense of concern for the well-being of the team members who make up the culture of the organization. As individuals on the team begin to believe that the leadership wants them to be the best version of themselves that they can be - and makes opportunities for them to take steps in that direction - everything changes. On this episode of The Report Room, Kit Bredimus tells the story of how the emergency department at Midland Memorial Hospital went from the lowest percentile in patient satisfaction scores to the 95th percentile.
    If organizational improvement doesn’t start with the leadership, it’s already dead. The turnaround that happened at Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, TX was only possible because the leadership team - from the top down - was entirely committed to making the changes needed and agreed on what it would take to bring about the improvements they wanted to see. That kind of unity is what it takes to change something as pervasive and powerful as organizational culture. Kit Bredimus tells how it happened at Midland Memorial and gives his suggestions for how medical services organizations with similar needs could begin moving in the right direction, on this episode.
    Outline of This Episode [0:43] My introduction of this episode’s guest, my friend Kit Bredimus [1:27] The history and specifics of Midland Memorial Hospital. [4:53] The values and culture initiative Midland started. [6:57] The staff’s initial

    • 24 min.
    The Role of a Nurse Then and Now featuring Dr. Melanie Roberts - Episode #10

    The Role of a Nurse Then and Now featuring Dr. Melanie Roberts - Episode #10

    The role of a nurse has changed dramatically over the years. From the first days of professional nursing care when nurses were nothing more than glorified assistants who did whatever physicians dictated - to the integral and important role nurses play today as partners in providing the best care to patients - nurses have come a long way. In this conversation, I’m talking with Dr. Melanie Roberts, a long-time nurse who has experienced many of those changes over the years and is excited about the trajectory of nursing and healthcare in general. I you will be encouraged by Dr. Roberts’ optimism and enthusiasm.
    A lot has changed from the days when nurses didn’t even wear gloves. Dr. Melanie Roberts remembers the days when she was just starting out as a nurse. No matter the situation, nurses in those days seldom wore gloves of any kind. There wasn’t the concern and attention to transmission of germs and disease through unsanitary conditions that there is today. On this episode, she and I walk through the annals of her memories, comparing the role of nurses today to the role they played in years past. It’s an interesting comparison that should give every nurse encouragement about how far we’ve come.
    Navigating the changes in a community hospital as it grows and becomes successful. As Dr. Melanie Roberts worked as part of the Poudre Valley Hospital in Colorado during her early days as a nurse she found the work stimulating and challenging. As the hospital grew and changes were needed in both processes and procedures she found that the desire to provide better care for patients and their families always served her well - giving her a good compass for determining how to navigate the changes as the hospital grew, established a second location, and eventually was merged with a larger healthcare system. Her insights and experience - which she shares in this conversation - will serve you well if you are involved in the administration or organization of a nursing or hospital staff that’s experiencing growing pains. I hope you take the time to learn from Dr. Roberts’ story.
    The way to better nursing care is to improve the systems used to provide it. When Dr. Melanie Roberts first began her career as a nurse the typical way of dealing with issues that arose was to cast blame on individuals for mistakes or oversights. That’s understandable since people are at the core of medical care but what she discovered over the course of her career is that since human beings are prone to mistakes it’s important to establish systems that negate human error as much as possible. The effort becomes a way to build teamwork and team spirit surrounding patient and family care rather than an opportunity to cast blame.
    What an experienced nurse would tell her 25-year-old self. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and tell your 25-year-old self a few things about the career you are in, what would you say? When I asked Dr. Melanie Roberts that question she said that she’d mainly tell herself the things that seem obvious but that she isn’t sure she recognized as she was starting out. Nursing is hard work, both physically and emotionally and it’s vital that she learn how to fill her life with things that refresh and nurture herself or else she won’t have the strength or capacity to truly benefit patients over the long haul. What would you tell your 25-year-old self given what you know today?
    Outline of This Episode [0:27] My introduction of Poudre Valley Hospital and Dr. Melanie Roberts. [1:46] When Dr. Roberts first decided to become a nurse. [2:59] Melanie’s first nursing role and what it was like in those days. [7:48] The impact of a national news story on the small community hospital. [10:34] The differences in family support from then until now. [13:07] The first experiences with “magnet” designations. [16:07] The

    • 34 min.
    How the StrengthsFinder Assessment Can Amplify Your Leadership - featuring Rose Sherman - Episode #9

    How the StrengthsFinder Assessment Can Amplify Your Leadership - featuring Rose Sherman - Episode #9

    There’s a new approach to leadership that has gained a lot of popularity in the last 10 years. It’s called strengths-based leadership and the primary tool used in this approach is the StrengthsFinder assessment. I was curious about how this assessment might be applied in healthcare roles so I asked Rose Sherman to be my guest on the podcast to walk me through what strengths-based leadership is, why it’s proving to be a helpful way of approaching any leadership role, and how the StrengthsFinder assessment can be used to improve leadership, create healthier teams, and increase overall productivity and quality of care. You’ll enjoy hearing Rose’s expertise shared so clearly, on this episode.
    What’s behind the idea of strengths-based leadership? The originator of the StrengthsFinder assessment, Dr. Donald O. Clifton believed that people grow and develop more healthily and quickly if they focus on enhancing their areas of strength rather than improving their areas of weakness. Toward that end, he created the StrengthsFinder assessment to enable people to clearly identify their personal areas of strength so that they could intentionally focus on improvements in those key areas. My guest today, Rose Sherman is a StrengthsFinder trainer who has a wide range of experience in using and applying StrengthsFinder assessments to help leaders and their teams expand their productivity and success. You’ll gain a lot of insight into your own leadership style by listening to what she has to share.
    Once you discover your own personal strengths what should you do? According to the philosophy behind the StrengthsFinder assessment, the purpose of discovering your key areas of strength is to look at your leadership style and approach to life through those strengths so that you can understand the ways in which you are best suited to make a difference. Intentional focus on your key strengths will make you better at whatever you do, whether it be nursing or nursing leadership. Rose Sherman helps us understand how we can do that using the results of my personal StrengthsFinder assessment on this episode.
    Will your StrengthsFinder assessment results change over time? Due to the fact that people grow and develop over time, it’s natural to think that the results of a StrengthsFinder assessment that you take today could be different were you to take the assessment again in 10 years. But Rose Sherman says that the only way she notices significant changes in the results people receive from multiple assessments is in the ordering of their strengths. The strengths themselves remain pretty much the same. The change of order is likely due to either concentrated focus on improving some of the strengths discovered in the first assessment or through the demands placed on particular strengths due to the experiences the person has had. Rose unpacks the meaning and power of using the StrengthsFinder assessment tool, on this episode.
    What would an experienced nurse and professor do differently knowing what she knows now? One of the things I asked Rose Sherman in this episode is what she’d do differently if she could redo her career knowing what she knows now. While she’s pretty satisfied with the overall results of her career choices she says that the one thing she’d probably change is her willingness to risk. She didn’t take enough appropriate risks in the early stages of her career which may have limited some of her options and held her back from accomplishing more, sooner. What would you change if you could go back? Listen to Rose’s personal story and experience leading and teaching nurses to help you learn without the mistakes, on this episode.
    Outline of This Episode [1:07] Who is Rose Sherman? [1:46] Rose’s first nursing job and how her career progressed. [5:00] What made Rose take the turn into nursing leadership? [7:00] What IS

    • 31 min.
    Performance Measurement Innovations: Will They Work in the Healthcare Industry? - Featuring Dr. Anna Tavis - Episode #8

    Performance Measurement Innovations: Will They Work in the Healthcare Industry? - Featuring Dr. Anna Tavis - Episode #8

    Measuring performance in any organization is a very clear way to insert much-needed accountability into the system of managing and rewarding employees. But the argument is being made more and more these days that the traditional ways of doing performance management are not the most helpful approaches. Today’s guest is Dr. Anna Tavis and I decided to invite her on the show after reading an article she co-wrote on the Harvard Business Review called, “The Performance Management Revolution.” In her article, Dr. Tavis highlights why some companies are taking another look at their performance measurement systems and how a handful of them have made dramatic changes to the process with great results. I’m curious how these innovations can be applied to the healthcare sector, so I wanted to hear more from Dr. Tavis - and I hope you take the time to listen.
    Why performance management systems of the past are being abandoned. Much of the change that’s happened around performance measurement has to do with the desire of managers to not only rightly assess and reward performance but also to address issues of culture and trust within the organization that can bring the organization's performance as a whole to a much higher level. Dr. Anna Tavis shares some of the ways companies of all stripes are changing their performance management processes on this episode. If you’re the person in charge of performance management for your organization or part of a PM team, you'll discover some great ideas from what she has to share.
    Are your managers serving as coaches more than critics? One of the key components of how companies are approaching the issue of measuring performance in new ways has to do with the role of the managers in the organization. Rather than training management to be the watchdogs of the organization who are ready to dole out punishment for those who are not performing, the emphasis is on supervisory positions as more of a coaching role. The manager’s job is to help the employees grow and learn in their role, encouraging and cheering them on to higher levels of accomplishment. This approach is showing great promise in the way it encourages a team mentality over the adversarial relationships that have existed in the past. Find out more about this performance management revolution from Dr. Anna Tavis on this episode of The Report Room.
    How bonuses connected to performance reviews skew the review process. The old systems of performance review often entail the use of quarterly or annual reviews to assess employee performance with the promise of financial bonuses or other rewards tied to that review. But Dr. Anna Tavis says that tying the reward to the review skews the process in ways that are not helpful. If that assertion makes sense to you, or if you’re curious how it could be true, you need to hear Dr. Tavis’ explanation of it on this episode of the podcast.
    Expert advice for those who are figuring out their performance review system. If you are part of a team that is working to establish a healthy and effective performance assessment program for your organization, Dr. Anna Tavis, a performance management specialist has this advice for you: Take ownership of the process as it relates to your overall goals as an organization. Ask yourself whether the things you’re measuring in your evaluations are aligned with the goals and vision of the entire team. And figure out if the method by which you're evaluating is truly assessing your effectiveness toward those goals. You can hear more great suggestions like this from Dr. Tavis on this episode of the podcast.
    Outline of This Episode [0:29] My introduction of Dr. Anna Tavis, and the issue of performance management. [1:16] The background that has equipped Dr. Tavis for her current work in performance management. [2:36] The process of researching and writing her articl

    • 31 min.
    Effectively Implementing LEAN in Healthcare – featuring Steve Newlon – Episode #7

    Effectively Implementing LEAN in Healthcare – featuring Steve Newlon – Episode #7

    Using the methodologies of LEAN in healthcare is a new trend that is gaining quite a bit of momentum. It’s a management methodology borrowed from the production industry (Toyota originated it) that streamlines processes, increases efficiency, and decreases waste. On this episode of The Report Room, I’m chatting with an expert at implementing LEAN into healthcare, Steve Newlon. If you listen you’ll learn what LEAN is, how it works, how many hospitals are implementing it successfully, and how Steve recommends healthcare organization go about introducing LEAN to their staff and organization.
    What exactly IS LEAN? www.Lean.org defines LEAN methodology in this way: The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, LEAN means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. A LEAN organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste. To accomplish this, LEAN thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers. Find out more about LEAN and the benefits it is proving to have in healthcare organizations from my guest, Steve Newlon, on this episode.
    How does LEAN work in a healthcare environment? Since LEAN was first developed in an industrial setting it seems a bit awkward to think of it applying directly to healthcare systems. But Steve Newlon says that many hospitals today are applying the LEAN methodology very successfully, seeing their patient satisfaction rise while waste and inefficiencies are going down. Steve shares some great case studies that highlight how LEAN is being applied to the healthcare field on this episode so be sure you take the time to listen so that you can assess whether LEAN might be beneficial to your organization.
    Should a hospital hire a LEAN consultant or develop their own teams? As with any new methodology, there are plenty of consultants that are willing to come alongside organizations to help them implement the methodology effectively. But even though he is a LEAN consultant, Steve Newlon isn’t convinced it’s always the right move to hire a consultant. On this episode, Steve describes why he believes that hospitals and other healthcare organizations will be better served by training and equipping their own personnel to be at the forefront of LEAN implementation in their organization and how consultants could be used on a limited basis to supplement the efforts of the LEAN team. You can hear his perspective on this episode.
    Will LEAN still be relevant to the healthcare industry in 5 to 10 years? Steve Newlon refuses to try to predict the future of LEAN in the healthcare sector but he does have concerns about its future. He wonders if the high cost of many LEAN consultants will cause hospital administrators to get a sour taste in their mouths about the LEAN methodologies without even giving them a chance. But that’s just one of his concerns. You can hear is perspective on why LEAN is so beneficial to the healthcare industry and how you can implement LEAN in your organization from the ground up, on this episode.
    Outline of this great episode [0:27] My introduction to this episode with Steve Newlon. [2:12] What IS the LEAN methodology? [3:46] How Steve ended up in healthcare after the Air Force. [4:42] Why are hospitals suddenly interested in implementing LEAN? [7:05] The approaches to LEAN that Steve sees as working the best. [9:27] At what point should front line employees be introduced to LEAN concepts? [12:20] An example of LEAN implementation. [15:59] What are daily hudd

    • 41 min.

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