Google Analystics

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Time to Care: Seniors' Long Term Care

Most of us have heard friends, acquaintances or people more remote from us tell horror stories about some or other events that have taken place in a long-term care home, or read something in the newspapers.

Someone I was speaking to recently was shocked to see how much disrespect was shown by family members of a home resident toward the personal support worker who was attending to their loved one in the home.

CUPE Ontario published this video on YouTube two weeks ago. It is a powerful statement providing a window from the point of view of nurses and personal support workers.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Qmentum Quarterly: Ethics in healthcare

The Summer 2014 issue of Qmentum Quarterly put out by Accreditation Canada has a very interesting article on ethics in healthcare by Robert Butcher titled, "Supporting Ethical Practice in Your Community".

The article starts with the following posers:

A homecare nurse calls you with concerns
about a client who has been discharged from
the hospital. She has questions about his home
environment and his ability to look after himself.
“The place is squalid,” she says. “He is unsteady
and forgetful, but adamant that he wants to be
at home. I’m worried.”

During flu season your staff’s vaccination rate
is at 70% and the local public health officer has
declared an outbreak in the community. Should
you require unvaccinated staff to get vaccinated,
take Tamiflu, or stay home?

The Executive Director of your hospital’s
foundation has just called. They have received a
very generous offer from a local businessperson
to fund and name a new wing. He is involved
in a bitter dispute in the community over the
development of large tracts of good agricultural
land. The donation is a clear attempt to court
public favour; to use your good name and
reputation to enhance his.

What should you do in any of these cases?
Better yet, what should your organization do?

The article goes on to lay out how an organization can develop an ethics framework within which ethical decisions can be made.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

Canada Geese. Source: NatureFramingham
In a professional on-line discussion group in LinkedIn that I follow, somebody posed the following question. How would you package the edict, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" to your employees and colleagues so that everyone buys into it and nobody becomes offended?

The way I see it, this is about organizational culture, the way we do things, our principles and values and how these align for individuals, as a team and as an organization.

I do not have military exposure other than reading books, watching movies and talking with friends who were in the military but, clearly, whether soldiers 'shoot their own wounded' or 'leave no on behind', they don't think about that decision for the first time when they are confronted with the situation. It's in the training and in the culture and, long before, they know how they are going to act even if they hope the situation never arises. If a leader has to say, "Lead, follow or duck" in a crisis then that is way too late and will probably precipitate a crisis of its own.

I believe it was Peter Drucker who said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." If your organization's new strategy is being torpedoed by the prevailing culture that has evolved over years, I would recommend introducing a culture shift with a broader, proactive initiative such as implementing a decision to become a Lean organization (very different to lean and mean) that can hold out opportunities for growth for all. It may appear to be slower to implement and you may need help and training, but without a culture shift your new strategy is going to have a long, uphill battle.

An essential element of the strategy for introducing a new strategy is to consider the people: the team and the individuals. As I read recently, they are not the most important asset of your organization, they ARE the organization.