Listen to Moments Move Us Season 2 Episode 1: Owning the Responsibility of Leading “Human-First” with Annette Walker
Wambi has been named one of “Best Fit” Mental Health Services & Solutions by ANA\California.
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New Podcast Episode: Owning the Responsibility of Leading “Human-First” with Annette Walker
During a recent virtual learning episode from Health Data Management and KLAS Research, Wambi’s CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Coren Metter met with Sparrow Health’s Michael Zaroukian, MD, Ph.D., to discuss ways care teams can foster positive cultures amidst the compounding effects of the pandemic by tapping into the power of moments. We are taking a closer look at this session while providing added insight and details throughout the 3-part “Power of Positivity.”
We explored how positivity helps improve outcomes and solve challenges in Part 1. In Part 2, you will learn:
In Part 1 of the “Power of Positivity”, we looked at how creating awareness of what is going well in your life, positive emotions, positive relationships, and well-being combine to enable you to thrive. But how do we get to the positive when things are so tough? By practicing gratitude.
Research shows that reflecting and regularly expressing gratitude regularly leads to improved immune function, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, better sleep, and even faster recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Living a life of gratitude gives you hope, strength, energy, wisdom, and the serenity to meet life’s many challenges.
Wambi’s CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Coren Metter shares, “By practicing gratitude, we build a muscle of strengthening relationships. Gratitude is something we can all practice pretty easily and it is a gateway emotion into joy, positivity, and compassion.”
Think back to the first time you wrote a thank you note. For many, it was likely when you were a young child first learning how to write. Maybe it came after a birthday, celebration, or holiday. You may have also received a fill-in-the-blanks card with prompts similar to this:
Thank you so much for the [Item]! It made me feel [Emotion]. I think it is [Adjective].
Thank you so much for the [Item]! It made me feel [Emotion]. I think it is [Adjective].
As we grow up, we continue to develop skills to share gratitude and experience the joy of being appreciated. We learn the importance of this practice and how to harness it effectively to impact our relationships.
“Practicing gratitude is a very low entry point because we all know how to do it,” says Metter. “If we look at ‘Find-Remind-and-Bind’ [from Dr. Sara B. Algoe] Gratitude helps us to find the good that’s happening in our lives. It reminds us, many times, that the good lives in relationships that we have with other people. It allows us to bind us with the people that are the source of goodness, and that binding builds the relationship.” Focusing on gratitude for the people we interact with daily impacts our relationships, helping us maintain and grow them through recognition and appreciation.
Understanding that healthcare workers have limited time to dedicate to practicing gratitude, how do you make it fun, easy, impactful, and something they want to do? With Wambi.
“Everybody knows how to express gratitude,” says Michael Zaroukian, MD, Ph.D., VP and CMIO at Sparrow Health. “Everybody knows how to feel gratitude. It doesn’t take more than a second to even bring it to mind and begin to do it. Wambi has found super easy ways that people already are inclined to use to express gratitude and that creates a viral appreciation network. That I think is what can help turn a struggling organization around.”
By bringing compassion to the forefront of the human experience, Wambi’s innovative recognition platform creates the framework for a culture of gratitude. Healthcare workers receive and share personalized recognition from peers and patients to help them realize the impact they make each day.
As a Wambi client, William Distanislao, VP of Operations at Raritan Bay/Old Bridge Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health, knows the power of gratitude in a health system. He shares, “When you recognize a team member using Wambi, you and the team member immediately feel proud, gratified, and happy. There’s a human connection that creates a shared bond and ultimately transforms a culture and an organization.”
With a framework for a culture of gratitude in place, healthcare organizations can continue to build upon a cycle of gratitude. During Moments Move Us: Episode 4 Seeling is Healing, Cassandra Crowe-Jackson, Chief Experience Officer at Sharp HealthCare alludes to this cycle sharing, “How many times do you get a thank you card for your thank you card? Because we’re just starved for [gratitude.] People are so shocked to be thanked that you get a thank you for your thank you.” When receiving positivity people want to pay it forward and give that good to others. Wambi is built on this cycle of giving and receiving recognition and gratitude, creating an overflow effect into every aspect of work. Zaroukian says, “When [gratitude] starts to pervade your meetings and your organization, we believe it creates a virtuous cycle where people feel safe where they work, they feel like they belong, and they really start to see a future together.”
When team members feel uplifted and inspired by gratitude and recognition, it creates an authentic sense of belonging, a leading reason individuals decide to stay or leave an organization. As health systems face retention challenges, it is more important now than ever that every member of their team feels seen, respected, and more connected.
While recognition from peers and leaders is vital to an organization, there is an additional opportunity for healthcare workers to receive meaningful gratitude: from patients and their families. Created as a cultural transformation solution in an inpatient hospital setting, Wambi’s unique approach is based on the premise that there is a fundamental connection between employee and patient experience: to impact either, you must impact both. Therefore, the platform enables patients and families to share meaningful gratitude for individual caregivers, creating actionable real-time insight into the patient experience while uplifting team members.
In the Power of Positivity: Part 3 Transforming Culture Through Patient Gratitude, we look at how gratitude from patients and family members makes a vital impact on caregivers.
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In a recent virtual learning episode from Health Data Management and KLAS Research, Wambi’s CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Coren Metter met with Sparrow Health’s Michael Zaroukian, MD, Ph.D., to discuss ways care teams can foster positive cultures amidst the compounding effects of the pandemic by tapping into the power of moments. We will be diving into this session in three segments while sharing added resources and insight into their discussion topics.
In part one of our review of this session, you will learn:
Negativity bias is our tendency to over-focus on negative experiences while ignoring or deprioritizing positive or neutral experiences. Negativity bias evolved to protect early humans from danger and distress. Today, this bias causes us to emphasize areas for improvement at the expense of noticing what is going well. This is particularly prevalent within the healthcare industry.
“What providers are key at generally is seeing what’s wrong with something–That’s how we became good diagnosticians,” shares Michael Zaroukian, MD, Ph.D., VP and CMIO at Sparrow Health. “We’re unfortunately too often biased towards seeing what could be better, how to fix it, and what’s wrong with something.”
Healthcare leaders are committed to finding solutions and focusing on things that need help or improvement. That is what healthcare professionals are trained to do: solve problems. Rebecca Coren Metter reinforces this saying, “Sometimes in healthcare there’s a fear to look at what’s going well because it is assumed that will be at the risk of not focusing on things that need improvement.” But caregiving is not solely about solving problems. In fact, Metter describes healthcare as a people and relationship business. So how does negativity bias impact our connection to people?
“Negativity bias infiltrates thinking and then sabotages relationships,” Metter says. “What we know from data is that a person needs to hear five positives for every one critique in order to make a behavioral change. In healthcare, we do the opposite; we talk about all the things that are missing and we forget about the good things that are happening. A lot of these good things are micro–moments, little things that add up to transform and make systemic change.”
We must first bring awareness and understanding to our own negativity bias. From there, we can begin shifting our attention to the positive. Metter says, “If we can turn our thinking from ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ into ‘what’s the best that can happen’ and think about the moments that are really beautiful, we will start shifting our thinking to be more positive, creative, welcoming, and innovative.”
Metter explains that this is not deciding to be happy, acting as if everything is good, or instructing team members to simply look on the sunny side. Instead, leaders can shift their focus to realistic optimism to get to the positive and make systemic change. As burnout and exhaustion continue to challenge the healthcare industry, speaking about optimism may seem ingenuine or even naïve. However, this is not simply masking your negativity with a smile. Realistic optimism involves understanding that things are difficult while still noticing positive moments. Many times, these will be small moments and little acts of kindness. Just like shining a spotlight in a darkened room, leaders need to celebrate positive experiences amidst challenges.
In a recent article, Michael Dowling, CEO of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health shares how optimism and hope play a vital role in his leadership. Dowling says, “You have to be realistic. You have to balance reality with optimism. Yes, today’s tough but tomorrow will be better. You don’t give oxygen to despair. Who wants to follow someone like that?” Dowling goes on to inspire his colleagues in leadership saying, “You have the ability to do something special. You have influence. You can inspire. You can go to work today and either inspire people or deflate people. If you don’t get anything wrong, you’ll never get anything right. Manage toughness today and deal optimism for tomorrow.”
As pessimists are predisposed to find the worst in a situation, you may expect these individuals to be the first to identify problems in a system. However, Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, President and CEO of UCSF Health, believes that optimists are the first to name problems. Through positivity, optimists can see solutions and believe in their efficacy. Gunasekaran shares, “Optimism is the belief that we can overcome these challenges grounded in a plan to reach that brighter future, because the constraints that we presently live with can be removed and that there are solutions to the problems we face.”
Metter agrees saying, “Negative biases trains of thought are very narrow in thinking, which reduces the way we’re able to think about problems and conceptualize creative strategies to overcome them.” Metter sites Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden-and-Build Theory as evidence of how positivity can enable us to solve problems. This theory explains that negative emotions lead to narrowed mindsets, while positive emotions broaden our abilities to play, explore, and integrate. These actions inspire us to be creative, discover new ideas, and create social bonds, which build our resources. (Fredrickson, 2004)
“From an operational perspective, we have to put things in place to be more positive. This will help us identify solutions and be more creative,” says Metter. One of these solutions is Wambi’s healthcare recognition software, which elevates moments of meaningful connection to foster positive workplace cultures. With recognition from both patients and healthcare workers, clinicians and team members are appreciated and feel more valued through the power of gratitude. In Part 2 of our KLASRoom Review, we’ll address how practicing gratitude helps us to amplify positive emotions and combat negativity bias.
Interested in learning more about building a positive work environment to achieve operational and organizational success? Download the Net Promoter Case Study.
July is Social Wellness Awareness Month. In this article, you will learn:
Between social distancing, masking, and reduced visitation, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited our opportunities to connect with one another and has severely impacted social wellness globally. But what is “social wellness” and why does it matter in healthcare?
Social wellness is having positive relationships, connections, and a support system to bond with others and develop a sense of belonging. As one of the eight dimensions of wellness, social wellness focuses on building and nurturing meaningful and supportive relationships with individuals, groups, and communities.
Social support can impact both your physical and psychological health. Make time throughout Social Wellness Awareness Month in July to deepen relationships, build your network, and improve your social wellness.
To bring our best selves to work each day, we need to focus on all aspects of health, not just physical. Just like eating well and exercising can benefit your physical health, there are many ways to focus on your social wellness.
Before determining how you want to improve your social wellness, reflect on your current state and social needs. Some questions to consider are: What parts of your social life do you enjoy? What are your most meaningful relationships? How do you communicate during conflicts?
When looking for ways to bond with others and build satisfying relationships, consider these opportunities to focus on social wellness:
As we continue to evaluate ways to address clinician burnout and retention, one consistent solution is to create a positive work environment where team members feel valued and like they belong. Belonging is a key factor of social wellness. Everyone wants to bond with others, feel like they are part of a group, and know that their social connections are strong. With Wambi’s recognition software designed specifically for the needs of the healthcare community, team members and leaders receive and share personalized recognition and gratitude for one another to realize their impact and feel more valued at work.
Healthcare workers have a unique opportunity to build positive connections as caregivers. “One thing that ties every single professional who works in healthcare is the ability to impact patients and family members,” shares Wambi’s CEO Rebecca Coren Metter. She describes healthcare as a relationship and people business, reiterating the strong impact social wellness has on the field. But what happens when those connections aren’t positive? What happens when healthcare workers are anxious about their safety? As violence increases in health systems across the country, the relationships between patients and healthcare workers have declined. According to Vituity’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gregg Miller, “When a patient or family member becomes upset, our first reaction is sometimes ‘Do I need to call security to make sure we’re safe?’ rather than, ‘What can I say to help this person feel better?’”
Now more than ever, it is crucial for healthcare leaders to enable opportunities for positive connections between their team members and patients and families that are mutually beneficial to the well-being of both parties. Investing in a recognition system like Wambi allows you to create a more positive work environment. Wambi’s recognition software has demonstrated improvements in social wellness for healthcare organizations.
Wambi is built on the power of moments and elevating positive connections between people. In addition to sending and receiving notes of gratitude and recognition, here are a few things you can try to help you improve your social wellness during July.
Ready to build more positive connections between leaders, team members, and patients? Make social wellness a priority at your organization by requesting a demo of the Wambi platform.
In this article you will learn:
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare workforce was dealing with alarming rates of stress, burnout, and depression. The past two years have only exacerbated the problem, leaving workers exhausted, disconnected, and struggling. In a 2020 survey, 93% of health workers reported they were experiencing stress, 86% reported anxiety, 76% reported exhaustion and burnout, and 41% reported loneliness. These mental health challenges have contributed to deteriorating retention across the industry, with 20%-40% planning to leave the healthcare workforce within the next two years.
“The state of nurses’ mental health is not only a concern for patient safety but also the integrity of existing healthcare systems,” shares Dr. Marketa Houskova, ANA\California Executive Director. Though May is Mental Health Month, we work year-round to raise awareness about underlying conditions while working to destigmatize mental health and support mental wellbeing, particularly in the healthcare industry.
Organizations need mental health support and resources, but many tend to lean on traditional solutions that don’t work. One major roadblock preventing healthcare workers’ access to mental health care is the lack of prioritization and awareness of available resources. To help healthcare leaders better understand the breadth of mental health offerings and evaluate which products may be right for them, ANA\California released a review of 24 mental health services and solutions, naming Wambi a “Best Fit.”
As the Great Resignation continues to challenge retention, leaders are searching for the secret ingredient to keep their employees engaged. Ensuring that your team members feel valued by their managers and the overall organization are key contributing factors to improving retention. However, according to Mental Health America’s Mind the Workplace 2018 Report, 75% of respondents felt that skilled employees were not given proper recognition. With Wambi’s recognition and culture transformation platform, team members receive and share personalized, real-time recognition from peers, leaders, and patients to realize their impact and feel more valued at work.
People working in healthcare are incredibly busy, and patient needs come first. Therefore, any technology solution must be easy to use and learn while providing a fun, fulfilling, and engaging experience that makes users want to log in. With the Wambi platform, you can show recognition for any moment, big or small, and improve connection by shortening the distance between leaders and team members. Leaders don’t have to wait for big, impactful moments to show recognition, but can quickly and easily share a simple message of care and support to let someone know you are thinking of them. Establishing this connection can go a long way toward reducing burnout.
By drawing on gratitude and creating an awareness of what is going well, positive emotions and positive relationships combine to enable your healthcare team members to truly thrive. Wambi’s unique platform allows patients and their families to share positive stories and say thank you to their individual care providers. In addition, team members and leaders can recognize and support one another. Focusing on gratitude and reflecting on positive moments results in increased feelings of optimism. In addition, studies show that giving thanks leads to a stronger immune system, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, better sleep, and even faster recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Making gratitude a focus for your organization can provide your team with hope, strength, and the energy needed to meet life’s many challenges.
Want to learn more about the importance of gratitude? Download the toolkit today!
Wambi is dedicated to addressing the mental health crisis in the healthcare industry throughout Mental Health Month and beyond. Thanks to partners EvenHealth and Corporate Counseling Solutions, Wambi clients can receive end-to-end mental health resources to support their teams.
In March 2022, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act was signed into law. Included in the legislation is an initiative designed to encourage healthcare workers to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
“Healthcare professionals often forgo mental health treatment due to the significant stigma in both our society and the medical community, as well as due to the fear of professional repercussions,” shares Angela Mills, MD, chair of emergency medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. “This law will provide much-needed funding to help break down the stigma of mental health care, providing education and training to prevent suicide, address other behavioral health issues, and improve well-being.” This law is a positive step toward ensuring healthcare workers have access to resources to support their mental health.
For additional resources, be sure to check out all 24 mental health services and solutions compiled by ANA\California and visit the Well-Being Initiative by the American Nurses Foundation for free tools and resources to support the mental health and resilience of all nurses.
By sharing in support and advocacy for this important topic, we hope that anyone affected by mental health challenges can receive the care they need.
The more emphasis the healthcare industry places on emotional health and well-being, the more you’ll see a thriving, inspired workplace with strong organizational performance and team effectiveness. Ready to see how Wambi helps you keep mental health top of mind? Request a demo today!