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New Podcast Episode: Leading with Vulnerability with Sylvain Trepanier
During a recent virtual learning episode from Health Data Management and KLAS Research, Wambi’s CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Coren 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. Throughout the 3-part series “The Power of Positivity,” we’ve taken a closer look at this session while providing added insight and details. In Part 1 we explored how positivity helps improve outcomes and solve challenges and in Part 2 we shared how practicing gratitude can help you be more positive. In our final segment, we look at how gratitude from patients and family members makes a positive impact on hospital culture.
In this article, you will learn:
Healthcare is mission-driven work. Our healthcare workforce chose their profession with a desire to heal and serve people. It is these people (patients), that motivate and inspire tired and disheartened healthcare workers to keep going even when times are difficult.
“One thing that ties every single professional who works in healthcare together is impacting the patient and family member,” shared Wambi’s CEO and Co-Founder Rebecca Coren. “That’s why we’re all in this. This is a relationship and people business of helping care for people [in] their most vulnerable [moments].”
Millions of positive moments are shared between people in healthcare every day. However, our tendency is to focus on the negative. When we repeatedly ignore the special moments of human connection shared, even the most purpose-driven healthcare workers can become demoralized, disengaged, and overwhelmed by burnout. Without the patient voice, healthcare workers are missing the primary way to feel validated for their efforts.
Michael Zaroukian, MD, Ph.D., VP, and CMIO at Sparrow Health believes we are missing, “…the care for our caregivers, the gratitude and appreciation of our patients, and the need to create virtuous cycles of gratitude… That has been, many times, the missing ingredient and what we circle back to when we think of all the strategic things we do. How do we make sure we aren’t missing what matters most to patients, caregivers, and each other?”
For healthcare workers, recognition and gratitude can be even more meaningful and motivating when it comes directly from patients and families. By connecting to purpose and harnessing the power of the patient voice, healthcare facilities can transform their culture and impact both the patient experience and the caregiver experience.
The ‘Great Resignation,’ the ‘Great Attrition,’ the ‘Great Discontent,’ the ‘Great Reshuffle,’ the ‘Great Regret’ … the list of names continues. While we may not agree on what to call it, the consistent message is that the workforce is burnt out and disengaged. In fact, according to Gallup, only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their work and workplace.
During Wambi’s Humans at Work in Healthcare panel discussion, leaders across the country shared how engagement plays a critical role in their hospital systems. Paula Pritzl, Chief Human Resources Officer at Marshfield Health Clinic System shared, “Our [focus] is engagement and having our managers and our leaders engaged with our workforce.” All panelists agreed that one essential component to keeping team members engaged is to help them reconnect with their purpose, the reason they joined the healthcare industry. One way to do this is by reflecting on moments of connection.
Reflecting on the moments that make a difference and sharing those stories with others is powerful. During Moments Move Us Episode 5, Dr. Anita Girard, Chief Nursing Officer for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, shared how she encourages her team to do this. “I think people always think it has to be some big act, but it’s the simplistic micro-practices of pulling up a chair next to the bedside, getting at eye level, using a soothing voice tone, connecting with your eyes…The human face is so beautiful! So yes, I think it’s all the small things, and in my own philosophy, we pay too much attention to the big things. Those [big things] are all great and wonderful, but it’s the every day, every moment things that really, truly matter.”
Zane Zumbahlen, Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, recognizes the impact that these moments of connection can have on a healthcare provider. “These are the things that matter: how do we open up our heart, how do we connect in a real way, how do we use those moments to fuel us and to fight and combat fatigue?”
People working in healthcare have always had unique recognition needs, and the pandemic magnified and further complicated these demands.
“There has never been a more difficult time to be in healthcare,” Coren shared. “For the people that are still here, this is our calling. We’re here for a reason and we need to be tapped back into our connection to our purpose. And if there’s a way to feel more connected to our purpose, we’re going to do it. And once we do it, we’re going to feel so much better.”
The fear, uncertainty, isolation, and grief caused by the pandemic have led many people to reexamine what gives our life meaning. Work can be one way to find purpose, and as a leader, you can help ensure every team member understands how their work can improve the organization and society. One essential way to do this is to remind caregivers of the impact they make.
During Moments Move Us Episode 7, Chief People Executive at Hallmark Health Care Solutions Michelle Sanchez-Bickley shared, “The burnout is real, so now the conversation is, ‘How do we reconnect hearts and minds and the aspiration of why you came into healthcare in the first place,’ reminding everyone that they do get to make a difference every day.”
Gratitude from patients and families that is individualized and in the moment is the most meaningful and motivating recognition a healthcare worker can receive. An RN at Hackensack Meridian Health shared, “Whenever I receive the Wambi posts with the positive reactions and/or comments from patients, I am very grateful that my service made an impact in their lives.”
For more ways you can help your employees find meaning and purpose, download Wambi’s Healthcare Retention Whitepaper.
Throughout their time of care, patients and their family members are impacted by countless healthcare workers; however, keeping track of the people who cared for them is difficult and figuring out how to personally thank them is even harder. Wambi’s unique patient engagement solution empowers patients and families to share real-time, anonymous feedback and gratitude for those involved in their care experience. By collecting these positive stories and appreciation in the moment, Wambi helps uplift team members and improve patient experience.
Coren shared, “At Wambi, we empower patients and family to share recognition and gratitude at the point of care [for the] individuals that they have interacted with. And that individual real-time recognition is incredibly powerful. It fills people up not just for a second but rather, ‘wow, I made a difference today in the way that I wanted to.’ That recognition can go a long way.”
When patients can voice their gratitude in the moment, it has a lasting impact on the care team. Reviewing recognition from patients connects the care team back to their purpose and motivates them to continue to provide an exceptional experience. Demonstrating that when employee engagement increases, so does patient satisfaction.
Wambi’s impact was evident when a 210-bed urban hospital in New Jersey collected over 4,000 reviews and more than 2,000 comments from patients and families. This process provided the hospital with details that allowed leaders to address patient concerns in real time, leading to a 23% decrease in patient complaints.
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. Utilizing a recognition system that uniquely supports and understands the joys and challenges of working in healthcare will result in a more connected, purpose-driven workforce, elevating a culture of gratitude and belonging that benefits all.
Download the Recognition Buyer’s Guide to see how Wambi’s unique recognition platform can inspire lasting change for your healthcare workforce. Download today!
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.