"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Critical Thinking

During yesterday's new employee orientation, as is with every orientation, I go around the room and ask all new employees to introduce themselves and to tell me how they are going to apply our mission statement while at work.   In responding, one of our new nurses said that she would fulfill the mission of WMHS (Superior Care for All We Serve) by making sure that she thinks through the care of her patients to ensure that she has done all that she possibly could for each patient.  Wow!  What a great response and one that gets to an issue that we continue to deal with in the care and treatment of patients. 

We need to make sure that we ask ourselves the vital questions as we render care, gather information and interpret it effectively, think open-mindedly when alternatives arise, and effectively communicate as we try different solutions and approaches in the care of the patient.   We need to reach beyond our individual silos as we care for our patients.  Having a checklist is fine, but if we are able to check off every item on the list and the patient still has issues then we need to apply what our new nurse said, "ensure that she has done all that she possibly could for her patient."

We are talking about our patients, who while they are in the hospital, are at their most vulnerable point.  They are counting on us to step out of our comfort zone and do everything that we can to get them better and transition them to an alternate setting whether it is home, ,a nursing home or, another level of care.  A gold star for that new nurse; most importantly, she gets it, but she also gave me the opportunity to stress such a critical issue with our newest employees as well as to blog about it today.

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