Be Here Now
Openness and Trust
By Bob Weber, Senior Director Pharmaceutical Services, OSU Medical Center
From Things We Think, the Department of Pharmacy's blog
A group of us spent two days last week exploring both the culture of the OSUMC and our department. “Culture unfreezing” refers to this activity; others call it the “Senn-Delaney Program” (named after the consultant group who introduced it to the University). I’d like to spend time in this blog writing about my experiences in the program, and its benefits to the Medical Center pharmacy program.
Approximately 40 members of our department participated in this two-day event. And if you weren’t asked to participate, we will be having some more focused sessions that will introduce the concepts of the program to others on our team. The purpose of this retreat was to explore our department’s culture, and to explore the new changing culture of the medical center and the university.
I opened up the session saying that the purpose of the retreat was to help us to continue to move from “Excellence to Eminence.” This quote comes from Dr. Gee, whose vision for the university is establishing itself as an eminent leader in all that it does. We have an awesome pharmacy practice model here at OSU; and we can be even more effective if we focus more on interfacing with our patients. As I have stated previously, I would like for us to see every patient at least once during their hospital stay to educate him or her about their medications to improve their health.
Dr. Gabbe also spoke at the retreat; he continues to inspire me and we are very lucky to have him as our leader. He clearly stated that the culture of the medical center was changing to one that assumes only positive intentions, provides positive coaching and feedback, is focused on accountability, and respects the time of each member of our team.
We started the session off by talking about culture. Culture is the “way we do things here.” It is the unwritten norms and practices of a work group. During the retreat we talked about the current culture of our department. A survey was distributed to the participants several weeks prior to our culture unfreezing – this survey showed that we have great strengths, but also some areas for focus. The strengths are that we are committed to the highest quality of patient care. We can improve, however, in keeping to our word and being transparent with our colleagues.
- We spent several days exploring those factors that influence our department’s culture, and they are as follows: Your daily mood impacts everything you do, and all interactions you have with your co-workers. There is a tool called a “mood elevator” that is a scale of various moods. When your mood is up (as in an elevator ride) – you are more productive and have a broad view of things. When your mood is down, you are more close-minded, and not open to change;
- The more verbal appreciation we show towards one another, the more positive our environment becomes. Expressing verbal appreciation changes the mood of a department, which in turn affects our interactions with one another;
- When we meet with people or are in a meeting, it is best to clear all distractions from your mind, and to “Be here now.” This concept saves time and energy in dealing with our daily problems;
- Assume that all of our intentions are positive in all that we do. Having this baseline focus will help us to deal more effectively with conflict, and other stresses;
So, take a moment to show some appreciation for your co-worker, or support someone who might be having a bad day. Also, try not to take things personally by assuming only the best in people’s intentions. Finally, give your co-workers 100% of your attention in your daily work.
At the end of the retreat, we all focused on three things we would do to help change our lives.
My three things were:
- I will assume positive intent;
- I will be here now;
- I will provide regular coaching and feedback
If you don’t see me displaying these behaviors, please hold me accountable and remind of my commitment!
I appreciate all that you do each and every day as you actively improve the lives of our patents.
As I stated in the beginning of this blog, we are members of an excellent pharmacy department. To continue to be successful, we will need to do the following:
- Manage our expenses using principles of sound financial management;
- Lead the efforts on medication reconciliation and patient medication education;
- Provide for clinical pharmacy services for current pharmacist "gaps" in the hospital and ambulatory care areas. Some immediate areas of need include general medicine at UH;
- Implement steps to continue to improve your job satisfaction;
- Connect with and strengthening our partnership with nursing;
- Develop a structured medication safety program
I continue to be excited about the opportunity that 2011 holds for us in expanding our role in personalized healthcare. Some future blog notes will include the results of our patient education pilot on 6 Ross, and 11 East Rhodes Hall along with our strategic plan. Remember, you can always catch me early in the morning in Room 368 Doan Hall. Have a great week!