Portrait of John J. Herman, the CEO of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health

Early this fall, we invited everyone on our Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health team to complete the 2021 Safety Culture & Employee Engagement PULSE Survey. We asked you to do this because your input is essential in identifying our organization’s areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

The survey hit your inboxes at an especially difficult time, as we faced high patient volumes and staffing challenges more than 16 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. But because your feedback is so important to our leadership team, we moved ahead with our plans for the survey.

Despite your incredibly busy schedules and the many demands you face, more than 72 percent of you took the time to complete the survey – thank you. Along with your positive feedback, you offered us some very clear and specific suggestions for improvement.

The survey identified several areas of strength, including your affirmation that we have created an environment where you would feel comfortable speaking up about a potential problem. This speaks directly to our efforts around psychological safety, Just Culture and high reliability.

Perhaps most importantly, you shared that you would feel safe being treated here as a patient. No one knows more about the quality and safety of our care, our culture and values, and there is no higher compliment than your trust in us to provide care for yourself and your loved ones.

Our opportunities for improvement are similar to what health systems are seeing nationwide. In response to the survey results, we created several task forces to address critical opportunities for improvement, including burnout, staffing and growth and development.

We have begun implementing the task forces’ recommendations, which include:

  • Comprehensive compensation market evaluations of several critical clinical roles
  • Continued enhancement of our Career Services resources to assist all employees in their professional development
  • Enhanced training and resources for leaders, to include engaging new hires with development of a “buddy system” and additional support
  • Increased sharing of critical workforce metrics to help leaders stay informed
  • Development of additional well-being efforts that will be communicated in the months ahead

Thank you for taking the time to actively participate in the survey. We hear you, and we hear your concerns. We are grateful that you felt comfortable sharing them with us, as well as your confidence in our leadership team to respond appropriately. I look forward to sharing more with you about our action plan to address those concerns as we continue to strengthen our organization overall.

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