Just as health care and patients’ needs continue to expand and change, Pennsylvania Hospital continues to evolve as an institution. Over the past several months, I have shared many details with you about leadership training sessions, action plans, and commitments we have made to creating cultural changes. As we talk about the newest piece of this PAH jigsaw puzzle, Fair and Just Culture, I wanted to explain how all of these pieces — engagement, safety, feedback, and fair consequences — are interconnected.
FY19 opened with an emphasis on employee engagement. Through “engagement boot camp,” hospital leaders learned to empower staff and help align individual goals with those of their team and PAH as a whole. Engaged employees are invested employees, and invested employees prioritize the safety of their patients and colleagues, thus contributing to PAH’s culture of safety. Leaders reconvened their staff to create safety-focused action plans and underscored the crucial role every staff member plays in keeping patients safe through clear communication. This “all hands on deck” mindset carried over into the feedback-rich environment training managers received. They learned that regularly sharing positive and constructive feedback with colleagues fosters a trusting, productive environment, and they shared these resources with their teams to encourage open and honest communication across levels.
Fair and Just Culture completes the puzzle — trust and transparent communication about opportunities for improvement, an unwavering commitment to quality patient outcomes, and the sense of ownership an engaged employee has in their role, even when they make a mistake, all come together to create a culture that values learning and coaching over blame.
There is still progress to be made as we improve engagement, continue on our journey to zero harm, and solidify our feedback-rich environment, but we’ve already started making strides on the next piece. Implementing a Fair and Just Culture is a lengthy, gradual process, and as Maureen Ann Frye mentioned in the executive training session, many institutions choose not to take the leap at all. But as I have said time and time again, PAH never settles for average. Thank you for taking this journey with us and for helping make PAH the best it can be.