What do they say when you assume…?

Drama yuck…It is plain ol’ simple morale killing.  It is hitting us hard these days, and it is time that it STOPS!  So I decided to put together a few points on drama.  If we follow these rules, I believe it will help us stop being a dysfunctional family.

Rule #1:  Don’t be High Schoolish

We are a professional organization, we are one of the most diverse, complex industries in the world.  We have many, many backgrounds, cultures, education levels and socio-economic levels.  It is hard enough to mesh already, be cognitive of doing things worthy of high school hall ways…example: not getting along with a certain co-worker?  Don’t give them the cold shoulder without greeting or glancing at that individual.  On the flip side don’t ASSUME that just because somebody walked by you without glancing or acknowledging you that they have a “beef” with you.  The most appropriate response is to talk it out with that person (read below on this).  This simple, albeit sometimes difficult skill, is tremendous in making work-place drama stop in its tracks.

Rule #2:  Save the venting/gossiping for outside the hospital, don’t be “that” person that complains about everything, aka Debbie Downer. 

This one is probably the most obvious, and most violated of all time.  It’s common work place chatter: “Did you hear what Brian said in the meeting this morning?” “I can’t believe Lisa thought this report was good.” “I heard that Megan partied a little too hard with a client last weekend at the conference.” “Dr. Hutches wanted to put this patient on chemo, they won’t make it”!  Ask yourself, do any of these statements better yourself as a professional?  Do they help make the patient better?  Again on the flip side, don’t ASSUME that you know what is going on with everything…there are three sides to every story.

Rule #3:  When in doubt, wait to reply

One thing that gets under my skin is an email that seems to attack people, teams or others work.  So when you do, you immediately fire off a scorching reply, contesting every point made in the email—and CCing a few key higher-ups to make your point crystal clear. Suddenly, everyone’s chiming in and taking sides on what’s now an emergency situation.

Or, you resort to the more passive-aggressive approach, beginning your email with, “I could be wrong, but maybe my team wouldn’t have missed our deadline if the lab and radiology managers had provided the data on time.”

We all have fired off replys of the above nature.  Stop.  Wait.  Walk-away.  Give it 24 hours.  You’ll not only save yourself grief, you’ll think more clearly also…and avoid a whole lot of drama in the process. See Rule #5.

Rule #4:  Never ASSUME negative intent

What does this mean?  Read rule one about the cold shoulder treatment.  Or let’s say someone on your team sends you an email that says “Hey Katie, I think we may need to change the approach to our patient care plan.”   If you’re reading it under the assumption that everyone on your team is working together toward one, unified goal, you could see this as a respectful, helpful suggestion.

If, on the other hand, you’re assuming everyone wants to knock you down, degrade, order something without cause, you could interpret it as a condescending attack on all the work your team has put into the car plan so far—and an assertion that the sender clearly thinks he or she is better than you.

It’s pretty apparent that of the two options, the second is much more likely to contribute to a drama-filled workplace.

To avoid that drama, simply work under the assumption that your co-workers and managers are there to help you, support you, and challenge you to produce even better work.  Avoid being overly sensitive about everything also.  Even if they are not, these types of folks have a way of weeding themselves out.

Rule #5:  Know when to talk it out

Know when to talk to people in person…this means several things:  stay away from email, phone or text when it needs to be communicated in person.  Also, know when you need to talk to that person instead of letting the drama simmer over.  Talk to that person (it was worth saying again).  We have had multiple incidences over the past month of people being “fearful” to do this.  It sits and fester, people violate the gossiping rule and spread the disease throughout the hospital…then it is becomes Defcon 1 crisis level.  This should be always be the first approach.  See rule #4

In the past couple of months, I have asked for documentation on certain instances.  I have been met with: staff is fearful…past administration has retaliated, not allowed certain things, or not done anything about it.  This is not past administration.  While not all sides can be told on personnel matters, I ensure, absolutely ensure, and sincerely promise that all retaliation rules, personnel rules, disciplinary processes are kept in mind when dealing with these situations.  If you disagree, I would love to have anyone who disagrees to visit with me  if there is something I am missing…so I can improve.

When you follow these rules, we will all avoid creating and adding to workplace drama. And a workplace without drama is one that is efficient, productive, and perhaps most importantly, enjoyable.  However, the ultimate goal is…our patients.

On another note below is a snapshot of our strategic plan goals for the year:

*Data taken from project timelines in % completion
Strategic Goal Who is Responsible Jan Trend Feb
Strategic Plan Total Goal Achievment CEO 44% #REF!
1.0 Patient/Customer Relations and Growth        
1.1 Implement additional clinic hours Heather. Sheila 100%  
1.2 Increase Hispanic population by 20% Trampas and Diana 0%   0%
1.3 Implement Opthalmology program (cataract) Heather, Trampas, Mary Kay 15%   0%
1.4 Expand dental services Heather, Trampas, Mary Kay 50%   0%
1.5 Increase surgeries by 30 surgeries Julianne, Sherri, Trampas 0%   0%
1.7 Increase specialty market to 50% Trampas, Mary Kay, Heather 0%   0%
1.8 Implement Chemotherapy Trampas, Julianne, Amy 2%   0%
1.9 Implement step-down ICU Trampas, Julianne 1%   0%
1.10 Implement Paramedic in ED, transfer program Julianne, Brady, Heather 15%  
Total 10%   0%
2.0 Finance        
2.1 Improve revenue cycle by 10% Jason, Samantha 100%   0%
2.2 Retail Rx to be budget neutral Jason, Amy 15%   0%
2.3 Implement Business Development plan Trampas 100%   0%
2.4 Implement Marketing Plan Trampas, Megan 100%   0%
Total 79%   0%
3.0 Relations        
3.1 Cultural Development and training Tampas, Heather 8% 0%
3.2  Strengthen and expand GYO program Trampas, Foundation 10%   0%
3.3 Develop/implement programs w. school Trampas 2%   0%
3.4 Community relations Trampas, Megan 50%   0%
3.5 Recruit 2 FTE Trampas, Dr. Wilson 50%   0%
3.6 Medical/Residnecy rotations Trampas, Dr. Wilson 50%   0%
Total 28%   0%
4.0 Technology      
4.1 EHR selection/implmentation All management 50%   0%
4.2 Telehealth implmentation Megan, Heather 25%   0%
4.3 Determine best MACRA route Trampas, Jason, Heather 100%   0%
Total 58% 0%

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