In 1982, PENCIL Foundation—an alliance of business leaders and local school administrators—was created to provide new opportunities that promote achievement by young people enrolled in Nashville’s metro public schools. The Foundation’s PENCIL Partners program now includes more than 800 community-school partnerships that serve over 80,000 students. As a proud member of PENCIL Partners, SpecialtyCare regularly hosts students from Hillsboro High School’s Academy of Global Health & Science to introduce them to careers in the healthcare field.
The mission of The Joint Commission (TJC) is “to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.” It’s a lofty goal, and one that has helped thousands of healthcare organizations improve. Unfortunately, the prospect of a TJC review is stressful and overwhelming for many healthcare providers. It doesn’t have to be. Check out these three things we’ve learned by designing and implementing a tested program that ensures that the people of our organization are always prepared to pass a stringent TJC evaluation while also meeting the requirements of our own internal quality programs.
As I reflect on the past year, I’m reminded of the importance of leadership in organizations. While there is no one right way to lead, all effective leaders operate with clear values, authenticity, and integrity. In 2016, we launched a new reward and recognition program—SpecialtyCare Heroes. The program enables our staff members to nominate colleagues who have gone above and beyond in serving our patients, our customers, and our teammates. As I read through the nominations, I’m struck by the enormous dedication of our people, and I am truly inspired. The stories demonstrate a commitment to high performance, an attitude of caring, and a foundation of strong personal values. They reinforce one of the most enduring lessons I’ve learned about leadership over the years: Leaders can be found in all positions and at all levels of an organization.
On October 26, 2016, SpecialtyCare acquired Sentient, a highly regarded intraoperative neuromonitoring provider. We’re thrilled to welcome the people of Sentient to our team. We believe we’ll be a great fit together, both clinically and culturally. Combining our talent and experience will enhance our collective strengths and create new opportunities to advance patient care and drive clinical quality, which reduce costs for our patients and customers.
When Richard Lawson talks with young people about their future, he sometimes suggests a stint in the military. Other times he suggests a career in the medical field. And sometimes, he suggests both. These are not just casual recommendations—he speaks from experience. Technical Sergeant Lawson is a military veteran and a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard. He is also a SpecialtyCare perfusionist. His discipline and dedication over the years has resulted in not just one, but two, meaningful and impressive careers.
Estimates vary when calculating the money lost to fraud—it’s difficult to measure that which is undetected—but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that healthcare fraud costs the country tens of billions of dollars each year. Paying for law enforcement, legal resources, and sophisticated technology to combat the problem adds to the price tag. Taxpayers and employers endure the financial brunt of fraud, but illegal schemes can also put patient health at risk. Clearly, healthcare fraud is not a victimless crime.
The need for trust in healthcare is not limited to the clinical arena. Business practices matter, too. Wrongdoing on the business side often points to cultural shortcomings and a lack of integrity that can permeate the entire organization. As such, trust in a company’s underlying culture is as important as trust in its clinical expertise or the efficacy of its services.
Building a highly talented clinical workforce is imperative for providing the best possible patient outcomes. We know, however, that the most passionate and effective healthcare professionals offer much more than clinical competence and they look for value in their work that extends beyond excellence in clinical care. They look for the intangibles and meaningful connections that prompted them to choose healthcare as a profession in the first place. Our goal is to sustain a culture where our people can thrive and find satisfaction, both personally and professionally.