Healthcare coaching: improvement path

As healthcare organizations shift their focus to improving the patient experience, many industry leaders have turned to specialized business coaches to improve clinical quality, patient perception of care and profitability. Through partnering with Studer Group, organizations work to execute a framework called Evidence-Based LeadershipSM (EBL) that uses personalized coaching to align organizational goals, behaviors and processes in a way that moves and sustains results. Organizations that adopt EBL often see immediate improvements in patient experience results, employee and physician engagement, HCAHPS scores and other measures. But initial success in this arena doesn’t always translate to lasting success. No industry is changing faster than healthcare, and this change will continue apace. Business coaching should be a long-term relationship that keeps an organization positioned to sustain lasting, positive results. Learn what three healthcare organizations are doing to sustain results.

THE KEY TO MAINTAINING SUCCESS OVER TIME

Looking back at the history of most healthcare systems, hospitals and medical practices, one truth stands out: Business today looks nothing like it did a decade ago. It has grown and evolved in many ways. Organizations may have extended their offerings within a particular service line, expanded the number of physical locations in their network, or adopted new technology. One thing is certain, managing organizational culture through transitions like these is crucial for establishing and maintaining performance gains achieved through initial coaching relationships.

The healthcare industry is never static, and organizations can fall into the trap of believing their initial positive results from coaching will continue unabated for years to come. In truth, evidence-based management should be viewed as a continuous improvement process. It is hard to maintain a high level of staff engagement over the long term.

The three-year mark of the coaching relationship can represent an important turning point at which an organization either commits to ongoing coaching and continues on an arc of high achievement, or curtails its coaching relationship and sees its curve turn downward over time. Studer Group coaches help leaders stay focused on incremental changes that keep people motivated on an ongoing basis.

TOOLS FOR SUSTAINED IMPROVEMENT GAINS

No healthcare organization ever reaches a perfect state of clinical quality, patient care and profitability. Continuous improvement is a journey that requires constant learning and innovation. Studer Group coaches bring their partners the right tools at the right time to create a learning environment that delivers sustained improvement gains over many years. From high-level business insights to technology, no organization should waste time reinventing the wheel. Studer Group maintains relationships with experts who are constantly innovating practices and advancing success. Over the long term, coaches deliver this business insight so new tactics can be implemented to drive growth, patient satisfaction and profitability.

DRIVING IMPROVEMENT RESULTS OVER THE LONG TERM At a certain point in its EBL journey, an organization will reach a point when process improvements become second nature and are woven into the fabric of an organization’s culture. However, occurrences such as staff turnover can erode these gains when employees unfamiliar with EBL ignore or undermine continuous improvement efforts. As organizational or department leadership changes occur, Studer Group coaches work to ensure that previously learned EBL practices are implemented consistently. This ongoing coaching ensures the positive results gained in the first few years of the coaching relationship do not diminish.

HEALTHCARE COACHING: A NEXTLEVEL COMMITMENT TO QUALITY Change in any organization is difficult. In healthcare it is, perhaps, even harder. Without a sustainable approach to managing change, some organizations abandon coaching once a short-term change yields results. They feel once they “get started” on a change path, everything will continue on course. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In reality, people are eager to abandon change and return to the status quo at the first opportunity. Studer Group coaches help organizations commit to success for the long term. After they have successfully implemented a system through the initial changeover to EBL, they stay committed to keeping organizations on track by providing focused help where needed and delivering new tools and tactics to implement as they’re developed.

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