Values in action. . .

When I started here at the University of Michigan, I told the people I was to lead about my core values and expectations.

Prioritizing issues at our “11 at 11” meeting today.

  • Teamwork – I expect people to respect one another and work together for common goals.
  • Transparency – I practice and expect open, proactive communication.
  • Customer service – While we don’t touch patients directly, we are all part of the extended care team; clinicians and caregivers rely on our systems to safely care for patients. We must provide excellent customer service in every interaction.
  • Accountability – Each of us needs to take ownership and deliver on our commitments.
  • Innovation – We work for a leading organization in health care, as IT professionals we must always look for ways to innovate.
  • Continuous improvement – I was delighted to learn of the culture of continuous improvement within UMHS and the focus on lean health care. There are always opportunities to improve.
  • Results focus – We need to focus on end results. Even though process is important, we shouldn’t get bogged down in it.

During these past 18 months, I have often reinforced these principles and values, pointing them out when I see them in action.

We are now implementing our new electronic health record for inpatient services. I’ve been in the command center and rounding in the hospitals the past several days, and I am pleased to observe these principles and values in action. I have seen:

  • Teamwork – Hundreds of people are working as one team with many specialty sub-teams around the clock. They have successfully converted our data, activated our new system and are resolving issues that arise.
  • Transparency – We’ve been reporting the status of issues, including the impact on patient care and operations, on our project website and to hospital leaders throughout the day.  Communication to our users is clear, thorough, frequent, and through multiple channels.
  • Customer service – There are hundreds of “at the elbow” support staff and super users throughout the hospital to answer questions and demonstrate the more difficult functions. Desktop support staff have done hospital-wide sweeps making sure that all the barcode scanners used for medication administration are working properly. The service desk is staffed up to cut wait times and call abandonment rates.  Our communications team ensures there is a “Daily Flash” sent around 5pm each day with the latest updates and the newest Tip Sheets.
  • Accountability – At our daily “11 at 11” meeting top priority issues are reviewed and assigned. The meeting doesn’t end until we know who owns each of the most significant issues. These complex, interdisciplinary, and high impact issues usually involve workflow and design decisions.
  • Innovation – Staff working on problem resolutions look for creative and appropriate workarounds until the core issue can be permanently solved.
  • Continuous improvement – We’ve been streamlining and tweaking the monitoring and reporting processes as we see opportunities.
  • Results focus – Issues are well defined, thoroughly understood, and resolved as quickly as possible.

The implementation is going very well. With common values, we can accomplish great things. I am extremely proud of my team of incredibly talented and dedicated IT professionals working in collaboration with our clinicians and operations leaders. It’s a privilege to work with them!

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