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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Identifying & Overcoming Diversity Challenges in Healthcare Delivery

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Hospitals in North America are serving an increasingly diverse patient population. This requires healthcare providers to be not only medically competent but culturally competent, too. Identifying and responding to diversity challenges while delivering patient care requires compelling diversity training for healthcare employees.

In order to provide optimal care, it is essential to understand that not all cultures share the same beliefs regarding health and illness, nor do they agree on what is an appropriate treatment for a disease, or what is proper behavior when ill. These differences can, at best, cause a great deal of frustration on the part of the provider, and at worst, result in inferior care. To prevent this, diversity skills training will prepare employees to handle the various challenges that present themselves daily in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

For example, not knowing that coin rubbing is a traditional Asian healing remedy can cause a healthcare provider to be distracted by the welts on a patient, ignoring the true source of the illness, particularly if the patient does not speak English. Some patients may refuse medical treatment, believing that God will heal them. Muslims may refuse to plan for death, believing that to do so would challenge the will of Allah. Sikhs may not allow a nurse to prep them for surgery, since their religion forbids the cutting or shaving of any bodily hair. While it’s impossible to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every cultural or religious belief or tendency, we can learn something about the most common patterns of the populations we commonly serve, while keeping in mind that there is tremendous variation within each group, and among individuals.

Effective diversity training will introduce healthcare employees to the two keys to achieving cultural competence in healthcare delivery: attitude and knowledge. First, medical professionals must learn to approach a diverse patient population with the proper attitude: understand that different people’s ways of doing things may be different, but equally valid. Anthropologists term this attitude cultural relativism and contrast it with ethnocentrism – the belief that your culture’s way of doing things is the only right and natural way, and that all other ways are inferior. The healthcare practitioner who tries to understand the beliefs and values of his or her patients will be much more effective than one who merely sees them as strange.

Having varied knowledge about different cultures’ beliefs, values, and traditions is also important. The best sources of knowledge, however, are your patients and co-workers. Most people are happy to share information about their culture with people who genuinely want to learn. So don’t be afraid to ask people about their culture, and share with them information about your own.

Patient Diversity is an engaging diversity skills training video created to help medical practitioners develop the awareness and skill to treat patients with different cultural, religious, and language backgrounds.

Building Trust With Patients: Trust Point Exercise

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Activity: Trust Point Exercise
Time: 50-60 minutes

Set the stage (5 minutes)
Remind participants that a big part of patient satisfaction stems from the degree to which a patient trusts his or her healthcare provider. It is crucial that everyone in the healthcare field understand that each encounter with a patient represents a “trust point” in which you either build the patient’s trust in you, or lose their trust.

  • Trust points involve contact with our patients by phone, in person, by email, by any means.
  • Trust points are an opportunity for the patient to learn something about us as an organization, and about us as individuals.
  • The best trust points leave a positive impression on the patient.

Explain to participants that the purpose of this activity is to help them:
– Understand the relationship between patient care, clinical interaction, and organization/practice success.
– Review typical patient interactions and identify trust points.
– Examine trust points and develop ways to improve the patient experience.

Introduce the Activity (5 minutes)
Tell participants that over the next 40-50 minutes, they are going to take a close look at the trust points in their practice or department, and how they interact with and relate to patients through these transactions. Explain that this will be a small group activity, with each group discussing one of the four phases of the patient care experience. When all groups are done, they will report back to the full group on the trust points they’ve have identified.

Say: Let’s examine our practice/department by breaking it down into four main phases of the patient care experience (write these on the flipchart):

  1. Check-In – from the time a patient makes an appointment or walks in the door.
  2. Procedure or Visit – the actual clinical interaction we have with a patient and the patient’s reason for coming to us.
  3. Recovery and Follow-up – this can be as complicated as post-surgery or as simple as providing test results or calling in a prescription.
  4. Behind-the-Scenes – insurance processing, setting appointments, transferring files, matching forms, calculating costs, arranging for home medical equipment, etc.

Each of these phases provides a series of trust points with our patients – so each one has plenty of opportunities for us to fail or succeed.

Hand out the Trust Point worksheet. Click here for worksheet PDF.

Ask the participants to break into four groups. (They can use any method they want to create four groups, but each group should include staff from different practice areas to promote idea sharing.)

Assign each group one of the four practice phases: Check-In, Procedure or Visit, Recovery and Follow-Up, or Behind-the-Scenes.

Have the groups use the Trust Point Worksheet to guide the discussion of their assigned practice phase.

Have groups complete the activity. (20-30 minutes)
Give each group a flipchart page. Have them create their flipchart page to look like the Trust Points Worksheet.


  1. Identify a “reporter” for your group. The reporter will fill in the flipchart and present your group’s findings to the full group in the next step of the workshop.
  2. Identify as many trust points as you can in for your assigned treatment phase. Write these in Column 1.
  3. For each trust point, write what the patient needs in Column 2.
  4. In Column 3, write what we need for each trust point on the practice side of the equation – including any technical or system requirements.
  5. In Column 4, write down what we need or expect from each other at each of the trust points.
  6. Later, we’ll use Column 5 to brainstorm how to make things better for the patient at each of the trust points you identify. We’ll do that as a full group.

Walk around the room to answer any questions.

Debrief the Activity (20 minutes)

  1. Have the reporter for each group post their flipchart and describe their small group’s findings for their assigned phase.
  2. Begin the brainstorming process. For each Trust Point, ask the full group to come up with ways to make things better. The reporter should write these in Column 5 of their flipchart.
  3. Depending on the time you have available, allow more or less discussion of each group’s ideas.
  4. Tell the participants that you will type up the completed flipcharts and make them available for everyone’s use after the workshop.

Where do we go next? How can we start to implement these suggestions?


This training activity excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for the best-selling It’s a Dog’s World training video from CRM Learning. Preview the video and see why it is our all-time best-selling patient satisfaction training video. Also, check out our It’s a Dog’s World e-learning module. This e-learning is the perfect way to reinforce individual employees’ knowledge and skill after the group has viewed and discussed the video.

Dealing with Conflict in Healthcare

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Dealing with Conflict In HealthcareConflict is a part of life and not something that we can avoid, especially in the workplace.  When large groups of people have to work together, emotions and opposing ideas can cause friction.  In highly stressful work environments such as healthcare settings— tension arising from conflict can make a taxing job even more difficult.

Like most people, healthcare workers want to be able to resolve conflicts with co-workers in a way that solves the problem at hand without undermining the working relationship. This, however, can prove to be difficult. Conflicts often turn into more of a competition than a collaboration and things “go south” quickly.

Taking a collaborative approach to conflict resolution is a key interpersonal skill. When developing this skill, employees must be willing to look at how they typically behave when faced with conflict and consider if this behavior is conducive to finding win-win solutions.

The video training program Dealing with Conflict, Healthcare Version teaches how to take responsibility for, and resolve, conflict in the workplace. (more…)

HIPAA Training Videos

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Are you trying to stay up-to-date with the newest changes to HIPAA, including the HIPAA Omnibus Rule? How does this new rule impact your compliance strategies? With these layers of changes, how can healthcare employees know what HIPAA security training videoshas stayed constant, expanded, or altered altogether? These HIPAA training programs set the standard to ensure your facility’s compliance.

HIPAA Rules & Compliance

Update your training and give employees an overview of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule. This program reviews basic, unchanged requirements and discusses critical changes on:

  •  The Minimum Necessary Rule
  • PHI disclosure for marketing and fundraising
  • Breach notification and enforcement rules
  • Scope of enforcement


Stand Up and Be Counted: Patient Satisfaction

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Why Patient Satisfaction Should Be Even More Important to Healthcare Providers Today.

Dawn Hunter
Senior Consultant
The HSM Group, Ltd.

Healthcare organizations that don’t make patient satisfaction a priority risk losing market share, financial gain, and employee retention. Whether you attribute the movement toward patient-centered healthcare to things like increased transparency, skepticism about doctors and health plans, or an industry-wide push to improve quality outcomes, the healthcare industry is evolving and there are a number of compelling reasons why improving satisfaction should be high on the agenda of all healthcare providers.

Beginning March 2008, consumers have access to results of patient satisfaction data on hospitals as they have not had before. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a public reporting initiative in which adult patients rate their experiences of hospital care and services. Public reporting via HCAHPS is expected to increase the transparency of the care provided in return for the public investment and participation is required for general acute care hospitals in order to maintain eligibility for full reimbursement updates from CMS. CMS publicly reports results on Hospital Quality Alliance’s (HQA) Web site, Hospital Compare (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov).

Satisfaction that can be measured also offers the potential for higher compensation. Measuring satisfaction has become commonplace and providers (both hospitals and physicians) will be increasingly expected to participate in more pay-for-performance (P4P) programs where bonuses and basic compensation levels will be derived in part or in total, from patient satisfaction scores. P4P programs are being offered by a wider array of stakeholders, such as health plans and employers. One example of a P4P program that has paid out millions to medical groups in California was launched in July 2000 through The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), which formed a high-level working group of purchasers, health plan medical directors, and physician group executives and medical directors. In 2004, payments to physician practices in California totaled $35 million. There are other examples of P4P programs where a portion of compensation (say 15%) is determined by patient satisfaction scores, and, while not the norm, there are also more aggressive P4P programs where as much as 100% of a physician’s total compensation is related to patient satisfaction scores.

Satisfied customers reduce the likelihood of litigation – happier, more compliant patients translate into lower malpractice risk. A June 2002 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that lawsuits were significantly related to total numbers of patient complaints, even when data were adjusted for physicians’ volume of clinical activity. So, the bottom line is that more satisfied patients are less likely to file medical malpractice lawsuits.

Satisfaction is not only good for the patient but also good for the provider. Studies have indicated that providers who show higher levels of professional satisfaction also have more satisfied patients. Another study showed a correlation between patient satisfaction and outcomes; results indicated that patients who were more satisfied were also more compliant and more likely to have more successful outcomes.

Satisfied patients can result in higher workforce retention. Research by Press Ganey shows a relationship between employee satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and quality of care as an interactive, reinforcing relationship. Not only do satisfied employees deliver better care, but working for an organization that values patients and delivers quality drives employee satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Satisfied customers contribute to a positive image in the community, lower patient turnover, and the potential for less money spent marketing. Let’s not forget that it costs more to replace a lost customer than keep a satisfied one and that unhappy patients influence their friends and family away from the providers at perhaps twice the rate satisfied customers refer patients to a provider.

While any of these reasons alone might make a valid argument for why healthcare organizations need to think about patient satisfaction, when looked at in combination, the evidence is undeniable. Patient satisfaction is important, and providers who want to be viable, competitive, and quality-focused would do well to not underestimate the importance of meeting patients’ expectations.


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