Friday, October 23, 2020

Experts Should Be Trusted & Listened To

GBMC uses principles of high reliability to move closer to our vision every day. What does high reliability mean? A simplified version is that what should happen…happens and what shouldn’t happen…doesn’t happen. 

Academicians have studied highly reliable organizations and have found that these entities follow five principles. They are: sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, reluctance to simplify explanations of successes and failures, preoccupation with failure, and deference to expertise.

Leaders are in the position to make decisions. Being human, a leader can’t know everything. Smart leaders reflect on their knowledge and capabilities and seek the help of experts when they must make a decision. Governor Hogan should be commended for his work at the beginning of the pandemic. He sought the advice of epidemiologists from Maryland’s universities because he recognized that they had expertise that he did not have. He listened to them and took their advice in crafting Maryland’s plan for confronting the pandemic. Because of this, Maryland has done fairly well in confronting the coronavirus compared to other states where governors made decisions that were not informed by expertise.

Recently, I had an experience in my personal life that underlined for me the importance of seeking the input of experts. I was sitting at the dinner table when I heard a noise coming from the basement. I went downstairs to see what was happening and there was a loud “clicking” sound coming from our heating unit. 

I had no idea what I was hearing, or for that matter, what I was looking at in the component parts of the system. So I reached out to an expert – our Director of Facilities Jim Keyzer. Over the past few years, I have had many conversations with Jim about physical plant issues. I have been in awe of the depth of Jim’s knowledge about heating, plumbing, electrical works, and everything to do with building maintenance. So, I took out my phone and took a video of the heating unit. I then texted the video to Jim. Within minutes, I had a reply from Jim telling me that the noise was coming from the water pump and the most likely broken part that was causing the noise. The next day, I called a heating technician who came, validated Jim’s suspicions, and fixed the problem. 

This incident again reminded me how little I know about so many different topics and how important it is to reach out to experts and follow their advice. Giving deference to expertise is what helps us improve our situation as individuals, as organizations, and as countries. 

When leaders make decisions based on their own beliefs that may not be informed by truth and logic, things don’t go well. 

We are giving deference to expertise in our daily work at GBMC and our progression in achieving our Four Aims is evidence of this!

One family’s work in helping GBMC
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have sewn and donated more than 3,900 cloth face masks to GBMC for use by our staff. More than a quarter of these masks have been made by one volunteer – Rita Siwinski! A few weeks ago, Rita reached the 1,000 masks donated mark, which represents about 500 hours of work, not to mention the cost of materials which Rita so generously purchased. I wanted to make you aware of her efforts because she has truly demonstrated what it means to “give back.” During one of the most challenging periods in recent history, Rita’s example has been a bright star for all of us. What is also amazing is that Rita, a former employee, volunteers in the Pharmacy and her husband, Stephen, also volunteers in Spiritual Support. When you see them, please thank them for their ongoing commitment to GBMC!

GBMC Team…Please get your flu shot!
This year, getting a flu shot becomes even more important as the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue. All members of the GBMC workforce are required to be immunized (those few who are excluded for health reasons are required to wear masks during the flu season) to protect our patients. Our next FLU VACCINE EVENT is Monday, October 26, at Employee Health Services. Next week’s schedule is as follows:

Monday, October 26: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 29: 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Friday, October 30: 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Fridays: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Your GBMC ID badge must be presented at flu events. Vaccines are only available at the dates and times listed above, no walk-ins will be accepted at Employee Health Services unless specified above. The deadline to receive the influenza vaccine is October 30. 

Top Docs Again!
GBMC has always been recognized for the quality of our medical staff, which was again confirmed when 143 of our physicians, in 76 specialties, were named in the Baltimore magazine “Top Docs 2020” survey in the November issue. Several of those medical staff members were recognized in more than one category, and some have been recognized many years in a row! 

In preparing its annual list of “Top Doctors,” Baltimore magazine surveyed 13,000 area physicians and asked where they would send members of their own family for specialized care. This important question is at the very center of GBMC’s vision of providing each of our patients with care worthy of our own loved ones.

This year, the magazine also highlighted, Lauren A. Schnaper, MD, FACS, breast surgeon and our former Director of the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center. She was one of six physicians, from a pool of hundreds in the Baltimore area, selected to be profiled.

To all the “Top Doctors” at GBMC, congratulations from all of us! The rest of us in the family are very proud of you. To view a listing of our “Top Doctors” and to learn more about who they are, please visit here. 

I am delighted to announce that GBMC, was again a recipient of the Most Wired Hospital award from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) for both our acute and ambulatory services. We were one of two hospitals in the state to receive two Level 9 Most Wired recognitions, which is no easy task. Many institutions have only been successful on the acute side.

Some of our IT advances include expansive telehealth services to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic, a fully-integrated patient portal, and real-time data visualization tools. The electronic health record (EHR) can consume discrete data from multiple external entities to ensure continuity of care.

I am very proud of our IT Team in their recent achievement of the Most Wired Hospital award. Let me once again congratulate our information technology professionals and our clinicians on this fabulous accomplishment!

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