|Quality Patient Outcomes Begin With Trust|
The forces shaping the future of healthcare are putting
increasing pressure on all players in the medical community to forge more
effective partnerships and collaborations if they are to achieve quality
patient outcomes at reduced cost. The foundation of these successful
partnerships and collaborations is trust.
Trust can be simply
defined as an outcome based on repeated interactions, characterized by specific
behaviors that drive high performance. Research has shown that trust isn’t a given, but has
to be earned. Further, once compromised, it is not easily restored. So, what
does it take to trust and be trusted? Here’s
a look at some trust-building practices.
This is saying what
you mean and meaning what you say. We tend to admire people like this because
they bring decisiveness and direction to situations where it’s needed.
Straightforwardness is essential when, for example, clinicians are giving a
diagnosis, prescribing a treatment plan or offering a team member feedback. It
is a key trait whenever critical business decisions need to be made, standards
upheld or policies enforced. It is essential for the governance of healthcare
systems, which relies on the strength of the relationship between physicians
Trust grows when
your actions are aligned with your thoughts, values and beliefs. In other
words, when you’re
straightforward with people, their trust increases because they never have to
guess what your intentions are.
Transitioning to a
leadership role in any organization is fraught with pitfalls. This is
especially true for physicians ascending to leadership in the governance of a
hospital or healthcare system. The independent, authoritative approach that
often works well for physician practitioners falls flat when it comes to
leading organizations at a high-level. To succeed in this more complex kind of
leadership, physicians need to cultivate the quality of openness.
internalize the concept of openness have the psychological hardiness to
interact with others in ways that make them want to open up too. So when
problems arise in the trenches, when timelines slip or mistakes are made, the
probability that their colleagues will share relevant information before it
becomes a crisis is raised. Time and money are saved, objectives are met,
trusting relationships are solidified and everybody wins.
People forget, drop the ball and break agreements. Leaders encounter any or all
of these situations in the space of a day, sometimes within themselves. How
they respond reflects their level of acceptance: the ability to attack the
problem and not the person; to consciously work to uphold the dignity of others
even when justifiably unhappy with them.
People who make
mistakes, voice resentments, dig in their heels and otherwise make a leader’s job difficult are
just that—people. Bias can be
subtle and insidious, but its counterpart, acceptance, is a skill that can be
learned. The payoff is psychological safety and the absence of fear, which
makes it possible for people to engage in all of the other trust-building
Making and keeping
promises is the foundation of reliability and it is essential to good
leadership and good business. The absence of reliability leads to breakdowns in
the form of conflict and loss of credibility. Reliability is a practice that
distinguishes the “go-to” people—those who are
always busy, yet always have the energy to take on the next thing. They are
counted on because they inspire confidence that they will come through again
and again on the promises they make. Trust grows when you make and keep your