Archive for the ‘Talent Management’ Category

We held a grill day at the Greeley Medical Clinic on Friday…just as fun as the rest throughout PVHS where members of the Senior Management Team serve lunches to employees.  We are so thrilled to have GMC as  part of the PVHS team.

Greeley Medical Clinic Grill Day

I am always impressed with the staff members of GMC. During the last year they have had a lot of outside pressure and watched services and other important influences in the Greeley community impacted. GMC employees have remained resilient and positive at every turn.  All of Weld County and PVHS owes a great debt of gratitude to the physicians and staff at GMC.

To the GMC staff: I hope you liked the burgers at Grill Day! Thanks for all the great work you do to care for patients in Greeley and surrounding areas! :)

Greeley Medical Clinic Grill Day


Read Full Post »

PVHS is thrilled to be listed again this year as one of the Top 100 places to work in healthcare.  I often get asked what makes working at PVHS better than employment at other organizations.

There are lots of reasons, but none better than our grill days.

The grill days started out as times when members of our Senior Management Team would come in and grill burgers for employees.  It was a great opportunity to talk to employees, find out if we were meeting their needs, and make sure this was the best job they had every had!

George Hayes and Team!!

Over time…in the spirit of continual improvement…we started to let the professionals cook, and we just served!  Everyone was happier…and we still got a chance to interact and make sure we were doing everything we could to provide the best place to work.

MCR Employees at Grill Day

Our most recent grill days were September 15 at Medical Center of the Rockies and September 16 at the Greeley Medical Clinic…and a great time was had by all!

We always hold Grill Days at multiple sites throughout PVHS so we can reach as many staff members as possible. We’re looking forward to our next grill days: September 23 at the PVHS Harmony Campus and September 30 at Poudre Valley Hospital.

Grill Day Bingo!!

Read Full Post »

I tell each new employee at PVHS that this needs to be the single best job they have ever had.  The reason, of course, is because we expect that they will give the best service our customers have ever had, so it only seems fair that I do may part first by making this their best job ever.

To make sure that happens, our innovative Human Resources Department (thanks Jennifer and Shawn) has developed a monthly publication called “Engaging Employees: Strategies and Stories from the Frontline.”  This is one of a number of great things several people do to help us provide a good workplace, and I wanted to share the March 2011 edition.  So…here it is.  In a few posts I’ll share with you our employee turnover rate and let you determine if we are making good on my promise to employees.  Here is March edition (thanks to Karen Martin at Medical Center of the Rockies for her great leadership here):

Best Practices from MCR Perioperative Services

While there is no secret formula to engage and motivate employees, the approach being used by Karen Martin, MCR Perioperative Services, is working in their corner of the world. She uses a quasi-servant leadership method – which she refers to as a collaborative leadership style. This approach includes knowing the people you work with as the foundation to building a top-notch team.

There are four major areas in this collaborative approach to engaging employees highlighted below:

1. Approach problem-solving in a collaborative manner:

  • Leaders in the MCR Perioperative area work with employees to find solutions to problems, asking for their input, understanding perspectives shared;
  • Keeping them updated on the solution or the status;
  • The goal is to understand what is working well for staff and what could be working better – armed with this information, these leaders can make employees’ jobs as easy and satisfying as possible;
  • Demonstrate humility in the process, including owning and learning from mistakes;
  • Continuously learning and growing—status quo is never okay.

2. Communicate often and openly:

  • Communication with staff is the top priority for this leadership group, with a focus on listening and responding;
  • They are as transparent as possible, sharing yearly department goals (which were developed with staff input), financial updates, Avatar scores, and key strategic information;
  • An email jam-packed with miscellaneous updates goes out to all staff 1-2 times a month;
  • Purposeful and frequent rounding is the routine.

3. Show appreciation regularly:

  • Say thank you to employees regularly;
  • Use the R&R program;
  • Recognize accomplishments in team meetings;
  • Say thank you, again!

4. Lead through change effectively:

  • Changes present many challenges; strong, collaborative leadership helps others navigate change with minimal issues;
  • It is important for leaders to by physically present during change to gain input, build trust, and facilitate understanding.

Read Full Post »

On Thursday night this week I had the great pleasure of giving the keynote address at the Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence at their annual awards dinner in Naperville, Illinois. What a fabulous group they have there under the leadership of Paul Kuchuris, the longtime CEO. The group was of course lead by Illinois’ own Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downer’s Grove, one of this year’s Baldrige National Quality Award winners.  What an impressive organization with impressive leadership. Congratulations! I was sad to learn that Paul will be retiring in a few months.  He will leave a great void as he has distinguished the Illinois State Quality Program in the entire country.

I left those in attendence with basically three thoughts for success:

1) Engage your employees, and be able to prove with data that you have an engaged workforce.

2)  Hardwire your strategy process so that it can be duplicated and improved every year, even if the CEO leaves.  The process simply can’t be dependent on any one person (Thanks to Quint Studer for teaching this better than anyone else!).

3) Don’t rest without results. In the end, it is all about getting better, so measure, measure and measure some more until you can demonstrate that your results are world-class.

Thanks to the good people at The Lincoln Foundation for having me.  It was a very engaging night.


Read Full Post »

In the process of receiving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the Poudre Valley Health System learned as much as we could from organizations across the country. Our goal has always been to find the best in the country and duplicate that. From Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., we found an innovative leadership training tool where all leaders across the organization come together quarterly to emphasize the strategic objectives of the organization and how each leader can play a role in deploying that strategy through the organization. It has been a very effective tool for us. A few days ago we had the fall 2010 Learn and Lead program, and some of the information was so fascinating that I wanted to share it with you here.

Leadership training in PVHS

Leadership training at PVHS

The first presentation was from Dr. Cynthia (Lee) Goacher. Dr. Goacher is the medical director at our Loveland Urgent Care facility, and was recently tasked with developing quality and measurement standards at urgent care facilities throughout Poudre Valley Health System.

Highway 287 and Grant Avenue, Loveland

PVHS Loveland Urgent Care

In her own words, this is how she developed this program:

What I found after hours of research is that very few standards exist for urgent care and only a handful of centers are credentialed by any organization. I was delighted when the core competencies were established (November 2009), but disappointed in the format originally presented (eight DVDs in lecture format). As mentioned, I completed a usable book that contains the core competencies with resources included. In addition, the medical director has a checklist on each of these competencies so every provider will be proficient in these areas before starting in an urgent care center.

Dr. Goacher presenting her standard practice protocols

So, after all of her work, Dr. Goacher now has a reference to ensure standardized care across the system, which means that anyone coming into a PVHS urgent care center will get the same great care from one place to the next. This is just a small example of the amazing people we have who are willing to spend hours and hours ensuring the best care for our patients. Thanks Dr. Goacher!


Read Full Post »

Last week I ran a summary of PVHS being the ONLY Colorado Health System or hospital to be recognized by Modern Healthcare Magazine as a top 100 employer.  Some people have asked me why that was important?  Look at these numbers:

692 – Number of new positions hired at PVHS in 2009

37,782 – Number of applicants for those positions in 2009

552 – Number of new positions hired year-to-date 2010

30,111 – Number of applications for those 2010 positions

So, when I say we have the best employees in the country, I’m really very serious.  For every position we post, we have, on average, 54.54 applications for that position.  That allows us to make sure that only the best people work for PVHS.  So…if you are one of those…YOU ROCK! :)

One more number:

The blog hit 50,000 hits just a few days ago.  A major milestone!!  Thanks to all of you who are reading and commenting. 


Read Full Post »

We learned this week that Modern Healthcare had for the third consecutive year name Poudre Valley Health System as one of the 100 Best Places in Healthcare to work in the United States.  PVHS has been on the list each of the three years Modern Healthcare has published it. Very cool!  This is important to us because happy employees make long-term employees, and long-term employees provide the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost…and that is what our goal is.

When I meet with new employees at their orientation I tell them that this has to be the best single job they have ever had or I will not have done my job.  If we can make certain that our employees like their jobs, then we can better meet the needs of our patients, physicians and others who use our system.  So, this designation is very important for us.  And since I could never be objective on the topic, I’ll just tell you what others have said about PVHS:

1) ONLY Colorado health system to be named a top 100 place to work

2) ONLY Colorado health system named a top 100 health system

3) ONLY health system in the US named a 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

4) Bond rating upgrade just last week from Standard and Poor’s

The important thing about this list (which could go on and on) is that if we were not able to do No. 1, we would never be able to do the rest.  So, thanks to the employees of PVHS for making us among the best in the world!


Read Full Post »

I have been impressed at how different the healthcare industry is than it was just five years ago.  You can do your own survey, but I feel like there has been more change in the industry in the past 5 years than in the prior 15.  Differences in technology, payment structures, relationships…everything.  It is clear to me that those who are able to adjust to these changing times will be the successful organizations in the future.

To that end, many years ago I saw a video on You Tube called Shift Happens.  I recently saw the updated version which I think describes many of the changes internationally which are driving a lot of the change in the United States.  I believe that organizations which will be successful in the near future will learn the information contained in this video and prepare accordingly.  In any event, I thought you might find this interesting.  Click here to see the latest version.


Read Full Post »

As I mentioned in my last few posts, there is nothing I enjoy more than walking through the organization and talking to people.  I learn so much from so many, and I must admit I just enjoy being around nice people. I have gotten so used to walking around and talking to people that there are literally hundreds of people in the organization who I consider friends and teachers.  WAY too many to specifically talk about, but given what happened on July 18, I thought I would mention just one.

Fort Collins CIty Golf Champion - Russ Hickman

On July 18 Poudre Valley Hospital locksmith extraordinaire Russ Hickman shot the low score in the Senior Division of the Fort Collins City Golf Championship.  So, essentially, he is the best old golfer in Fort Collins :) That is no small accomplishment. I have had the opportunity to play golf and work with Russ for many years, and I can promise he is a fabulous golfer. But, better than that, he is a great person and a great leader.

I have learned as much from him about leadership and about life as anyone I know, and I consider him a friend and a mentor.  He is always so patient to spend time with me, show me that he really cares about me, and offer what I think is priceless advice about leading people, trusting yourself and conducting your life and your profession in an honorable fashion.  I hope that I can be half as good a leader with half as much wisdom as him at some point in my life.  I know I’ll never be as good of a golfer….so I don’t even think about that part anymore.

Fort Collins City Championship Leaderboard

Congratulations to Russ on his outstanding accomplishments, and thanks to Russ for taking the time to mentor me and to be my friend.


P.S.  Recommended reading:  As a part of Russ teaching me he recommended once that I read a book about golf and life titled “Golf’s Sacred Journey; Seven Days at the  Links of Utopia.”  I found the book very engaging and learned a lot about golf…and life…from that book.  You also may want to check it out.

Read Full Post »

Hello, all!  I am Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital … and I’m temporarily hijacking Rulon’s blog to share an experience I had yesterday (July 8), which is actually today (July 9) in Fort Collins. 

I am in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I lost a day by crossing the international date line.  (I know I may be opening the way to becoming the subject of fun quips around the office, but I am so confused–after crossing so many time zones–about what day and time it is!) 

I am attending the Asian Pacific Quality Healthcare Conference.  I gave a speech yesterday to people from India, Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Omen, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, etc.  The conference was ceremoniously kicked off by Dato Mohd. Azizan Bin Che Omar, the Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-Operative and Consumerism.  Say his name and title three time fast!  

He was introduced with the Mission Impossible theme blaring away, and his talk included banging a gong several times.  I think Rulon could learn a thing or two from Mr. Omar!

I was quickly struck by how similar all of our issues are throughout the world as they relate to healthcare services. 

Everyone here is grappling with the same question as we are at Poudre Valley Health System:  How to provide high-quality care that meets the needs of their populations at a reasonable cost. 

Patient satisfaction is front and center in everything providers are trying to achieve around the world.  Every country at the conference, for example,  struggles with non-emergent patients using their emergency department as their primary care provider … And the list goes on and on. 

My topic was the PVHS Journey To Performance Excellence using the Baldrige Model.  (PVHS received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a congress-created award to honor the nation’s best performing organizations. )

Guess what song was playing when I was introduced?  The Eye of the Tiger

I spoke for an hour and took an hour and a half of questions.  I kid you not, for 90 minutes, they asked questions about how we have been so successful.  Here are just a few of the many topics that we covered:

–Many conference attendees were amazed that we have more than 800 volunteers from the community who assist in making PVHS world class.  Most countries start a volunteer program, but they fade away within a month or two after being launched.  One lady commented they usually have a volunteer program until that volunteer dies. 

–Many at the conference also couldn’t believe we have physicians who truly care about quality.  There was a great conversation about the power-distance that exists between physicians and staff in the Asian countries. This gap deters patient care and makes working on a quality agenda difficult. 

–They wanted to better understand our human resources department and what our behavior standards are, and how our organization expects from each staff member the same quality of high work and interaction with patients, colleagues, physicians, vendors, and others. 

 –Many at the conference are struggling with electronic health records.  Several persons from Kuala Lumpur spoke about their paperless, completely electronic hospitals and difficult challenges they have faced  in increased time needed to document from the  paper model to the completely electronic model. 

 –Some noted they had done away with their waiting rooms–anticipating greater efficiency–but now are having trouble with overcrowding. 

–They were impressed with our Learn and Lead program–the strategtic effort that we use to inform and train our more than 400 leaders at PVHS (directors, managers and others who have employees reporting to them). Learn and Lead is one of many training and education programs we offer to employees, volunteers and physicians.

–There was also discussion about how we work to make sure every employee and volunteer understands how they contribute to our overall mission and vision of the organization through the use of goal cards that each person has attached to his or her work identification card. 

 Asia Pacific Quality Healthcare Conference

Throughout the conference PVHS has been held up as the benchmark for what the rest of the world is working to achieve–truly world-class service!  

I am honored to have the privilege of being at this conference and representing our organization, employees, volunteers, and physicians. I hope they all feel as proud as I do about the level of quality produced every single day within our health system.  As I’ve learned here, many others in the world are certainly impressed by PVHS!    

With best wishes to you … blogging from Kuala Lumpur … this is Kevin Unger!

(This blog was written Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital, owned and operated in Fort Collins, Colo., by Poudre Valley Health System.  Rulon Stacey, president and CEO of the health system, will return soon to writing this blog.)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 151 other followers