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Communicating effectively focus of education initiative

Mar. 21, 2019, 9:20 AM


by Jill Clendening

Communicating effectively is an important aspect of the Credo that guides the professional conduct of Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees, while the Patient and Family Promise guides our commitment to patients.

Beginning this month, all employees will receive the opportunity to build on their communication skills as they complete the second segment of a two-year service education initiative: Defining Personalized Care — Elevating Our Culture of Service.

‘Communicating Effectively’ is the second phase of VUMC’s Defining Personalized Care — Elevating our Culture of Service initiative.

A smile, an offer of assistance and the use of optimistic, “can do” phrases can often turn the challenge of navigating a complex health care system into a more positive experience. The Defining Personalized Care initiative is designed to enhance employees’ ability to deliver the best possible service to each other, patients and patient family members.

“Communication is at the very core of what we do every day as we interact with our colleagues, patients, their families and other visitors to the Medical Center,” said Brian Carlson, VUMC Patient Experience Senior Director.

“This segment covers some basics of effective communication and provides important reminders about some small things we can all do every day to ensure those we meet know that they are very much valued and appreciated.”

“It’s important to us that this initiative feels different and celebrates those who already consistently provide exceptional service,” said Cory Colton, VUMC Executive Director of Learning and Development.

“We want this initiative to include creative ways to share stories of exceptional service at VUMC, and to leverage those to identify actual behaviors we can emulate to drive consistent, exceptional interactions — every time.”

The Defining Personalized Care — Elevating our Culture of Service initiative began in October with the launch of the Be Welcoming module and continues with the launch of the second segment, Communicate Effectively. Over the next two years, a new segment will roll out approximately each quarter through the Learning Exchange. A more advanced segment that will address effective communications techniques is targeted to launch in August.

“Our Patient and Family Promise, which we have posted throughout the Medical Center, and our Credo reflect our values and expectations for how we treat others,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, Chief Patient Experience Officer. “With this two-year initiative we are providing every employee the coaching, knowledge and skills to make VUMC the place patients want to receive their care and where our colleagues enjoy coming to work every day. Every single interaction with a patient, family member or co-worker is a chance to deliver exceptional, personalized care and service, and we want to make sure we are doing just that.”

All leaders and staff should have received an invitation from C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC, automatically enrolling them in the new segment. More information about Defining Personalized Care — Elevating Our Culture of Service is available at the Elevate website and the Human Resources website under the Leader Central tab.

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