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Positive results for VUMC service education initiative

Aug. 19, 2020, 3:42 PM


by Jill Clendening

In October 2018, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Defining Personalized Care — Elevating Our Culture of Service initiative was launched, and leaders are applauding the service education’s reinforcement of positive behaviors for improved delivery of service to each other, to patients and to their family members.

Notably, compared to fiscal year 2019, more patients than ever gave VUMC employees the highest possible scores for patient experience survey questions related to kindness and communication in fiscal year 2020, as reported by the health care solutions and consultant company, Press Ganey. In addition, the focus to also apply Defining Personalized Care behaviors with each other was reflected in strong positive increases in fiscal year 2020 for both VUMC Culture Survey engagement results and workforce retention.

“It’s important to pause and recognize that the level of commitment we have shown to complete the service education has led to strong positive outcomes,” said VUMC Patient Experience Vice President Brian Carlson. “More than 17,000 employees have completed the first four steps in our journey, which speaks to the extraordinary level of commitment across VUMC to improve service. Our focus on how we help others feel welcome, listen to understand, and infuse positivity throughout our workday has collectively created better experiences for each other, our patients and their families.”

VUMC’s longstanding Credo guides the overall professional conduct of Medical Center employees, while the Medical Center’s Patient and Family Promise guides all employees’ commitment to patients and their family members. This multi-year service education initiative, Defining Personalized Care — Elevating Our Culture of Service, was started to remind all employees how to deliver exceptional, personalized care in every interaction.

“Since COVID-19 appeared in our region in March, we’ve all had to make big changes in how we do business, and it’s because our employees have a solid foundation of service and a dedication to make those we serve their highest priority that we readily rose to meet the challenges created by the pandemic,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “We’ve had employees working extended hours, and many employees were quickly trained to serve in other areas of the Medical Center. Their dedication is unwavering and inspiring.

“What we’ve witnessed is a tremendous demonstration of pride, cohesiveness and teamwork that underscores and amplifies every line of our Credo and every word of our Patient and Family Promise. With the conclusion of fiscal year 2020, we are exceptionally proud to share performance improvements that prove what we already know — VUMC employees are a family like no other, fully committed to outstanding service, no matter what the challenge.”

The next segment of Defining Personalized Care – Elevating Our Culture of Service is coming in September. One VUMC Team will feature heroes from throughout the Medical Center.

A summary report showcasing fiscal year 2020 results can be downloaded from the Elevate site to be posted in VUMC employee areas and used during standing meetings.


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