September 15, 2006

Elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question:Collaboration between departments is part of the Credo. What do we plan on doing with those departments that don't meet this standard?

Answer:Elevate starts from the premise that we all want to do good work, and the better we understand what's expected, the better we'll do.

In the early phase of elevate, we've been concerned with setting goals, adopting new management practices and shaping expectations for all individuals and work groups. Ample education and discussion have been essential to this early phase.

We're now moving to a phase where we can begin giving increased attention to accountability. We've recently asked all departments who serve internal customers to begin customer satisfaction surveys. Departments will experiment with survey methods in the coming months and will establish baseline data by June. Through the job evaluation process, managers will be accountable for these satisfaction results.

This question is a variation on others we've previously addressed, regarding areas of the Medical Center that are perceived not to be participating in elevate, and supervisors who seem behind in adopting the management practices promoted through elevate.

Each of these questions raises the general reminder that, through elevate, our organization is successfully adopting higher standards, and anyone we are unable to bring along with us on this journey will sooner or later fall by the wayside and find work elsewhere.

— Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs