September 29, 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: What attempts have been made, or will be made, to translate elevate concepts into non-patient care areas?

Answer: The standards, practices and concepts of elevate apply not just in the hospitals and clinics, but also in the billing offices, kitchens, research labs, parking garages, faculty offices, classrooms and everywhere else that staff and faculty do their work.

Elevate concerns how we work with each other as much as how we serve our patients, and we've taken a number steps to ensure that all areas of VUMC participate in elevate.

• All VUMC managers and faculty leaders are invited to participate in our quarterly elevate management seminars. Leader rounding, thank you notes and other elevate management practices apply to all areas of VUMC.

• Managers and faculty leaders throughout VUMC are accountable for achieving the organizational goals we've adopted under elevate — goals for employee and patient satisfaction, employee retention, service, quality, growth and finance.

• All staff are introduced to elevate during employee orientation; they receive a detailed introduction to our service and service recovery protocols (AIDET and HEART), as well as instruction about applying these in non-patient areas.

• All staff and faculty have signed an agreement to uphold the work standards we've adopted under elevate (called “credo behaviors”), and staff in all areas are evaluated according to these standards.

• This year, areas that serve internal customers will begin to use customer satisfaction surveys.

Elevate is a VUMC improvement effort, applying in all areas of the Medical Center and to all staff and faculty roles.

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