September 16, 2005

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: Why aren't policies applied consistently across the Medical Center?

Answer: One of our roles as leaders is to hold ourselves and our staff accountable for following the rules of the organization. Whenever there is inconsistency in the application of house-wide or departmental policy, something has gone wrong. All of us have a role in guarding the integrity of our organization, so if you see something happening that is not consistent with our mission or policy, please bring this to the attention either of your supervisor or of Human Resource Services.

Many policies vary from one part of the institution to another and from one department to the next, and for good reason. Managers have leeway, for example, to set their own policy about how employees request time off from work. VUMC is a 24/7 operation and in many respects it requires more stringent policy and enforcement so that patient care is not interrupted. The faculty and staff guidelines set out by HR have considerable give to them, so let's be sure that we're not mistaking built-in flexibility for inconsistency, and that we're not confusing house-wide policy with departmental policy.

Again, if you see inconsistent application of a policy, please bring this to the attention either of your supervisor or of HR. For more information, see the “Faculty and Staff Guidelines” section of the HR Web site.

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