Denise Scott says don’t bother with person centered care . . . sort of . . . what do you think?

I can imagine the amount of feathers I am going to ruffle with the following statement, but the thing is, I think many people in long-term care feel the way I do. . . . The truth is, I don’t like person-centered care. Or resident-directed care. Or culture change. They all feel very “flavor of the month” to me. Like the Disney program, FISH! philosophy, and countless others. That’s sort of a strange statement coming from me (considering my business is helping long-term care leaders improve the resident and staff experience). But here’s the thing, I think the long-term care landscape is changing so constantly and so quickly that it doesn’t make sense to follow a certain “program”.    A program that may or may not fit your organization’s unique culture.      We love to stick a label on everything we do in healthcare. (And if it’s really special, it comes with a matching acronym.) But what about if we just simply strived to improve the lives of residents and staff?  Forgot about calling it something special and thought more about doing something special. 

How Does Your Organization Measure Up?

Over the years I have encountered various organizations that were seeking a “gold seal” to show that they are person-centered.  I think it is wonderful that some have pursued such a seal. I truly do.  I also think it is equally as wonderful that some organizations work purely for the benefit of residents, staff and the overall organization.  In those organizations, the brightest, shiniest seal that they can display is residents and staff that are sharing their positive experiences with others and encouraging their friends to come live or work there.  And shouldn’t that be the goal of all the work that you and your team are doing? Isn’t that the ultimate gold seal of approval?  The Four-Step Formula for Getting Started  Regardless of what you call it or if you are chasing a seal or not, your quest for doing better may seem overwhelming at first. But there is a method to the madness!  Over the years I have learned that sustainable change takes place when you do four things: awaken, assess, alter and anchor.  Awaken people to the need for change; assess where you are at to determine your priorities; alter the culture, systems and environment involved, and finally anchor the changes through accountability and personal ownership.  Steal These Moves From My Lessons Learned When I was an administrator I would get sucked into implementing new programs that I would hear about at conferences. But these programs usually failed to launch successfully, or fell apart quickly, if they did not have the support of staff that had been awakened to the need for change.  With that in mind, here are some ideas to help you with the first step of the formula “Awaken”:  Agitate Don’t Irritate  In the book To Sell is Human, author Dan Pink talks about the act of irritation, telling staff what they must be doing, versus agitation, which is challenging staff to think about what they should be doing differently. How can you treat residents and staff as full participants in the game rather than pawns on the chessboard? This switch in approach allows for deep, transformational change rather than quick wins that quickly disappear.  Take a Trip A free trip, but one that will create a priceless opportunity to agitate your staff. Have groups of staff and residents close their eyes and ask them to imagine what would make the community a better place to live and work. Ask them to think about the different spaces such as a resident’s room, the bathing area, and even the break room. Then think of the different experiences such as the smells, the sounds, and the sights that they see.  By involving residents and staff and hearing about their dreams, you will start to awaken them. At the same time you have started on the path to the next step: assessing where you are at and where you want to go.

Grab This Bonus Resource From My Exercise Stash

Exercises are the perfect way to agitate people and bring them to their own “a-ha” moment. If you would like a copy of a script to read for the above exercise, email me and I will send one your way!  What tip do you have for introducing change? The more specific you can be the better.  By sharing you’ll be helping others, not to mention reminding yourself of a successful strategy that you can put to use again in your own organization!  PS If you enjoyed reading this and would like to read more content like it, subscribe here…it’s free!