Every Person. Every Time.
by Robert J. Vissers, MD, President and CEO of Boulder Community Health
October 25, 2017
As you know, we've set a very ambitious vision for BCH — to create
and care for the healthiest community in the nation. I'm confident
we're well on the road to achieving that lofty goal.
I'm writing today to announce the official launch of a system-wide
initiative designed to move us closer to that vision by helping all of
us improve our ability to listen thoughtfully and carefully to our patients
and each other. "BCH Listens: Every Person, Every Time" is an
opportunity for personal and professional growth centered on refining
our communication skills.
Creating a culture of active listening can transform BCH in many valuable
ways. Active listening is good medicine — research shows that providing
treatment within an emotionally supportive environment improves patient
outcomes. Patients in such a setting feel more connected with their caregivers,
creating a more supportive relationship for both parties.
It's also been shown that caregivers who create real emotional connections
with their patients and their colleagues experience much deeper job satisfaction.
It's easy to understand that connection. After all, we chose health
care as a career because we wanted to help people. Unfortunately, due
to the ever increasing demands of our jobs, some of us find ourselves
more focused on managing and documenting patients' care than building
supportive and healing relationships. That can lead to burnout. BCH Listens
can help us recapture that ability to connect emotionally with our patients
— and each other. Actively listening to our co-workers will help
us build a more supportive and welcoming work environment.
As you may know, I was an Emergency Medicine physician before moving into
management. I spent over 20 years working in hospitals and was fortunate
to learn the vital importance of empathetic listening early in my career.
Having the ability to listen effectively enables us to better understand
a patient's needs, the needs of their loved ones and identify potential
barriers to care.
We've been piloting BCH Listens for about a year, starting in our ambulatory
clinics and then moving to physician groups and other departments in BCH.
I've heard from many participants who were personally moved by the
thoughtful conversations that can occur in one of these 30-minute sessions.
BCH Listens has already built such a positive reputation that additional
departments, units and physician groups have been proactively asking for
BCH Listens to start a dialogue within their teams.
We want everyone at BCH to join this important conversation. Directors
and managers can request a BCH Listens session by emailing Sharna Ill (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lauren Hyer (email@example.com). We're adding BCH Listens to our New Employee Orientation on November 1.
I know that BCH providers and staff are caring, incredibly knowledgeable
professionals who want to do their absolute best for each patient and
for our community. I am convinced that BCH Listens can give each of us
additional tools and motivation to help us to achieve our shared vision
of creating and caring for the healthiest community in the nation.
I invite you to
watch the linked video to learn more about BCH Listens.