Central Gippsland Health’s initiatives in building a strong culture around caring and kindness were outlined at the Patient Experience Forum in Melbourne last week.
CGH Chief Executive Officer, Dr Frank Evans, was one of a panel of three hospital leaders invited to be part of the inaugural forum organised by Safer Care Victoria around transforming organisational culture in the health industry.
Frank was joined by Eastern Health CEO, Adj Prof David Plunkett and CEO of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Dr Sue Matthews. All three spoke about their organisation’s journey to bring a heightened focus of caring and kindness into their work and health service.
“We have done a great deal in this area over the last five years and the invitation to speak at this forum of eminent health industry experts was an acknowledgement of what we are trying to do at CGH,” he said.
Frank highlighted many initiatives at CGH including the transformation care coordination project which started five years ago.
“CGH has also launched a major project to build a learning program about people-centred care –‘people’ being patients, the community and staff,” he told the gathering.
Another initiative last year was to give all staff a copy of the book written by guest speaker at the 2016 annual general meeting, Dr Ranjana Srivastava. An oncologist and author, Dr Srivastava’s special interest is in improving doctor-patient communication.
“We need to break down the professional boundaries we were taught to put up and develop genuine relationships with our patients and staff, based on genuine and deep listening,” Frank said.
He outlined the CGH celebration of a Gathering of Kindness, organised by the Hush Foundation, founded by Dr Catherine Crock. CGH first brought the Hush Plan into its workplace three years ago.
“We acknowledge we have been through difficult times with this recent independent review (into workplace culture) and we appreciate the kindness shown to us by Dr Crock and the Hush Foundation in acknowledging what we are trying to do at CGH,” Frank told the forum participants.
He outlined CGH’s decision last year to join Patient Opinion, only the second Victorian regional hospital at that time to be part of the national initiative which allows patients and their families to provide open and transparent comments on their experiences. In doing so, CGH made a commitment to respond quickly to any comments, positive and negative. The process, including eventual resolution, is transparent for all to see.
“What has become so obvious to me in hearing our patients’ stories is that a genuine conversation starts with listening. Genuine deep listening,” Frank said.
“At the moment we are talking to all our staff about our current project – ‘Hello My Name Is…’. At the heart of this project is listening and believing our patients know best.
“We have stated in Our People Values that we want our staff coming to work to add value to all our lives. Kindness and caring are the essential ingredients!”