6 Philosophies Forward-Thinking Emergency Departments Share

Emergency departments that embrace the below philosophies benefit from outstanding culture and in turn  high physician retention rates and leading performance metrics.

We are owners, not renters

Successful emergency departments engender a sense of ownership among the team by engaging them in formal and informal meetings, seeking and implementing their feedback, and rewarding their accomplishments.

We are here to serve

Strong emergency departments view all – from medical directors and physicians to nurses and techs – as important members of the team and they prioritize serving their team members so that they may better serve their patients. This means doing the extra thing to make life easier for every person you interact with, every day.

We are accountable

Thriving emergency departments consider every challenge and opportunity and consistently address issues rather than shifting blame or accepting the status quo. That means turning phrases such as, “I can’t do that. It’s not our policy...” and “that’s not my job…” on their heads and replacing them with constructive phrases like, “Let me see what I can do,” and “Let me find someone who can help.”

We are positive

Positivity breeds more positivity. Consistent positive communication across all roles within the emergency department makes it difficult to have a negative interaction with a colleague or a patient, which improves both patient satisfaction and provider burnout and turnover rates.

We communicate with respect

Improved efficiency, quality, and practice culture starts with better face-to-face communication at every interaction, from patient check-in, to patient hand-off, to admission, discharge, or transfer. Every interaction, no matter how high-stress should be positive, constructive, and respectful.

We are innovative   

The definition of insanity applies here: you cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Your ED must evolve to succeed. Part of innovating for the future is considering the department’s impact on the entire continuum of care. Overall, successful emergency departments ask “how can we do it better?” rather than holding on to, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Adopting these philosophies can pay dividends in reduced provider turnover costs due to increased provider satisfaction, increased efficiency due to improved interdisciplinary relations, and more satisfied patients due to kind, respectful interactions and smoother patient transitions. These tenets contribute to a strong program culture, and by building a solid cultural foundation, you set the tone for lasting, tangible increases in patient and clinician satisfaction, positive community reputation, and quality and efficiency performance improvements across the board.