Redefining Excellence: Quint Studer’s Vision for Modern Healthcare, Learning From Mistakes, and More

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My guest for Episode #490 of the Lean Blog Interviews Podcast is Quint Studer, the co-founder of HealthCare Plus Solutions Group and owner of the minor league baseball team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

He's a returning guest, having joined us in Episode #353 (2019) when we talked about his book, The Busy Leader's Handbook. He's written many other books — his first being Hardwiring Excellence (2003), a book that was recommended to me when I started serving healthcare organizations back in 2005 — and that book made a huge impact on me.

Quint previously founded Studer Group, which received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2011. He's also currently a speaker, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist.

His most recent previous book is The Calling: Why Healthcare is So Special. His latest book is Rewiring Excellence, a free eBook. The Human Margin: Building the Foundations of Trust, written in partnership with Katherine A. Meese, PhD, is due for publication in March 2024.

In this episode, Quint speaks poignantly about the need to transform rigid practices in healthcare. His clarion call emphasizes the significance of rewriting conventional healthcare procedures to create adaptable strategies. This dynamic conversation also illuminates his concept of ‘rewiring' excellence. Quint challenges the traditional definitions and procedures regarding excellence, maintaining that these outmoded ideologies need to be revamped with modern perspectives for enhanced results. Thus, stay tuned to hear more about how to navigate the changing landscape of healthcare.

Questions, Notes, and Highlights:

  • What can leaders do to help ensure that the calling doesn't turn into burnout and a loss of that calling?
  • How can we stop the blame game?
  • “If you do it right, there should be no turnover” (CNAs)
  • Focus, fix, and follow up
  • The need to close the loop…
  • Blame culture
  • Assumptions — about why MDs don't refer in house
  • Quint's excellent article, ‘I may be wrong': The power of admitting our mistakes
  • Why do people get vilified for saying they were wrong or they changed their minds?
  • When people hide behind “do you have any research?”
  • Tell us about your latest book, Rewiring Excellence: Hardwired to Rewired… free eBook now, print book in pre-order status.
  • How do we decide if a hardwired process needs to be “rewired”?
  • What is the “Human Capital Ecosystem™ Assessment“?
  • Looking ahead to your next book — how can leaders build trust?
  • Hosting a podcast now? The Healthcare Plus Podcast

The podcast is sponsored by Stiles Associates, now in its 30th year of business. They are the go-to Lean recruiting firm serving the manufacturing, private equity, and healthcare industries. Learn more.

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Episode Summary

Quint Studer: A Catalyst for Change in Healthcare

Quint Studer, a titan of healthcare innovation, and co-founder of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group, has truly redefined the industry's landscape. A multifaceted individual, Studer is also renowned as the owner of the minor league baseball team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. This isn't his first foray into the world of healthcare management; Quint's opus magnum, his first book “Hardwiring Excellence,” was highly recommended in healthcare circles.

Celebrated for his acumen within the healthcare industry, he is a renowned speaker, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His contributions to the field of healthcare have been monumental, with his portfolio including several other books, each targeting a different facet of healthcare.

Studer also laid the foundation for the Studer organization that was conferred with the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 2011. However, his most recent work, “The Calling: Why Healthcare Is So Special,” has become a beacon of hope, espousing the virtues of empathy, care, and above all, a calling within the healthcare sector.

Despite his busy schedule, Quint manages to produce meaningful, impactful content thanks to his constant interaction with healthcare professionals in the field, the fruits of which culminated in his upcoming book, “The Human Margin: Building the Foundations of Trust.” This book, co-authored with Katherine A. Meese, aims to delve into aspects of trust and vulnerability within the healthcare sector.

Rewriting Conventional Healthcare Practises

One of Quint's critical insights emphasizes the need for adaptability and modification of rigid practices in healthcare. He believes that while consistency is vital, it should not impede the evolution of treatment plans and strategies to accommodate growing knowledge within the field. In a fast-paced industry such as healthcare, a single approach may not continue to yield results over time, begging the need for new insights and strategies.

This has led Quint to champion the concept of ‘rewiring' excellence – a complete overhaul of the traditional definition and application of excellence. He argues that in an evolving field like healthcare, modern-day perspectives need to replace outdated ideologies to yield improved outcomes.

Just as the methods of treating a disease evolve, so must practices and processes within the healthcare industry. Quint suggests the concept of ‘The Human Margin,' or the idea that professionals should understand their patients to provide them with better, more suited treatments.

Driving Change in Healthcare Systems

Quint Studer also believes that physicians, one of the most vital cogs in the healthcare machine, are not being provided with adequate resources to perform their duties. NFL teams have nutritionists, mental health specialists, and trainers for their athletes. Still, healthcare lags in providing these vital resources for its physicians.

It's a poignant observation that healthcare tends to treat each professional the same, rather than dealing with each based on their unique contributions to the system. As Quint noted, the teams of medical professionals provide significant care to their patients, and their needs should be prioritized. The ethos of healthcare being a calling can only be sustained if the professionals are cared for in return.

Furthermore, Quint has identified some hurdles in nurse engagement. He suggests a more granular approach towards understanding the problems that are causing it, rather than assuming broad conclusions. It is not enough to just listen to concerns. The translation of those concerns into action is vital to ensure trust and promote a healthy work atmosphere.

Quint's revolutionary approach urges a fundamental ‘rewiring', not just in the treatment of patients, but also the practice and process of healthcare. The only way the healthcare sector can progress is by eliminating the blame game, promoting open and respectful communication, and putting the well-being of healthcare professionals on the agenda.

Enhancing Physician Engagement and Navigating Changes in Healthcare

Healthcare practices have evolved significantly. With advancements in technology and the growing knowledge on diseases and therapies, Quint Studer strongly advocates for adaptation and evolution in this dynamic field. However, one area still lags behind: physician engagement.

A significant majority of physicians today are employees of healthcare systems. While this offers a degree of stability, it also hinders their influence over the system they work in. Historically, physicians, by virtue of their ownership stakes in healthcare establishments, could actively participate in policymaking and decision-making processes. Moreover, eliciting their contributions was more manageable, given their vested interest in the organization.

Addressing the Knowledge Gap

Today, with more physicians being 'employed,' their involvement in shaping the healthcare system, they are a part of has diminished. Often, healthcare institutions mistakenly assume that their physicians would automatically prefer to refer within the network, given their employment status. However, recent studies unveil that a significant number of referrals are directed out-of-network. This revelation stumps healthcare systems, given the assumption that ‘in-network referring' is automatic.

In reality, this off-network referral is not a deliberate undermining of the healthcare institution, but a result of physicians acting in the best interest of patients. It points to a lack of familiarity and knowledge about their own healthcare networks. Surveys conducted among physicians reveal gaps in their understanding of their group's capabilities, increasing the inclination to refer patients out-of-network.

Fostering Connectedness within Physician Groups

The healthcare industry needs to foster a deeper sense of community and connectedness among physicians. The erstwhile culture of physicians engaging with one another, interacting in spaces like the dining room or medical library, has given way to a more isolated existence–leaving physicians uninformed about the extent of their own group's capabilities. Creating spaces for physicians to learn about their group can help foster a sense of belonging, engagement, and connection.

Suggestions include encouraging physicians to be part of selecting new talents, setting the brand for the group, or contextual discussions that can impact their work. By fostering a greater sense of ownership and involvement, physicians can regain control over their destiny within the organisation. This approach aligns with the ethos of catering to the needs of the individual, be it a patient or physician.

Addressing Assumptions and Systematic Mistakes in Healthcare

The healthcare network is rife with unverifiable assumptions and systematic mistakes. At times, healthcare institutions neglect to establish sincere relationships with physicians, assuming that formal employment is enough to cement loyalty and engagement. This one-size-fits-all approach overlooks individual characteristics and preferences, leading to disengagement.

In light of the changes sweeping through the healthcare sector, it is essential to engage physicians actively. Tools such as personal retention plans, which delve into the physician's career aspirations, work preferences, and professional growth opportunities, can be instrumental.

Healthcare administrators need to be open to the fact that not every introduced change will work perfectly upon implementation. Different strategies should be trialed and adjusted based on real-world experiences and feedback to offer a more personalized approach. The concept of ‘operational trials' borrows heavily from the well-established ‘clinical trials' in medicine. This allows for changes to be made–and mistakes to be learned from–in a safe and controlled environment.

The Evolution of Healthcare and the Importance of Flexibility

Understanding that healthcare is a dynamic field allows for greater flexibility in protocols and practices. For example, strategies that were once effective may not yield the desired results presently, given the significant differences in the healthcare landscape.

‘Operational trials' would go a long way in encouraging healthcare professionals to be more receptive to trying new things without the fear of failure. Such an approach promotes innovation by recognizing the occasional empirical shortfall and leveraging it as an opportunity for improvement.

Trust is an essential factor in any healthcare system. Nonetheless, the increasing levels of mistrust among healthcare professionals point to a systematic issue that needs addressing. Perhaps the industry has veered too far towards stringent validation and systematic application of protocols at the cost of interpersonal trust and autonomy.

With the rapid changes in healthcare, an overhaul is needed–one that favors a blend of personalization, autonomy, skill-building, and standard operating procedures. By striking a balance among these elements, healthcare institutions can foster a more engaging and trust-filled environment for their most valuable resources–the professionals. It is in this mix of strategies that the future of healthcare lies–where personalization meets protocol.

Embracing Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

There's an exciting pulse in the healthcare sector with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI.) Leading-edge institutions such as the Medical University of South Carolina utilize AI in new and innovative ways, which will be a central focus in future discussions.

AI technologies have the potential to revolutionize healthcare system operations — from making diagnoses more precise and quicker, to predicting patient outcomes, streamlining administrative processes, optimizing staffing, and even predicting the need for interventions. These capabilities could result in better patient outcomes, improved experiences for both physicians and patients, and increased cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

Advancing Emergency Department Operations

Among the vast departments within a healthcare system, the Emergency Department (ED) often requires particular attention. The ED is a pivotal point where medical urgencies are addressed, setting the tone for subsequent patient care. Therefore, focusing on advancing ED operations is imperative.

Notable healthcare establishments, like Cooperman Barnabas, are making significant strides in enhancing the ED experience. Promising novelties introduced in these institutions should not be confined within their walls but shared across the healthcare sector.

In essence, healthcare should not be a competition on who provides the best service. Instead, it should foster a culture where there is collective growth towards a common goal — excellent patient care. In sharing successful operational models, healthcare systems can replicate and adapt these models to their unique circumstances.

‘Operational Trials' in Context

While AI advancements and ED enhancements are notable, Quint Studer dwells on something seemingly rudimentary but fundamentally essential — operational trials. Embracing the concept of giving new changes a chance, even if there's uncertainty, generates a culture of flexibility.

It might be that not all changes will fit neatly into every healthcare system due to varying environments, cultural factors, and logistical realities. However, giving it a shot, tweaking, and accepting that some parts might work (while others do not), can optimistically fuel the desire for progress.

The onus is on healthcare organizations to get away from doubting if changes will work and instead commit to trying, learning, tweaking, and perfecting.

The Human Margin and Healthcare Leadership

In healthcare, excellence is often pursued in the context of medical outcomes. Author Quint Studer's forthcoming book, “The Human Margin,” reminds us that people make up the heart of healthcare. As such, a focus on leadership, compassion, respect, and empathy is just as crucial as clinical aspects.

Leadership in healthcare goes beyond holding a title or ranking high on the organizational hierarchy. It involves a deep sense of responsibility and the ability to guide by example. Likewise, it's the ability to contribute positively to the entire organization, whether it's implementing policies, providing patient care, or mentoring future healthcare professionals.

Quint's body of work, including the “Hardwiring Excellence,” “The Busy Leader's Handbook,” and “The Calling,” attests to the critical role of excellent leadership in healthcare. By re-shaping healthcare systems, we can strike a balance between achieving exceptional clinical outcomes, efficient operational workflows, and fostering a culture of compassionate, people-centered excellence.

Conclusion

Healthcare exists to facilitate quality of life — sustaining this mandate requires continued dedication to trusted and tested protocols, while embracing new innovations, operational trials, and most importantly, humanizing the entire process. It is this marriage of science, innovation, and humanity that will shape the future of healthcare.


Automated Transcript (Not Guaranteed to be Defect Free)

Quint Studer: Well, hi.

Mark Graban: Welcome back to Lean blog interviews. I'm Mark Graban. Our guest today is Quint Studer. He's currently the cofounder of Healthcare Plus Solutions group. He's also owner of the minor league baseball team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

Mark Graban: Quint has joined us once before. He was here in episode 353 back in 2019. We talked then about his one of his previous books, The Busy Leaders Handbook. He's written many other books. His first being Hardwiring Excellence. It's a book that was recommended to me, thankfully, when I first had the opportunity to work in healthcare in 2005. And that book made a really huge impact on me. So before I tell you a little bit more about Quint, thank you again for that book and your others, and thank you for being back here today.

Quint Studer: How are you? Well, I'm good, and thank you for your books. I think we trade books, and I think we have a lot of similarities, which I really like. I think philosophically, we're pretty much always been in the same room many times in the same sentence, same chapter. So thanks for the impact you have.

Mark Graban: Well, thank you. And yeah, that was the thing that struck me about Hardwiring Excellence. Very similar concepts and mindsets, maybe some slightly different language. But, yeah, I appreciate the alignment and the positive example that you've set through that book and other work. So really happy to have the conversation here.

Mark Graban: Quint previously founded Studer Group, which received the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 2011. I know my listeners are familiar with that program and the importance of that. He's also a speaker, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. His most recent book is called The Calling why Healthcare Is So Special. So we'll talk about that today.

Mark Graban: And then his latest book I may have missed book, a previous recent book was The Calling. The latest one was Rewiring Excellence and coming out March 2024. Upcoming book called The Human Margin Building the Foundations of Trust, written in partnership with Katherine A. Meese. So first off, Quint, how do you find the time?

Mark Graban: You're very productive.

Quint Studer: Well, I am. I think I have a sense of urgency. I think what I do, Mark, is I'm out in the field all the time. I mean, this is the first time I've been home in a week and I leave in an hour to go out, I think when you got boots on the ground. So a lot of times my books, I've already written them per se by talking to people, by being out there in the field.

Quint Studer: And The Calling came about from being out in the field during the pandemic and just watching people lose their calling. And that's how generated that rewiring came about. Because ironically, when I'm out there, I'm trying to get people to quit being so stringent on Hardwiring. They read this hardwiring book and Hardwiring says, do it this way. Well, there's people 20 years ago, they treated cancer differently than they treat today.

Quint Studer: They have different technology. And it's not that the themes aren't the same. They are. But we all want to be effective. We all want to look at, like you mentioned, Malcolm Baldgers, the plan, do study, adjust, all that stuff.

Quint Studer: Well, if you use that, then you look at what's happening in healthcare, particularly with all the new people. 25% of managers took a job after the pandemic started because they got promoted with it. 30% of the employees came after the pandemic. So if you really look at planning, you have to look at planning for the lack of experience. That means you have to study that.

Quint Studer: And that led to rewiring. It's like, if it know you like this in your work, if it works, don't mess with it. Right. But if it's not working, maybe we should step back. The CEO of Adena Healthcare in Chillicothe, Ohio, put up a slide about three months ago, and I was there, and I loved it.

Quint Studer: She said, we will continue to do the same behavior even when it quits getting results. Really? And that makes sense to me. Okay, it's not working, so why we keep doing this? So I got into rewiring because in healthcare, patient experience has not moved since 2016.

Quint Studer: If something doesn't move in like, six, seven years, you say, well, maybe we should relook at this thing a little bit.

Mark Graban: Right.

Quint Studer: It goes back to your stuff. Then you've got to not beat yourself up for what you did. You just have to say, okay, we're doing the best we can, but now we've got to look at something differently.

Mark Graban: Yeah. When do we refine or tweak what's been hardwired, and when do we reinvent it? Is it kind of additions to the wiring, or is it more of a whole home electrical redo?

Quint Studer: Yeah. And it's like your stuff and you're reading your books. The mistakes that make us and we talk about the fact that it could be a system issue, could be a process issue which ties in, could be a technology issue. Sometimes the technology is not working like we thought it would. Could be a people issue.

Quint Studer: And I think you have to just take time. I'm a diagnostician. I started off as I like to diagnose before you treat, right? And I think sometimes we read a book, we hear a speaker, and we run out and we start trying to put in the treatment plan when we haven't done a good diagnosis or what.

Mark Graban: May have worked for the patient over here, meaning Health System A might not.

Quint Studer: Work for Health System B or even on the unit. We're very much into precision medicine has changed medicine, and I hope it keeps changing it, because so far in medicine, we've been an intervention medicine, not a prevention medicine. Well, precision medicine, though it is intervention, it now can help us get into prevention. And I think what we're learning is just because this individual responds well to this treatment doesn't mean this person's going to respond the same way to that treatment. Just like is training and development of people, I think it's N equals one.

Quint Studer: What works in developing Mark might be different than know Veronica, so we've got to look at it. Could be based on your experience, could be based on your critical thinking skills, could be based on a whole sorts of things. So that's what led to rewiring. I watched a tape of, you know, you have all these great videos of Steve Jobs. When he came back to Apple, he said, my goal is to make us what we used to do, obsolete.

Quint Studer: And not because you just want to make it obsolete, because we want to make it better. That's why I learned, Mark, about organizations. It's the ones who really want to get better are already usually pretty good. The ones that don't want to get better are blaming something else for their results instead of yeah, yeah.

Mark Graban: I mean, that phrase, good to great thinking. Know the Jim Collins book, I think that phrase resonates for that reason. And, well, I wanted to ask and there's so much we can dig into on some of the other books, but you sort of brought up this idea of the sense of calling that people have, and we've run across this a lot, like socially. I had the chance to meet a couple. They're both surgeons, and one of them, he's a thoracic surgeon, or I should say was a thoracic surgeon.

Mark Graban: He retired in his early 50s, not because he didn't enjoy or couldn't do the clinical work. He said he loved helping people in the clinical work. He just got fed up with the environment and the circumstances. And I don't know if he used the word burnout and his wife is still working, but I think of the loss in terms of his potential, the benefit to patients and society, he got pulled away from that calling. So I'm curious, quint, maybe not an easy question to answer, but what do leaders need to do to help avoid that type of burnout or people retiring so young?

Mark Graban: I mean, there's probably many, many things.

Quint Studer: But what's something well, I wrote a book in 2015. A doctor called me up in 2014, Dr. George Ford, and he said, people listen to you. I don't know if really they do. But he said that and a little flattery will get me hooked.

Quint Studer: And he said, you should be talking about physician burnout. And he told me his own story, and then he showed me research. So I wrote a book in 2015 called Healing Physician Burnout because I wasn't out enough to promote it. Who knows? I think sometimes you get ahead of the curve, but it's really I'll talk about physicians, particularly.

Quint Studer: We in healthcare treat our I know I'm going to separate people, and I apologize for saying that. But the Bulls treated Michael Jordan a little bit different than the twelveTH man on the basketball team. They all got certain things they did. They all got the same locker room, the same trainer, but there were differences. And I talk about, you mentioned I own a minor league baseball team.

Quint Studer: Minor league baseball treats its players better than healthcare treats its physicians. Really? And I bring that up because if you look at a physician, they're like a Blue angel pilot here in Pensacola. They're your highest performers, they're your biggest impact players. So when you go to a healthcare organization and you say how much of your revenue is driven by physicians?

Quint Studer: Outside self pay come into the emergency room. It's all of it. Most industries, if you have an insurance company, you have your top salesman, you figure out, what can I do to make this person the most productive person I can be? And I think in healthcare, we haven't done that. We've just sort of think everybody's the same.

Quint Studer: And you're calling Catherine Meese in the book, the margin sort of calls it a passion tax because people are so passionate about what they're doing, they'll pay a tax almost to keep doing it because their purpose is driven, but then they get wore out. So I think what you do is you say, okay, these are our most valuable people. I went to Moffat cancer center yesterday for a checkup because I've been having some stuff there, and I went there because they have a national reputation. I went to a doctor that's got a national reputation, and I appreciated the opportunity to be with them. I hate to think the fact that if I would have gone to see him, they said, well, he quit yesterday, so I'll go real quick.

Quint Studer: I know you got time, but let me just explain how you teach how we treat a minor league baseball player yeah. Compared to a doc in my healing physician burnout book. I start the book out talking about Dr. Pamela Hoddle, who's a pancreatic head of the pancreatic cancer center at Moffat. Okay, shop rated on my sister, she did a whipple.

Quint Studer: She was in the room 13 and a half hours. When she came out, she was exhausted and crying. It was a Friday night. I wondered when she went into that surgeon lounge on a Friday night, what type of nutritionist meal they had for and now I'll go to baseball. In baseball, because we're part of major league baseball, we have nutrition rules.

Quint Studer: So from noon on to about midnight, we have to have all nutritious food in the locker room. Because they want these players eating right, because that's their future. Truly. We get like, how much protein they should get, how much vegetable they should get. You don't see pizza, you don't see this stuff in locker rooms anymore.

Quint Studer: It's all nutritional based food. Next they have a trainer because they're going to be standing they have to go out during a game and stand sometimes 20 minutes before they can come sit down again in the dugout. So they have a trainer, they have a strength and conditioning coach. They have nutritionist, strength and conditioning coach. They have a trainer who works with them on, like, baseball.

Quint Studer: If Pamela Hoda was in baseball, she would have came in and got a rub down after 13 and a half hours. Then she has a mental health coach because she's going to handle failure in baseball. So all these things they do for athletes because that's our future in these athletes. Yeah, right. I noticed Minnesota, when they had Nelson Cruz, created a nap room because they found that players like to take naps.

Quint Studer: And so I say that and people say to me, do you think we should do those things for physicians? I said, yeah, I think so. Now then we're going to get regulated. And it's just so frustrating because you've got certain managed care companies turning down 90% of their claims even though they're going to approve them. So we've made technology.

Quint Studer: Are you working for technology or is technology working for you? And for doctors, they're working for technology. So I don't have a great answer, but I know it's not just telling them to go meditate and be resilient. Right. You got to do way more than that and it's create the right work atmosphere for them.

Mark Graban: Right. No, it's really powerful. I don't mind the baseball talk. I was going to ask you more about that. In fact, I'm holding up for those watching on YouTube.

Mark Graban: I normally fidget with the baseball when I'm sitting here, and it's usually off camera because I still love the game. I played a little bit as a kid, I wasn't good enough, but I still love baseball. But, I mean, you raised so many important points there, and what I hear is not happening is I think it's bad habit that comes across in different ways when leaders blame their employees. And it could be, oh, those employees are unengaged. Those employees aren't on board with change, and I wish we could stop the blame game.

Quint Studer: Well, I think when you point a finger, you have three pointing back and this whole idea, well, they're young, so they don't have a good work ethic. I don't know. I have a grandson named Cooper Kennedy. He's 23. I think he's got a real good work ethic.

Quint Studer: I have another grandson named Quinn. We call him Q Four. And yesterday, while he's going to college at University of St. Thomas, he went over to Lake Minanaka and spent the day pulling out Piers because the winter is coming. So, yeah, that's the easy way out.

Quint Studer: The easy way out is to blame and point a finger and just think it's that rationalization, Mark. That's why when I've worked with organizations and I think, you know, the Heath brothers reinforced this in their book Switch change. When change is hard, there's always somebody gets it right in the organization or more than that. So I was in Kansas City one time and they were saying, well, the reason this is because these employees, it's their wages. And I'm not saying compensation is not important yet.

Quint Studer: We went to a department that had lower wages and those employees were highly engaged, right? Or you go to years ago working with a large healthcare system with over 100 plus hospitals. We found some of the employee engagement, they liked corporate, some they really liked corporate, some they thought corporate was okay and some they thought corporate was the evil empire. They were the same corporate. So what defines the difference?

Quint Studer: So I'm always trying to know what defines difference. Mark, you'll find just my new company, Healthcare Plus solution groups really gotten into research. So working with the Ana and the AONL, we've done two studies on nursing. And this is something you might not think about, but when you talk to nurses and you ask them for you, I'm talking inpatient now acute what's important to you? And they say, oh, that CNA is really important.

Quint Studer: Well, do CEOs know the turnover of CNAs right now? Do they know how happy CNAs are? Because this is a position that if you do it right, there should be no turnover. Then they said this one, Mark, which was a wake up call, gee, charge nurses are now in staffing.

Mark Graban: I've heard that a lot.

Quint Studer: And you have so many new nurses here that charge nurse is a lifeline. So when we pull that lifeline out so now that's again, diagnosing number three. Well, the hospital is dirtier today than it used to be because housekeepings have lots of turnover now. And I asked nurses, I just spoke at Magnet, hey, if the room's a little bit dirty, what do you do? They said we clean it.

Quint Studer: We clean it. I'm not talking about buffing, but they're going to clean it. And the fourth one, Mark, I thought was really interesting and looking at your book and investment and training and development with so many new nurses, they're afraid of floating. And of course this is all to reduce cost because it's not travel nurses we want to get rid of, it's the cost of travel nurses. So reality is they're floating these young nurses.

Quint Studer: Now, I'm not saying some shouldn't be floated, but they should have say so in their floating. And so what I'm going into is when you start getting more granular, instead of just throwing a blanket over everything, you start learning. So you could look at nurse engagement and you could think it's one thing, but when you start asking the actual people that are doing it so I was sitting with a healthcare organization. The CEO had me come in because the employee engagement from the nursing staff showed lack of trust, organizational, doesn't care and well being. And this is a CEO who honest to gosh is one of the better CEOs.

Quint Studer: And so I sat down with the CNO and I asked her the question about charge nurse and staffing, and he was literally surprised. And I think most CEOs in a big system would not be that granular. And the reason is because he told him to get rid of he didn't realize that he's the reason the charge nurses are in staffing, because he limited use of travel nurses. But he didn't know that. So I think you got to dig into the devil's in the detail, right?

Mark Graban: I mean, asking going to sea, to use your phrase, rounding with a purpose to go and try to learn what are these concerns? And do people feel a level of psychological safety to where they feel like they can actually raise the concern?

Quint Studer: That's number like, I feel like I'm in a game show here. So for The Human Margin Book with Catherine Meese, she's a researcher, and to employ two number two biggest influencer in trust in an organization is am I comfortable sharing my concerns? Yeah. Number one is, do I feel the information I'm getting is valid and honest? Right.

Mark Graban: And there's probably a dynamic of if you feel safe sharing your concerns and it's heard, does it translate into action? Because if it doesn't translate into action, people will give up and say, well, it's not the Fear Factor, it's Futility Factor.

Quint Studer: I was doing round focus groups with physicians in a pretty well known place, and the administrator of the clinic was with me. So I just went around and said, you guys are smart, and ladies, you wouldn't be here if there weren't some good things. Tell me why this is a good place. And they brought it up, and then I said, well, if there's something that you think could go better, what is that? Because I want to get them thinking.

Quint Studer: I don't want to just go there. I got to get them in the right frame of mind. So then they bring things up, and they went around the room, and after the administrator said to them, how come you're telling him this stuff and you haven't told me? Mark? You just nailed it.

Quint Studer: They said, we have nothing's been done. And I think that's why I created this thing called focus, Fix and Follow Up. Close the loop. Don't assume people know that you something. I was rounding on a unit one time, and I asked the question, and the day shift, there was, like, shift change.

Quint Studer: And the PM shift person said, well, here's a real concern. We don't have something or inventory. The day shift said, oh, no, we've got it, we've got it. But see, there wasn't that connection of handovers, so the person doesn't even look for it because they don't think it's even there because the day shift hasn't told the night shift it's in. So when you were in healthcare, you got a lot of handoffs or so that tightening up the communication loops and closing the loop.

Quint Studer: That's what I tell people, just close the loop, close it, tell people it's done.

Mark Graban: Or, I mean, one lesson I've even learned this is kind of more from, like, Toyota origins and Kaizen continuous improvement mindset. There are times when the action cannot be done or it can't be done. Right now, even closing the loop on that in a respectful way means a lot. So then people don't feel ignored. They've heard the rationale of, I know you made the suggestion, and this is in the plans and the capital planning, and it's not going to happen for 18 months, but we hear you and it's coming, Mark.

Quint Studer: God, you're just nailing everything, like boom, boom, boom. I think what happens is it's natural human tendency. Somebody will say, Well, I didn't want to go back until I had it figured out. I always tell people, so I say to you, Mark, Mark, let me go research that and look into it. And I might not have the answer in a week, but in a week I'm going to come back and tell you if I don't have the answer, when I will, people just want to know, you heard me, you listened to me.

Quint Studer: And I always tell people, sometimes if you wait till you have the final answer, they've already given up on you. They've already said, I always want to give the date. I'll get back to you on this date, even if I have no new information, I'll always tell you where we're at with what we're talking about. That's sort of what people want. They want to know, you heard me and you're doing something about it.

Quint Studer: That's why I don't like the word working on without a date. People say, I'm working on it. Help me understand what working on it means. Because when I was young and somebody said, how's it going? When I said working on it, it meant I forgot completely about it.

Quint Studer: But now that you've asked me about it, I'm going to go and really work on it.

Mark Graban: Yeah, or working on it means I'm thinking about maybe getting into developing a plan 100%.

Quint Studer: Yeah.

Mark Graban: So you touch on a couple aspects of culture we've touched on the unfortunate impact of blame culture. You talked about quint, the importance of having say so, like that thoracic surgeon part of, I think why he retired early. The surgeon group he was a part of got acquired by a health system, and he said maybe a little bit self facingly. I learned I'm not a good employee, but I know there was probably more to it than that.

Quint Studer: You were going to say, well, they've always been employees. It's just what type of system? It could be an independent system. It could be that in my new book, Rewiring, I actually have a chapter on creating physician ownership when they don't own. Because if you look at from when you and I got into this.

Quint Studer: I was worked at Mercy Hospital in Janesville, Wisconsin and in 1989 or 90 we hired our first doctor and it was Gene Hartlob and I hired him and it was so unusual and the medical staff is upset. We had to put him in Evansville, Wisconsin so he's like half hour away and the whole bit. But now many times in a medical staff it depends on the geography where you're at. But it can be 70% to 80% of the physicians are a w two employee of the healthcare system. So how do we replace what they used to have?

Quint Studer: And physician ownership was really positive because they were very involved in the selection. So again, healthcare system, they look at out migration of patients. That's a big deal. When you have all these employed physicians you assume they're going to refer within your system. Then they do a study and find out that most of the time it's about 30% of the time they're referring out of network.

Quint Studer: You can't ethically ask a physician to refer in network because they're in network because that is like you lose that doc forever because they just think that you don't. And you can't ask a physician is going to do what's right for I'm a big physician fan as you can tell they're going to do what's right for the patient, right? And so what they did is they had like what? 450 employed physicians. So they just basically asked the physicians, they had them fill out a survey how much do they know about their.

Mark Graban: Group and the capabilities.

Quint Studer: They didn't know. They didn't know this, they didn't know. That part of it. Again, every change has a positive thing and sometimes it's a negative thing. In the old days the docs used to go to the hospital and at least eat lunch in the physician dining room, which doesn't exist in many places.

Quint Studer: They go to the medical library, which doesn't exist in many places. And in my book Rewiring, I talk about the first hospitalist, the guy that created hospitalist before somebody else got credit for creating hospitalist, the hospitalists are there. So all of a sudden they found out. They were amazed at how little physicians knew about their own people in their group. I remember talking to a CEO and they just had a big physician retreat and I said, how'd you like it?

Quint Studer: She said, oh, it's wonderful. Doctors would come up to somebody and they'd say, well gee, I've been referring patients to you, it's nice to meet you. So you have to still let them be involved in selection of talents. You have to let them be involved in the brand. You don't sit here and roll out a new brand without the docs because they are the brand.

Quint Studer: You let them in on the discussion topic. So in the chapter I talk about how do you allow the physician as much as possible to feel they have some control over their own destiny, and they're no different than a patient. I got interviewed by hospice the other day, and they said, do you feel it's better for a patient to be in their own home, or do you think it's better to be in a hospice unit? I said, I think it's better to be where the patient feels they want to be. Right?

Mark Graban: That patient, yes.

Quint Studer: And I think that's the same thing with physicians. So, yeah, I think it's a huge change for physicians, and I think they've had to adjust to change more than anybody in healthcare. And I think that's really been dramatic. Now, the younger physicians, not as much because they sort of didn't know anything differently, right. Still don't want to lose their passion because they got into healthcare to take care of patients just like a nurse, just like everybody else.

Mark Graban: Yeah. And in that story or that scenario you talk about of why physicians are referring outside of the health system, it shows the power, the problem with assumptions, if people are leaping to the conclusion of, oh, they're not team players or whatever, maybe it's a knowledge gap, as you highlighted, how do we help educate them? So they are making that patient centered decision based on a broader set of accurate information.

Quint Studer: I think we assume things that might not be right. So, for example, when I was an administrator, we had a lot of splitters, okay? People that work at different hospitals. We actually had what we call physician relationship staff members that would go out to develop relationships. And what do you want from us?

Quint Studer: Also, back in the day when specialists particularly were very independent, they did everything they could to earn the primary care referral. They get to know them. And it seems like today a healthcare system can assume or they can assume they don't have to do that. But a healthcare system helps set up that type of system, set up that type of get to know you, set up that type of relationship. I think it's really important.

Quint Studer: Tri Health has a lot of primary care physicians out of Cincinnati, and they've done a really good job creating that sense of ownership with the group. So, for example, as you know, right now we're going through Medicare signups, and they've been really working with their physicians about Medicare Advantage, the different players, the different reimbursement. What do they think if the system decides maybe to look at one system other than the other? But they really involved, really all their physicians in this thought process, and not every place does that.

Mark Graban: Yeah, well, and assumptions lead to all sorts of mistakes, and maybe we kind of transition to talk about mistakes. I'd reached out, excellent article that you wrote there in Pensacola. It's on the Internet. I'll link to it in the show notes I may be wrong the power of admitting. Our mistakes.

Mark Graban: I thought that was a great piece. One question for you, Quint. Why do you think people get vilified for saying they were wrong or changing their mind based on new knowledge?

Quint Studer: Well, I think part of it again, now I'm going to gosh a character. Sometimes you notice characteristics in others you have yourself. We just talked about blaming something. Yeah, I think so much of it comes a couple of things. One is certainly politically, and I've never understood why when a politician changes his mind, he gets beat up or she gets beat up.

Quint Studer: I think they should be thanked. Hey, since I've done some research on this, I've now got another look. I heard a pretty interesting person in a hospital recently say if they had to do it over again, they wouldn't have called the COVID a vaccine. Because when people hear vaccine, they think like, polio measles, it's not going to happen. They would have probably called it a treatment that helps reduce the severity of the illness.

Quint Studer: They thought they would have gotten a lot better utilization. And he said we were wrong calling it a vaccine. Wow. Because it really doesn't fit the definition of what people think is a vaccine. And that was a physician.

Quint Studer: I thought that was pretty powerful that he said, hey, we made a real mistake here on that. But I think so. Politicians get beat up and the other thing in healthcare and I think we just are so terrified of lawsuits. So terrified. I was very lucky.

Quint Studer: I worked for a fellow named Mark Clement at Holy Cross Hospital and we had a patient that we made a mistake. And instead of having 13 risk management people and twelve attorneys in the room, mark brought the family in and said, we made a mistake. We made a tragic mistake here. And it was tragic. And he talked about him through it, what we can do.

Quint Studer: It was such an influence for me that when I came to Pensacola as president of the hospital, when a patient had a complaint, I never had risk management in the room. I had me in the room. And I remember probably one that we had a fellow from Antmore, Alabama, cut off two fingers and they put them in ice and our helicopter came and got him and brought him to Pensacola. At the time, we had two physicians that were not getting along and each thought the other one should take call. So he came to our Er in a helicopter, I think was a Saturday night with his fingers in a plastic bag, and we didn't have a returgent to reattach him.

Quint Studer: So we put him back in the helicopter to University of South Alabama where they reattached the fingers. So I met with the family and first of all, I looked at his fingers and said they did a great job. They really did. I'm looking at them, they really did do a great job. And I said, we really blew this one.

Quint Studer: Wow. We made a huge mistake. And I just fessed up to it and I said, what can I do to make this right? And they were very reasonable. So we're going to have those bad experiences, I get it.

Quint Studer: But I just think you're going to have to sometimes say, you just screwed up. You just screwed up. I made a mistake. I didn't understand this. I wish I would have known more.

Quint Studer: That's just it. We're all human beings, but we don't want to just blame it. Say, well, everyone's human. That doesn't go anywhere. We have to be very specific.

Quint Studer: What can I do to make this right? Right?

Mark Graban: I sometimes hear that comment with this sort of self defeating shoulder shrug of, well, everyone's human. Human error is always going to occur. So what can we do about that? I'm like, well, let's work on answering that question. Can we use checklists and procedures?

Mark Graban: There are systematic ways we can prevent many errors, and sometimes people just don't try, it seems.

Quint Studer: Well, I think you hit it, though, Mark. I think sometimes we have to decide, what do we need a checklist and what don't we? I think sometimes we create checklists that don't need to. We have a checklist of the checklist of the checklist. So I'm not a big fan of rounding apps for employees because I think it's a lot of work.

Quint Studer: The managers tell me they don't like them, and that's the only relationship I'm going to have with you, Mark. But now when it comes to patient care or clinical outcomes where you have 60 different people touching them, it's a standing operating procedure. And this is not a healthcare. But one of the best books I ever read was called Emyth Revisited.

Mark Graban: Oh, yeah, I read that a long time ago.

Quint Studer: After I read it, it's like I go, oh, my gosh, we don't have standard operating procedures. And I think that's we need really solid, good standard operating procedures. Just like pilots do the checklist all the time. Right. I think it makes all the sense in the world.

Quint Studer: And so I think then you have to say, is it the system? If you have a good system and it's not working, then it could be the technology might not be all we thought it was wrapped up to be. Because in healthcare, we love grabbing technology early because we think it's going to solve the whole problem and it's okay to grab it early. Just admit that we're going to learn as we go along. I think that's what happened with electronic health.

Quint Studer: There's so much money available, just like popped on the scene quick knowing. I was at a conference at Kaiser years ago and the consultant said, sometimes you have to get in traffic before you know how the thing's going to run. And in healthcare, that means sometimes we're going to be in traffic. We have to make adjustments as we go along. And that's okay too to say.

Quint Studer: So here's a quick example of a system in my book, Hardwiring Excellence, I talk about, we've learned, we've studied it that if you meet with a new employee on the 30th day and 90th day, we could reduce turnover, right? So we got all excited about that. So we AirMark healthcare plus. We're working with them, and we're deciding because they're going to put in the 30 and 90 day pilot. I call it an operational trial, and I'd love to talk to you about that before we hang up what an operational trial is.

Quint Studer: I'm pretty pumped because I think it's going to work. So they did it in one of their areas, and the person came back and said it didn't work. We said, Why didn't it work? They said, well, people aren't here 30 days. And what I've learned the thing in healthcare today, until you ask, there's people that take a job and don't show up.

Quint Studer: That's number one. Sure, if they do show up, particularly in some parts of the healthcare, they come in. And if they've ever worked in healthcare, I've cleaned rooms in a hotel, and I'm excited about being in the hospital. I'm telling my friends, I'm working in the hospital. I'm going to need orientation.

Quint Studer: It's purpose mission. And then all of a sudden, I go into the first room, I'm going to clean, and there's a patient there. There's wires there. I go back to that hotel the next day. What we had to do is change the process.

Quint Studer: So now they do a first day, a fourth day, 7th day. So that's an area where the environment has changed. So we need to shift a process. So that's a process or system. Then I think the other thing is, does the person have the skill?

Quint Studer: And you and I both come from a world of investing and skill development, and I'm just always stunned. And I got interviewed by George Washington University for a Master's in Healthcare Administration the other day, and they basically said to me, a characteristic of a really good CEO. And I said, a real good CEO sees Skill Building as an investment. A not so good CEO sees Skill Building as an expense. Right?

Quint Studer: And now I think there's some bad Skill Building that there's some training that isn't workable, but let's not change the investment. And I think today with all the new people, we need to be doubling down on Skill Building and investment because people are terrified. If you ask a new manager what's their biggest concern, it's, I don't know if I can do this job. Yeah. So last time at George Washington, they were talking about high reliable organizations, and they said, well, do you think an organization is high reliable?

Quint Studer: It reduces innovation. And I said, I think it shouldn't. Because if you're highly reliable and you're still not getting the outcome you need then you have to relook at innovation. Also, though, what I love about healthcare in the clinical side, so if I'm at Moppet Cancer Center and I'm talking to their expert on melanoma, they're going to give the best treatment for melanoma that they know is possible based on what they do. But while they're doing it, they're doing clinical trials like crazy, looking at how do we get it better?

Quint Studer: And no one goes up to the doctor and says, doctor, are you doing something wrong? Because I noticed you're trying to figure out a better way. I said, maybe we should call these things operational trials, because I just think we're reluctant to take risk in healthcare. We're just reluctant. And so we'll stick with something that isn't working just because it's safe.

Mark Graban: So there's a parallel between operational trial and clinical trial.

Quint Studer: I think, if I can use that word, I'm trying to create a safer environment for people to try things. Yeah.

Mark Graban: And then there's the conundrum. I've run across this a lot where if there's some sort of change proposed and people will then fall back on, I want to see all the studies and the evidence that prove that this is the best way to do it, when, yes, the status quo was not selected based off of studies and evidence and trials.

Quint Studer: I feel like a cat, and you're giving me catnip today. Anyway. Well, it's a perfect example. And that's why Catherine Meese and I wrote this book, the Human Margin is because when I give ideas, people say, do you have any research? When she gets the research, they say, do you have any solution?

Quint Studer: Now, there are at times like Fred Loop, who's deceased now, he's the guy that saved Cleveland Clinic, and he told me how he invented something. He was a cardiovascular surgeon. He said the patient was not going to make it, so he decided to try something and he saved the patient's life. It became common practice. And I think sometimes you're going to go first.

Quint Studer: Let me give you an example. Mark. At MUSC out of Charleston, they've got a lot of new leaders, so they've got 264 new leaders that they want to make sure stay. So we're in there and our goal is to help keep those people. So, of course, a big part of his investing and skill building.

Quint Studer: But we're also Mark piloting something called a personal retention plan. So, Mark, you come to work for me. And, Mark, you know, we want to make sure this is the place for you. This is the place you feel you belong, not only today, but a year from now, two years from now, five years from now. So we're going to have a personal retention plan for you.

Quint Studer: Now, when we talk about and I have them pick the questions, but we have some what type of place is it that you really are looking for so you feel you belong? Tell me something in the past that has made you really feel good about where you work. Tell me something that might force you to say, I don't know if this is the right place for me. Let's talk about our investment in skill building and how we're going to talk about that. Let me go through our well being resources we have available because we know life comes along.

Quint Studer: We want to make sure we support you not only in work, but outside of work. Tell me the type of boss that you do best with and let me share with you how to best work with me. Those are some samples now. I love it. Mark, we just started this MUSC.

Quint Studer: I have no idea if it's going to work. Do I think it's going to work? Yep.

Mark Graban: You have good hypothesis, but I don't.

Quint Studer: Know it's going to work, but I'm glad that MUSC is doing it because we're going to find out. That's what I'm talking about. And I've always been really straight of saying, I don't know if this is going to work, but I think it's going to work. We did this thing based on everything. I know, but we're going to probably have to tweak it as we go.

Quint Studer: Maybe those questions, but yeah, I'm with you. I think we've got to be better at not judging people because you're going to have some misses. That's why I love clinical trials. They'll do a clinical trial and they'll come back and say, it wasn't as effective as we thought. So we're not going to go forward with that medication for Alzheimer's or for this for that.

Quint Studer: But gosh darn it, if you got Alzheimer's, you're glad they're.

Mark Graban: And that was a big focus in the mistakes that make us the chapter on iterate your Way to success and the things you're Articulating Quint I think are really helpful things for kind of scientific improvement. Like, here's the hypothesis, we have some knowledge, there's basis for it, but we're going to go and test and we're going to plan to study, adjust and that's good. And you mentioned COVID I had not heard those comments about, oh, maybe it was a mistake to call it a vaccine and things in that realm especially are so polarized, of course, but I heard some people saying that a while ago. But I'll tell you, they weren't clinical in background. So I thought like, well, you're just trying to dissuade people from getting that injection, whatever we call it.

Mark Graban: But now I'm sure if things like this come out, people will hop all over. Well, see, I told you I was right, therefore I'm right about everything else. I'm like, well, that's probably unlikely to be true.

Quint Studer: Hey, another part of your book I really like. And you remind me again, I'm almost feeling like a Mark Clement testimonial here, but Mark Clement, when he was President of Holy Cross, he brought us in and he was suggesting something. And we had a small executive team, like four of us or five, and we're sitting there, we're explaining to him sort of our reluctance to try this change he's recommending. And then he asked the question, it's in your book, he said, Is it better than what we're currently doing? And we said, oh, yeah, it's better than what we're doing.

Quint Studer: He said, let's do better for a while. And I love the fact that you say about 80%, it improves it, it improves it. But when Mark lowered the bar and didn't say it had to be perfect, he just said, Is it better? And I think that's the other thing. We get in the way, we get into this perfection, and people are going to judge us if it just isn't right.

Quint Studer: And I love the fact, is it better.

Mark Graban: Yeah, let's keep making it better, and we learn new things. And as you said, I think our willingness to admit, hey, we learned something, we know more now. We're going to change our approach. Like, back in the early days of COVID people were afraid to touch any surface anywhere. And then I think we learned more over time that that was not the primary transmission vector, and it's okay to learn.

Mark Graban: And when we first moved to La in May of 2020, the beach paths, the beaches were shut down and the beach paths, they wouldn't allow people to run or bike. And then I think they realized, okay, well, that's actually one of the safest things you can do. And that got opened up, and some people still, out of an abundance of caution, chose to wear masks. And then I think we learned, well, okay, that's not necessary either. And to me, that doesn't debunk medical knowledge or science.

Mark Graban: That's just a progression. We learn more, and we can adjust.

Quint Studer: Well, I think there's a book out called Alive Right now by Dr. Peter Atiya, which is getting a lot of publicity, and it should. In fact, it got recommended by my primary care physician, which I thought that's pretty good because the question and he would he goes back to say, when we used to bleed out people, right, okay, we have to celebrate when we change and when we make advances. And then we also have to question not every sometimes things work for a while, and then they don't. So, for example, trust.

Quint Studer: Number one thing that we're seeing in research and healthcare right now is trust has never been worse. Employees have less trust for their sister. They like their boss, Mark, because their boss was with them during COVID They like their direct supervisor, but they don't trust the senior executive team. A lot of it. Senior executive team really couldn't do much about supply chain management.

Quint Studer: Are you telling me the truth? Vaccines masking visiting hours, you canceled training, you canceled celebrations. All the right things they did at the time, but it still impacted trust. So I look back today and I'm thinking, I was such a nut on validation. I went way overboard.

Quint Studer: I had managers validating so much. Yet in the back of my mind, it's like if you said to your wife, I'm going away for the weekend, honey, could you document every hour what you do? I don't think she's not going to be that happy. And I think mistake I made was taking validation to the extreme. And again when I met Magnet, and I think there's a trust issue now.

Quint Studer: If you prove you don't trust, then we're going to talk about it. But I think we have to be really sensitive today. Are we subconsciously sending messages? We don't trust you.

Mark Graban: Wow.

Quint Studer: Autonomy is also a key indicator of trust. The more autonomous I feel, the more trust I feel. However, we also want to combine autonomy with skill building, because I also don't want to set you up to fail because I haven't invested in your skill to do the job well. You're a baseball person. I've never understood, Mark, why they have people bunt that don't know how to because just because the game plan makes sense to bunt if you don't know how to bunt.

Quint Studer: But you see it all the time in Major League Baseball.

Mark Graban: Well, but you talked earlier about the need for a personalized personalized medicine, personalized leadership. Yeah, it's got to be situational. And I think even speaking of, I think things that people feel like they've learned, you see far less bunting in general because I think people have decided, like, oh, giving up the out is worse than the benefit of maybe moving the runner ahead. So even those decisions or when you.

Quint Studer: Go forward on fourth down, you're Rangers. I mean, you live around Ranger territory. Pretty exciting.

Mark Graban: Yep. They're off to the World Series as we record, you know, Quint, I want to be mindful of apologize. We didn't I didn't get the conversation to talk about the upcoming book.

Quint Studer: So maybe some that's know people there's two things I'd love people to yeah, really? One, they go to healthcareplussolutionsgroup.com. We have two great studies we just did with the Ana and the onl on nursing care models for nursing. And our company, we spend most of any profits we make. We pump right into research.

Quint Studer: Right now, I'm at that age, and so there's some great research on staffing models. And the other thing is, because I didn't want money to ever get in the way, my new book Rewiring Excellence. Of course, they can order a hard copy for, like, $10, but they can also download it for free, and it's 84 pages.

Mark Graban: Nice.

Quint Studer: Mark, it's right up your alley. It says, if it's working, don't fix it. But if it's not working, let's just take a fresh pair of eyes to it because we want to make it authentic. And some of the things we've taken, we've scripted it so much. Healthcare employees don't want to feel like they're scripted.

Quint Studer: They want to be authentic. And we've got to be real careful now. With experience, you become more authentic because you get more comfortable. But I think in the book, it's only 84 pages, and I think people really tend the feedback we've gotten is really good. Sharp Healthcare just ordered a whole bunch of them because they said, yeah, we have to rewire things.

Quint Studer: Doesn't mean what we're doing was wrong. Right. Just needs a fresh pair of eyes periodically. Yeah.

Mark Graban: And there's no shame in recognizing that things can be improved and rewired. So I hope people will check that out. Maybe at some point when you're back off the road and before the next book comes out, I would love to have another conversation with you sometime. Quint, this is always a lot.

Quint Studer: I just recommended you to an organization the other day, and I'm real picky about that because I'm very sensitive about who I tell people they should call and use. And of course, when this organization said, quint, we need help with Lean. Who do you recommend? You're the only name I gave.

Mark Graban: Well, thank you for that, Quint, and I appreciate yeah, we've had a good conversation there with that person, so thank you for that. I hope people will check out the books, the website. You have a podcast now, the Healthcare Plus podcast?

Quint Studer: Yeah, yeah. In fact, we got some really fun stuff. MUSC is doing some pretty good stuff with artificial intelligence, and we're going to talk about, again, that's something new coming in. So how do we do it? Yeah, we've got a lot of good stuff, emergency department stuff.

Quint Studer: I just go around the country and I find what I call somebody that's doing it right. I just want them to share it. The great thing about healthcare, Mark, is they'll share it. Cooperman Barnabas, they want a great ed, but they want everyone to have a great one. Right.

Quint Studer: You don't know where you're going to end up. So we're very fortunate to be in healthcare. It's a pretty sharing field, but you've got to get away from thinking it might not work here. Well, it might give it a shot. You might have to tweak it, but it might work.

Quint Studer: At least some of it might work.

Mark Graban: Yeah, we do that operational trial. So that's great advice. So, again, we've been joined today Quint Studer, author of books including Hardwiring Excellence, the Busy Leaders Handbook, the Calling, Rewiring Excellence, and then the upcoming book The Human Margin. Quint, thank you so much for the great conversation here. Really, really appreciate it.

Quint Studer: Well, Mark, you and I go way, way back, so I appreciate the impact you continue to have on healthcare. Thank you.


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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