1. Drake, Kirsten DNP, RN, NEA-BC, OCN

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Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference (Trzeciak and Mazzarelli, 2019)


Patient experience has been at the center of many conversations in healthcare leadership for years and even more so since the initiation of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). I believe we've all tried multiple techniques to improve patient experiences at our organizations. Dr. Trzeciak shares his systematic review of the research on the impact of compassion. Filled with examples of opportunities for showing compassion, the book describes how compassion influences the quality and cost of care, and how it affects the person exhibiting the compassion. The author explains how compassion can even decrease burnout.


Dr. Trzeciak emphasizes that compassion isn't a feeling, but an action one takes. He shares techniques to increase the mindset for compassion among team members, and it isn't by attending a class. One main point he highlights is the need to manage your emotions and be intentional with your actions. In the text, Dr. Trzeciak provides an example of a compassionate interaction that takes only 40 seconds. That's correct, 40 SECONDS! The best part is compassion can be provided during regular daily activities. This is an encouraging and refreshing read.


Brene with Doug Conant on Finding and Telling Your Leadership Story (Dare to Lead with Brene Brown, May 3, 2021:


Dare to Lead, a podcast series by Brene Brown, covers various leadership topics. In this podcast, Brown interviews renowned international business leader, Doug Conant, about leadership and his book The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights. Conant starts by sharing his story of being fired from a job without notice. He continues telling the story of his leadership journey, including his lows and highs. Conant talks about how we all have our own life story, and he stresses the need to live your own leadership journey, not someone else's.


Brown and Conant discuss the balance needed in leadership between the business at hand and the personal connection with employees. Conant says you need to be genuine, show you care, and demonstrate personal commitment. During the conversation, Brown questions Conant about the six steps in his book: envision, reflect, study, plan, practice, and improve. While listening to this, I heard loudly: This is your quality improvement project for your leadership. I agree, as leaders we need to continually improve how we lead. After listening to this podcast, I'll be reading the book.


The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Gawande, 2009)


High-reliability organizational theory, based on the study of errors that had catastrophic consequences, has been around since the early 1980s. The commercial aviation industry was the first to use these principles. In Atul Gawande's classic, The Checklist Manifesto, he shares how he learned the importance of checklists while spending time with construction companies and at Boeing. The book is filled with examples that illustrate the impact of having a verification system-a checklist. The author emphasizes how implementing a checklist can prevent failures and increase the standard of performance.


The book recommends that checklists be short, simple, supported, and address specific situations. Healthcare is complicated, so a checklist should be concise to prevent errors. Dr. Gawande suggests evaluating the process for potential errors and previous actual errors to build the checklist. He notes that a barrier to implementation is the perception that checklists will take longer. As with anything new, it might take longer at first, but once integrated in your workflow, it will get faster, which in turn improves efficiency. Periodically, I revisit this book as reminder of why we have checklists and how they can save lives.