Coffee Break - Phyllis Stark

EP 23: Evidence-Based Solutions for Improved Relationships

Summary: 

Curiosity and input-seeking, not blame, lead to successful collaboration and workplace improvements.

In this episode, Phyllis Stark, Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer for Kaiser Fresno Medical Center, shares insights on transforming healthcare culture by addressing disruptive behaviors. Phyllis emphasizes collaboration with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to create a respectful and professional work environment. She explains how establishing common ground and leveraging evidence-based approaches improves patient-centered care and creates successful collaborations. Phyllis stresses the significance of equipping frontline leaders with the skills to manage disruptive behaviors and the need for a deliberate, stepwise change in organizational culture. She also underscores the importance of collaboration, strategic change, and the development of a positive culture within healthcare organizations. Phylli’s initiatives, especially in mentorship and HR issue management, showcase a commitment to creating a harmonious work environment. 

Tune in and learn how cultivating a healthier work culture in healthcare is essential for better patient care, and learn the exact strategies to do it!

About Phyllis Stark:

Phyllis Stark joined Kaiser Permanente in 2012 and was appointed Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the Fresno Medical Center in early 2022. She is responsible for leadership and oversight of nursing practice as well as facility, hospital operations, and the Continuum of Care for the Fresno service area.

Before joining the Fresno team, Phyllis was the Regional Chief Nurse Executive for the Northern California Continuum of Care, where she served as the health plan lead for the NCAL Kaiser Permanente Advanced Care at Home program as well as clinical services provided in the post-acute space.

Phyllis is a Registered Nurse specializing in Emergency and Critical Care. In December 2019, she completed her doctoral studies at the University of San Francisco and graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership. Phyllis also holds a master’s degree in Nursing from Walden University and is an advocate for clinical practice excellence. 

She is enthusiastic about driving quality care delivery through employee and physician engagement in a collaborative working environment where patients are at the center.

CB__Phyllis Stark.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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Renee Thompson:
Plants thrive and grow in a peaceful, nourished environment, right? Well, it's the same with human beings. But what if that environment is not so peaceful? What if it's toxic? Welcome to Coffee Break: Breaking the Cycle of Bullying in Healthcare – One Cup at a Time. In this podcast, you'll get practical, evidence-based strategies to help you cultivate and sustain a healthy and respectful work culture by tackling an age-old problem in healthcare: bullying and incivility. I am your host, Doctor Renee Thompson.

Renee Thompson:
Hi everyone, welcome to the Coffee Break podcast. If you've been following us, if you've been listening, you know this podcast is all about what can we do as healthcare leaders to address disruptive behaviors in healthcare so that we can cultivate a kinder, more respectful, and professional work culture? That's what we're all about. And today, we're going to be having a coffee chat with Doctor Phyllis Stark, who is really going to engage us in a conversation about how do you truly collaborate with your physician partners. So, Phyllis, welcome to the show.

Phyllis Stark:
Thank you, Renee. So happy to be here.

Renee Thompson:
I am super happy to have here you, too, 'cause Phyllis and I have done really good work together over the last few years. And many of you may know this, but years ago when I started addressing workplace bullying and incivility, I really focused on nurses. I'm a nurse. That's what I did. And then I realized, whoa, wait a minute. It's not just nurses, it's physicians, it's providers, it's respiratory, it's pharmacy, it's the nursing assistants. It's everyone. And Phyllis has done such a great job really building that engagement with her physician partners. And we're going to talk about this. It's certainly not easy, but to officially introduce Phyllis, she is the Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Operating Officer for Kaiser Fresno. Phyllis is responsible for leadership and oversight of nursing practice, as well as facility and hospital operations for the Fresno service area of Northern California. Prior to joining the Fresno team, Phyllis was the Regional Chief Nurse Executive for the Northern California Continuum of Care, where she served as the health plan lead for the KP Advanced Care at Home program, as well as clinical services provided in the post-acute space. Phyllis is an advocate, clinical practice excellence and is enthusiastic about driving quality care delivery through employee and physician engagement in a collaborative working environment where patients are at the center. And all right, we're talking a little bit about this before we started, she is a proud grandma of, Phyllis, how many grandchildren do you have?

Phyllis Stark:
11.

Renee Thompson:
You have 11 grandchildren? That's both wonderful and a little insane at the same time.

Phyllis Stark:
… I enjoy them all.

Renee Thompson:
Yeah. So I have to ask, what's your grandma name?

Phyllis Stark:
I usually am Grandma Phyllis, but when I got my doctorate in nursing, I became Doctor Grandma.

Renee Thompson:
Doctor Grandma, I like that. I might have to talk to my grandkids instead of, because my grandma name is nanny, so it's Italian. I had a nanny growing up and I had a really special relationship with my nanny. And so of course, when I became a grandmother, there was no choice; I had to be nanny. But maybe I can have them call me Doctor Nanny. I like it too. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about how you came to recognize that as a Chief Nurse Executive or someone in a nursing leadership role, you can't be so siloed to only focus on your nurses, but rather, how did you get so involved in really engaging your physician partners?

Phyllis Stark:
It's a great question, Renee. I have to go back to the genesis of our relationship with the Healthy Workforce and building as different cultures. So we had a pretty disruptive crew of folks in our critical care unit. And so we engaged Healthy Workforce and partnered with our leader there and saw tremendous change. And people started noticing. And they were asking, What's the secret sauce? And then we had some physicians, a little tension, a little dynamic tension between nursing and physician at CCU. And went to see my Chief Medical Officer. And he was aware of some of the issues. And I said, Would you agree that we could be better if we did this together? And I really approached it from a place of agreement and curiosity. It wasn't, I need you to do this with me. That's never going to work. But, I'd love to partner with you. What do you think in offering to even support and fund some of the opportunities to get some of our physicians, some specialized, mostly making them aware and having training? So we started talking about how we could engage physicians in a collaboration. And it wasn't a push-pull. It was more coming alongside and gaining agreement. So finding a foundational concept that we could both agree on. Wouldn't it be great if our teams worked together collaboratively so neither he nor I were dealing with the occasional emails, incident reports, just kind of things that were disruptive to the nursing unit. We started with CCU because it had tremendous success, but we thought this is a bigger problem in our medical center, and wouldn't this be a wonderful platform that we could show togetherness and collaboration? And he agreed. And so we started exploring it and asked him, What would they be objectives? What success look like to you? If we were to do this together, what would you see as success? And he, you know, so he and I talked. It was really more being me being curious rather than coming to him with, We've got a problem, we need to fix it. As leaders, we hear that a lot. People bring us problems without solutions. I was coming to him with a proposal for a solution, but really hearing his thoughts about it and really just doing an initial assessment. That's how we started.

Renee Thompson:
I think when I listen to that story and how you, it was your approach that was probably unique and that a lot of especially Chief Medical Officers, they're used to people coming to them, complaining about their docs and your physicians and your providers and the blaming, because I've noticed that even nurses, we tend to blame physicians for a lot of the culture problems. And likewise, physicians blame the nurses. And if you approach improvements from a blaming perspective, you're going to get defensive. People are going to get defensive with you. But that's not how you approach your physician partner. I love that you approached it with curiosity. It's one of our key strategies: curious. And you asked for input. And you asked to collaborate. But here's something that you said that I think is incredibly powerful. You asked, What would success look like to you?

Phyllis Stark:
It was powerful because it made him pause, because I don't think anybody ever posed that question. Because you're right. I often call my job Chief Problem Solver, and he feels the same. And asking him, what would it feel like, what would it look like, what would be the demonstrable change that you could see, made him think a little bit about the rocks and issues? What are the difficulties that he has? And you're exactly right. It was a tremendous conversation. And then we started kind of noodling. What would it look like? He goes together, and then recognizing what are the next steps. So we did a few things next. We engaged Doctor Mitch Kusy … Mitch being somebody that could speak from a … level. Because oftentimes physicians want to hear from physicians. They want to hear people who are qualified. And it's so very important because credibility is really important because they want to hear your credentials before they're going to listen to you. And so having somebody who could come alongside them and speak their language and come from a place of comfort with them, but also to guarantee that there was some confidentiality, the need to have a safe space to have conversation. And so we were able to do that as well. And so as the next step is that we got a group of leaders, physician leaders, nurse leaders together off-site and we started planning our strategy. And we did some exercises. And it was awareness exercises. It was becoming self-aware, becoming aware of the environmental challenges that incivility, perceived bullying, toxic culture, anything, we had people bringing their problem, bringing what's bothering you to the table. And let's have an honest, safe conversation, and talk about what it would look like if what, if we could make incremental changes and improvement and those things, what would the workplace feel like? Just try that on and sit with it. And it was remarkable that some of the physicians who had been very bristly about this idea, let their hair down and started saying, Yeah, I hear that. And I was very worried we were going to get into a we-they, you know, that kind of finger pointing conversation, and it didn't happen because we created a safe space, we had some rules of engagement, and we let everybody have their moment to speak. And the next thing, it's a little bit magical, because when people hear what it looks like from the other side, walking in someone else's shoes, they really tried that on. And it was remarkable because we saw some enlightenment. I'm not going to … but there was, we came to agreement, we came together, and we agreed that there was a common problem to solve and that we were the right people to solve it, and that there may be different tactics, there may be fits and starts, that we may not get it right the first time, but gaining agreement that there was a problem, first of all, and that we all agreed that if we loosened it in the stepwise fashion, that we could have an improved workforce and improved work environment and people would feel better about coming to work.

Renee Thompson:
Yeah. I want to unpack a few things that you said. And for those of you who are listening, Doctor Mitch Kusy is an organizational psychologist, and he's on our team. And Mitch and I work together collaboratively, especially when we do consulting. And he's been working with us for about the last 4 or 5 years. I hate admitting this, I really do, and this is recorded. So I really hate to admit this because now it's going to be out there. We brought Mitch on our team to work with physicians because I was doing that. However, in general, so this is a general statement, what I found was that, to your point, Phyllis, they didn't see me as credible. I'm not a physician. I'm a woman. I'm a nurse. But what I noticed was when Mitch talked to them, they listened to him. Mitch is not a nurse. Mitch doesn't work in health care. He wears that organizational psychology hat well, and he brings research, evidence-based. And I'm evidence-based, too, but Mitch has a way of articulating it so that the physicians and the providers, they listen to him. And when you and I met to discuss who's the best person to come out and work with your nursing and your physician leaders, hands down, it was Mitch. Because of what I just said. I don't like it. I wish it wasn't that way, but we're going to use it because ultimately, the goal is to improve the culture and the working relationship. And tell me if this happened during that retreat, Phyllis. We get a lot of, when we start working with physician groups, we hear a lot of blame. They blame the system. They blame the nurses. They blame the process, the laborious processes that they have to go through. Did you find that happen during the retreat, or were they able to put all of that aside? Because what I find is people are quick to blame the system, blame everybody else, but they don't turn that mirror back on themselves. But it sounds like they were able to do that during that retreat.

Phyllis Stark:
Well, we set some expectations and some guiding principles at the onset, and that the things that we were there to address were things that were in our purview of control. So fixing our electronic medical record off the table, fixing IVF support, I mean. So there are frustrations in all operations, hospital operations being no different, but are things that you need to work through with the stakeholders. None of us were stakeholders in those things. So we agreed that we were going to focus on the nurse physician relationship and with the patient at the center. So we really wanted to focus on how does our behavior, how does our collaboration or lack thereof affect patient care? We had some real example, and we did bring those examples forward. And we tried to do it. We did it anonymously. So we didn't share any PHI at the meeting. But we did talk about, in this example, the discord between the nurse and the physician caused this outcome. And we gave examples and we said, So how could we have done better? And it was a little bit of a, of a conversation. And we recognized that it could be tense, but we tried to do it in a blinded way. We didn't name names, but we talked about how order, interpretation, and some of the things that we had seen in the past, how it had affected our patients, and at the beginning. We agreed that patient-centered care was what we were all mutually agreeable to. So finding a common ground, finding something, even in the most tense conversation, if you can find a place where you all can nod your heads and agree, you start at that place, it's much easier to gain agreement on the next topic.

Renee Thompson:
Yes, I love that you said establish common ground. So you set this and rules of engagement. What can we control? What can't we control? And really made it clear with the goal is to improve the nurse physician relationships because those relationships impact the patients: good, bad or ugly. And yet establishing that common ground. I remember working with a labor and delivery department. I had never seen such, let's just say it was toxic, the relationship between the nurses and physicians. And we really worked with them and how we started this conversation: we brought a few of the nurses in that represented the nurses and a few of the physicians that represented all the physicians. Very first thing that we did was establish common ground. We all want the same thing. We want healthy mom, healthy baby. And but we didn't tell them that. We asked them, What's most important to you? What, tell us, when you mentioned patient-centered care, they are at the heart of everything. And was that an easy sell with your group, or did you have to spend some time convincing them?

Phyllis Stark:
Yeah, it was an easy sell because I have to say to a person, everybody truly does love patient care. And so finding that and knowing that beforehand that that these folks, no matter their difficulties, they do agree that they want to do the right thing for the patient. And it would be pretty hard for them to say, Νo, I don't agree about that. So no pressure because we were all in the same room together. But that wasn't a difficult sell. And we noticed anytime things maybe got a little bit sidetracked or there may be a little crossbar conversations, we would bring it back and try to, and Mitch is a master of this, bringing back to, like you said, the evidence, the research and weaving that in because that speaks to positions hearts and many of them have spent many years in academia. And so living by evidence of what is, what has been written, and what has been proven, it's always: show me the proof. So I think as we weave that in and out and we could show with our own examples, evidence of when it had gone awry, it was pretty tough to argue. And so we really didn't get any pushback on that.

Renee Thompson:
Because I think of it from this perspective. Okay, if we even take a step back, you got buy-in from the Chief Medical Officer, and you really presented this as a problem for us to solve, let's collaborate together. And then you got that agreement, involved your nursing leaders and your physicians in a collaborative session. It was an all-day session where you had an external person, which I think is very wise. I always say they won't listen to you, they'll listen to us because we're not a colleague of theirs at work. They will listen to us more. So it's always good when you have that situation where people really just aren't buying into it, especially culture change or relationships. They'll listen to us. You set ground rules. You set rules of engagement. You really showed them, Okay, what we can't control? And they really came together. And as you said, you can't deny that the relationship didn't have this type of negative impact on this patient's situation. So everybody by the end is yes, this is great. And we have some strategies. Now we're going to work on things. What happened after that? Did they go back and they apply everything and everything was wonderful or not so much?

Phyllis Stark:
I would love to say everything was wonderful. But for the support, once you gain agreement, then it's a matter of holding folks accountable and engaging them. So we, for the one unit we were working on, at the time, having the physicians join the existing Healthy Workforce Steering Committee and having, you know, so leadership pre-meeting so the unit manager, the Chief of the service coming together, here's our agenda item, giving feedback. So having a very participatory role for the lead physician in the unit with the nurse manager of the unit, I stepped away and let them do their work and just kind of popped in from time to time. They came together to establish, what are we going to work on? Because it was, there was a lot on the table. So what are the things we would work on? So we're going back to the unit norms and getting physician agreement on the already established unit norm. That was job number one because they just could agree. So there was some uncomfortable wordsmithing because the physicians had their way. They felt like some of it was really pointing fingers at them. So there was a really good collaborative conversation about reworking the language in the unit norms. That was job number one, because they were going to dreamnote. They didn't get to be part of establishing them. So that happened. And that was, I think, Herculean an effort because wordsmithing, people having a way of they want the turn of phrase to be just … And that happened and that was the first thing. And once we had that, then having everybody in collaboration, have them understand these are our new department norms, taking the previous ones, adding physician input, and pretty much putting the stake in the ground that this is what our unit has decided as a whole with all partners, this is how we're going to treat each other. This is what is negotiable. This is what is not negotiable. And then that's when it got a little tense. Because then of course people put push boundaries. And critical care unit is a 10th place to work. And sometimes things go sideways a little bit. And so bringing that back together and saying our department norm, here's what happened. Here's the gap. How do we come back into alignment? And I'm not that flowering up here. We still struggle with it. This is going to be an ongoing iterative conversation. But what I will tell you is the ship started to turn. And people comment now what a different environment this unit is. And this has been years in the making. This is not a fast pace. This is a marathon for us. But people notice that it's a more enjoyable unit to work on that both physicians and nurses, they comment on the collaborative work and when there is a tent situation, it's much easily kind of calm down. Because we have common language, we have department norms. We can refer back to them to say, In our debrief, this code didn't go as well as it could have. What are the things we could have done better? And it's not punitive and we're not finger pointing, but we're just bringing it back to the center. And the center is always going to be the department norm.

Renee Thompson:
Right. And the key in all of this, Phyllis, is exactly what you said. This wasn't a, it's my language checkbox. We have our norms. We had a retreat. We all agreed that the relationship is important and we're going to work on it. And then you expect it to all of a sudden magically transform your culture. It's strategies that you have to implement and that you're consistent over time. But the department norms that you're talking about, for those of you who are listening that might not understand what, this is where you get your entire team together and you ask, How do we always want to be treated by each other? How do we never want to be treated by each other? And then you create a list of only one page, don't have an 18-page, list of behaviors. But it's, this is how we treat each other in this space, and it truly is a collaborative in getting the physicians involved. Years ago, we would just have the departments create the norms, and then we realized that we were asking the physicians to honor those norms, yet we never asked them for their input. So now they're part of it from day one, from, right from the beginning because think about every single person who works in your department. You expect them to honor the norms you've created. It's so much easier if they were a part of creating those norms and to continue to work on it and then use the language in the norms to say, Time out, okay, we said we wouldn't do that to each other. We said, so it doesn't become Phyllis said or Bridget said or anybody. It's, We agreed. And that's when I think you really see that collaboration.

Phyllis Stark:
And that is what's happening now. So that's, I would call it a little bit of a steady state, but it is something you constantly have to work and remind. And we are rolling this to different units, different departments. And I'm looking forward to 2024 because it gives us that opportunity. We want this culture to be our culture, our hospital culture. And you exactly right at the top of the podcast, you mentioned that this is not just about nursing. This is how we as a health care organization, treat each other and talk to each other and all around doing excellent patient care. It's been a wonderful opportunity to see the growth and the professional growth and the maturity and the kind of the emotional intelligence of the teams working on. It's a different way of thinking about it, and that raising up what is and is not acceptable, and it makes it a safe place and psychologically safe, which is really important post-pandemic. We all had a tough few years, and this is a way for people to understand that these folks, they've got my back, that we're all going to understand this is the way we do business here, and that anything outside of that is going to have to be addressed.

Renee Thompson:
Yes. And one thing to add to that, Phyllis, that you've done a really great job with, that is equipping your frontline leaders with those skills and tools that they need. And that's been a big part of this. We know right now that 50% of all nursing leaders have less than two years experience. The turnover has just been, let's just say, as much as you see turnover of nurses at the bedside, we're seeing equal turnover with nursing leaders and we put them into the leadership role, and we don't equip them with how to deal with people issues, how to deal with disruptive behaviors. And I won't mention names, but you have so supported one of your nursing leaders who I worked with for a while. What has been remarkable is her growth throughout this entire process, where you take a look at your frontline leaders and that's your manager, your assistant nurse managers, you have supervisors, clinicians, even down to your charge nurse if you have charge nurses, but making sure that you're supporting them and equipping them because they're ultimately charged with the culture in their department. But as an executive, you've done such a great job supporting those frontline leaders because at the end of the day, they are the ones responsible for the culture. And you, as the executive, you recognize that. And you gave her the opportunity to really develop into the leader that she is now. I couldn't be more proud of her. Okay. Her name is Bridget. Okay.

Phyllis Stark:
Her name is Bridget, and she is phenomenal. And what it has done, you're exactly right about the turnover. And we all know as nursing leaders that we often, we're good clinicians, we get tapped to take a leadership role. We are never, we've never started to do that. And so providing that kind of mentorship to adhere to the role model for many of our founder leaders, and giving them the tools to address, one the most difficult things we do as nurse leaders, is addressing HR stuff … It is so challenging and difficult because we're not born into people leaders. We all had to learn and adapt, and this gives us an opportunity to language, to deal with it. And it's a really in a very dispassionate, supportive way, not about being punitive, but about being collaborative and saying this is the environment we're trying to create. And Bridget and her team are modeling for some of our folks who are now going through the Healthy Workforce Institute, how this has improved their culture. And I think it's catching on, and I see it spreading, and I'm so excited because we do have a lot of young nurses and the nurse managers, and this is a platform that we can say, This is a tool in your tool belt. And along with all the other things we're doing, this is something that can really help you manage some of these very tough HR-type issues and people with personality issues. I am super proud of Bridget as well and very excited to be here, continue to grow.

Renee Thompson:
Thank you. And again, thank you for investing in not only Bridget, but your entire team. And as we wrap up, I want to do a little bit of a recap. And Phyllis, let me know if I've missed anything. We originally were talking about how do you collaborate and engage your physicians as actual partners in culture change. And it started with you reaching out to your Chief Medical Officer with the curiosity hat on and getting input. And we talked about raising some awareness. There's a no blame here. And what would it look like if we were successful in doing that? And then you brought your nursing leaders and your physicians together under that umbrella of, Let's talk about how we can work on those things that we have control over, and that's how we treat each other. The things we don't have control over, we're not going to tackle that, even though they may affect the work environment and they do, systems and electronic health records and all those things affect the environment, but we do have control over how we treat each other. And that was establishing that this is going to be a partnership, establishing department norms, making sure that the physicians had input to that and then not checking a checkbox saying, Okay, we're done. This is our environment, this is our culture. But you're continuing to work on it. And when people don't honor the norms, you call them on it and say, Hey, what happened here? And even during the debriefings that you do that and it's just continuous. And then, of course, making sure that you're supporting your frontline leaders, who are the ones who are dealing with a lot of these challenges every single day. Did I miss anything?

Phyllis Stark:
Oh, that was great, I wish I could.

Renee Thompson:
I took notes.

Phyllis Stark:
Well, excellent notes. I think you summarized it really well. It's been a wonderful journey, but it's just the beginning of our journey.

Renee Thompson:
We tell people all the time, Your culture didn't get this way overnight; it's not going to change overnight. It will change. What you want to do is make sure you're changing it the way you want it to change, because if you do nothing, it'll just, your culture will be created by default. It's whatever behaviors you're tolerating, whatever behaviors you're recognizing, it just kind of glide into your culture. We want you to be strategic. We want you to be deliberate.

Phyllis Stark:
Agreed.

Renee Thompson:
If there's another Chief Executive who's listening to this right now who says, I don't have that relationship with my CMO, there is this disconnect between the nurses and the physicians, what advice would you give them? What would be the first step?

Phyllis Stark:
I think developing a common language, focusing on patient care. So finding an example. It's really great to have, and I had a really good example about this is what I'm hearing. Are you hearing the same thing? So we had a common issue that had been brought forward to us. So find the common issue because you can use that to springboard. What if there were a solution? Or what if we could talk about a solution together? It was huge.

Renee Thompson:
I never even thought of that. But you're right. It's almost as though, and I know there are some people listening, thinking, I have to wait for something to happen before I. But think about it, things happen all the time. All you have to do is pay attention. There's going to be something. But to use that as a justification for having that conversation with your physician executive partner to say, Hey, did you hear this? I heard this. Let's talk about this. What is an, this is a potential opportunity for us to work on this issue together, because this isn't the first situation that has happened. I think that's so wise. Thank you so much.

Phyllis Stark:
Welcome.

Renee Thompson:
All right, as we wrap up, can you tell me one thing right now, aside from what we've talked about, to cultivate a healthier work culture?

Phyllis Stark:
I have spread the opportunity to 2024 for additional leaders. I'm trying to really create this, and not just on the nursing side. Obviously, nursing is my first priority. However, I'm also the Chief Operating Officer, so I have the entire facilities team reporting to me, and there's, in every department there's little dysfunction. And so I've offered this up to a new leader who is in that department, and he's going to be participating. So this will be the first time we've extended this to a non-nursing unit. And very excited as this will be a trial because the language is a little bit different. They don't have the physician partners but the entire hospital is their partners. So that's a little bit of a different thing to tackle. But I'm excited about it because there's a need, there's a definite need. And if we can head toward the place where treating people with civility and not tolerating bullying behavior becomes the way our medical center operates, our patients are going to be …

Phyllis Stark:
100% agree with you, and thank you for recognizing that it's not just the patient care departments, it's not just the clinical leaders, but you have departments, your facilities. We've done work with EVs, departments, pathology. You're right though, it's the same behaviors, but it's a different language that you use. And there are different motivations when they're not directly taking care of patients. And so you have to be a little creative. And how, if you're a clinician, I can say the way we treat people affects someone's mom. It affects your clinical care and affects someone's mom. How do you say that to someone who's working in EVS or in pathology? There are ways that you can do that. But to spread this to non-clinical areas, I think is very wise, very wise. So thank you.

Phyllis Stark:
You're very welcome.

Renee Thompson:
All right. If somebody wants to connect with you, what would be the best way of doing that?

Phyllis Stark:
I think, email me directly. Phyllis.Stark@…org. I will be updating my LinkedIn, but right now I'm locked out because I got hacked.

Renee Thompson:
Oh, don't you hate that?

Phyllis Stark:
I do.

Renee Thompson:
Some people have too much time on their hands. They go around hacking people's. I see it all the time. Facebook. I'm shocked that, I shouldn't say this out loud, I'm shocked that I haven't been hacked. And I'm not going to say yet because we're not, we're just not going to put it out there to the universe. But we'll go ahead and we'll put Phyllis's email address in the show notes. And I just want to thank you, Phyllis, for being willing to hop on this podcast and share your strategies, especially when it comes to really cultivating a healthy work culture collaboratively with our physician partners. It's something that we need more of in health care. It's not just the nurses, it's just not the physicians. It's everyone. But those two groups right there, if you can bring them together, it could be a game-changer for you. So thank you.

Phyllis Stark:
Oh, you are welcome. This is wonderful work and I'm so excited. I've been able to see the benefit and the outcome. And just know that it's going to only get better.

Renee Thompson:
And we see it. It's, when you put committed, dedicated human beings together under this umbrella of what could it look like to establish a healthy work culture? How could that impact all of us in a positive way, especially that direct impact of patients? I've been in awe of some human beings. At first I thought were not going to be a part of this, and they were going to stick their, you know, heels in the cement. But when you present it in this way, transformation can happen. So I want to thank you again, and I want to thank you for listening today and for doing your part to stop the cycle of bullying in health care. We have important work to do in health care. And as I always say, we have no time for shenanigans. Remember, the way we treat each other truly is just as important as the care that we provide. Thanks, everyone. Take care.

Renee Thompson:
Thank you for listening to Coffee Break: Breaking the Cycle of Bullying in Healthcare – One Cup at a Time. If you found these practical strategies helpful, we invite you to click the subscribe button and tune in every other week. For more information about our show and how we work with healthcare organizations to cultivate and sustain a healthy work culture free from bullying and incivility, visit HealthyWorkforceInstitute.com. Until our next cup of coffee, be kind, take care, and stay connected.

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Things You’ll Learn:
  • Engaging physicians in collaboration is crucial for cultivating a respectful work culture in healthcare.
  • Creating a safe space for open conversations is key to addressing discord among healthcare professionals.
  • Strategic off-site meetings, awareness exercises, and honest conversations drive cultural transformation.
  • Focusing on patient-centered care guides expectations and principles in collaborative efforts.
  • Addressing toxic relationships requires a focus on shared goals and the importance of evidence.
Resources:
  • Learn more about Phyllis here!
  • Discover more about Kaiser Permanente on LinkedIn and their website.
  • Find out about the great work Dr. Mitch Kusy does here!
  • Email Phyllis here.
Disclosure: The host may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to. As an Amazon Associate, Coffee Break earns from qualifying purchases.
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