Every month we run an excerpt from our editor's popular blog, The Empowered Healthcare Manager.
Profession-ism in the lab
Do those who perform the testing in your laboratory butt heads with your phlebotomists? Just as professionism maintains a wall between laboratory and nursing departments, it has the same affect within the laboratory.
Do your phlebotomists feel like the lab's neglected stepchildren? You won't know for sure unless you practice some good old-fashioned MBWA (management by walking around). Listen to how the analytical staff speaks to the preanalytical staff. Observe their body language. See what's in their eyes. Simultaneously, observe how the preanalytical staff goes about their duties. Do they invite the contempt?
If you detect even a hint of incivility, trust there's an iceberg of phenomenal proportions beneath the surface. It's at the root of most of your personnel issues and it's likely what's causing mediocre performance. It's hard for any faction of your staff to soar with the eagles when they feel surrounded by turkeys.
If you've tolerated it too long, this weekend think about drawing a line in the sand on Monday. Start the week with firm resolve to stop the incivility, arrest the behaviors that encourage it, and articulate the consequences. Make sure you provide recent examples of the kind of behaviors that have to stop.
Nothing good comes from a workplace dynamic that tolerates one profession thinking itself above another. That's what's known in HR circles as a hostile work environment. As long as professionism reigns, people will call in sick when they're not and you'll always work short.
Your lab will never get its hemolysis rates down, blood culture contamination minimized, or sample rejection rates controlled as long as your collection staff feels like second-class citizens.
If you want quality food to come out of the kitchen, you don't curse the cook.