I Won’t Back Down

I Won’t Back Down is one of the best-known songs written and performed by Tom Petty, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend and leader of the Heartbreakers, who died suddenly this past October 3rd.  Like all of his music, it resonated for me, and it’s not a stretch to say that the Heartbreakers have been …

To Give Is To Receive

When I talk with my clients lately, it seems nearly everyone has been grappling with a decrease in census.  Are people just not dying as frequently as in the past? Are other providers stepping up to offer similar types of care thus sidestepping hospice or is it some other mysterious thing that is happening?! We …

Harry 8/18/17

Last time, I wrote about the importance of taking a moment and “taking a knee” to acknowledge the human being in our care; of looking beyond the chart, if you will, to honor our common humanity. It’s easy to lose sight of that when care providers are running on empty, overwhelmed and skating on the …

Take A Knee

A recent email from my physician friend Dr. Ariel Malamud, a Gastroenterologist in a large metropolitan health system resonated powerfully with me, and I wanted to share it with you, with his kind permission. He begins by describing how moved he was when, during his daughter’s lacrosse game after a player was injured, the members …

The Greatest Leadership Skill? Inspiration

Courage, passion, commitment, communication, humility – these make every list of critical leadership skills, and they’re certainly required in abundance of anyone who leads or manages in hospice. But to me, the most important gift is the ability to inspire and motivate those around you. Why? Hospice work is demanding, physically and emotionally – but …

What Great Leaders Know

Have you heard the term “nurses eat their young”?  Generally, that phrase describes the rough treatment new nurses are subjected to by more experienced peers when we enter the profession, but sometimes in my work I’ve seen it used as a management style. It’s counterproductive, it’s damaging, it undermines both the worker and the work …

When Nurses “Eat Their Young”

Have you heard the term “nurses eat their young”?  Generally, that phrase describes the rough treatment new nurses are subjected to by more experienced peers when we enter the profession, but sometimes in my work I’ve seen it used as a management style. It’s counterproductive, it’s damaging, it undermines both the worker and the work …

My Hospice Journey

The recent 50th anniversary of the founding of the modern hospice movement by Dame Cicely Saunders made me think about my own journey in hospice, and how it began. Back in 1977 I attended a lecture by Dr Elizabeth Kubler Ross., who had come to Orlando to talk about her groundbreaking work. I was tremendously …

WWDCD?

What Would Dame Cicely Do? That was the question posed to attendees at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Management and Leadership Conference in Washington DC by the incoming President and CEO, Edo Banach recently.  He told us NHPCO’s focus will be bringing value to members and focusing on innovation. We were reminded of …

Nurses Rock!

I am a nurse.  I still define myself as a nurse, even though I have not tended to a patient in that role for many years.  I renew my license every two years (just in case this consulting gig doesn’t work out), and I still think like a nurse in terms of how I assess …

Let’s Celebrate Volunteers!

It’s National Volunteer Week; and time to celebrate! This past week, I was in Cleveland working with the Hospice of the Western Reserve.  They held two banquets celebrating their 3,000 remarkable volunteers.  The speaker was local Clevelander, Alex Sheen, founder of “Because I Said I Would” movement for the “…betterment of humanity through promises made …

Excellence: It Starts With Your Staff Part 2

In my last newsletter I introduced Danny Meyer the famous NYC restauranteur with radical ideas about “enlightened hospitality”.  His commitment to extraordinary customer service begins first with an excellent staff.  How do you hire – for skills, or for people smarts? My philosophy has always led me to look first for personality, a sense of …

Excellence: It Starts With Your Staff Part 1

Inspiration and great ideas for hospice management often come from surprising sources. For instance, what could we in hospice possibly learn from a top-flight New York restaurateur like Danny Meyer? As it turns out, plenty – especially if we’re looking for insight on how to find and keep great staff. I shouldn’t have been surprised …

March Madness

March is the teasing harbinger of spring, when the saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” could easily be flipped by the fickle weather. March was the month of my brother’s birthday, which meant a party on or about the 24th.  March, a transition month from the solid cold …

On the Death of a Tree

I’ve always loved trees. I loved climbing trees as a kid.  We had our favorite “big tree” where my friends would meet, a giant live oak that had grown up around a telephone pole.  As elementary school kids we would ride our bikes to the “big tree” and climb up its enormous, gentle trunk. Then …

The Purpose Driven SEO: 5 Steps For Finding Your Next Leader

A big part of what I do is executive matchmaking, helping hospices connect with leaders who can pilot them safely through the shifting seas to the future. For those of you who are knee-deep in the search process, or who foresee an executive search in your future, here are some of the things I’ve learned …

Intentions vs. Goals

I have been thinking a lot about intentions: Merriam Webster dictionary defines intention as “a determination to act in a certain way”, and goal as “the end to which effort is directed”. When I ask myself what my intentions for the day/week/year are, versus what my goals are, I come up with very different answers. Last week, …

The Purpose-Driven Employee

The Predictive Index’s Matt Poepsel recently wrote about the major human capital trends that will shape the coming year in hiring, defining “human capital” as, “…the collective value of the knowledge, skills, creativity, and other factors of any group of people performing work”. What does today’s workforce look like, as seen through this lens? For …

A Day In The Life

We live in a world where healthcare leaders must move as fast as they can to keep up with the changes that confront them daily.  It is easy to get so caught up in the budget shortfalls, the regulations, the competition and so much more, that the actual work done by the hospice staff may …

Ms. Melanie

In hospice, we don’t have anything to sell other than the services we provide. We don’t make a product; we don’t offer goods or trade. What we offer is love and care to people who are dying, and to their loved ones. Generally, the first order of hospice business is relieving someone’s physical suffering; we …

Re-imagining Hospice

The San Francisco Examiner announced their 2016 Reader’s Choice Winners, naming Zen Hospice Project “Best Hospice Care” in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Chosen by thousands of Examiner readers in northern California, these polls took place earlier this summer. You can read the story about this organization here (check out page 26). I find it …

The Abundant Future

I hear it every day from the leaders in the not-for-profit hospice world: We’re losing ground. Caught between a rock – reduced federal dollars – and a hard place – the crushing proliferation of regulations – hospice leaders are adopting a bunker mentality, hunkering down to provide the basics to those in their care, while …

The Value of Volunteers

I was touring a hospice care center when the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies drew me to the kitchen, where I found a group of girls from the local high school. They told me that once a week they come to bake cookies for the families and patients in the care center. What …

What is “hospice” really?

Is hospice a commodity?  Is it a payment system for the dying? Is it only for the final days of life?  Is it only about giving morphine until a patient is no longer in pain? Last week I attended the National Summit of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) in Washington DC.  The speakers were …

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH DEATH

For most people, death is something that happens at the periphery of their lives – but some of us choose to make it the focus of our careers. I knew early on I wanted to care for the sick, but my path to caring for the dying was more circuitous. As a kid I was …

HOW OUR WHY WILL SHAPE OUR HOW

Simone Sinek, author of the book Start With Why, wrote that companies that deeply understand why they are in business are much more effective and last longer than those that just want to produce a product. He used the Wright brothers as an example. The Wright brothers were not well funded, nor did they have college …

GENEROSITY AS LEGACY

Leland Kaiser said it well: “Great compassion and unconditional love can change the world; they are the only things that can”.  I’d like to share with you the stories of two people whose donations of time, influence and money, along with great compassion and unconditional love, changed our community and left a legacy. Retired bank …

9 FUND-RAISING STRATEGIES THAT WORK

Do you see the future as one of shortage, lack, and ever-harsher governmental funding reductions? Or are you focused on an abundant future filled with new opportunities and innovative ways for people to engage and contribute? Let’s talk about how we can create that abundant future through development strategies that will enhance your organizations. Success …

5 Steps to Creating A Culture of Care

How can we in hospice management create a robust culture of care in our organizations? In the past I consulted with a hospice run by an autocratic leader who really didn’t want to know what the staff thought or cared about; his big concern was his bottom line, not his front lines. How is staff …

Best Practices Of Hospice

In today’s podcast Patti speaks about some of the best practices of Hospice work.

Replacing the CEO

Patti discusses the questions that must be asked when looking for a new executive director or CEO.

It Starts With Staffing

In hospice, your only product is service, and nothing is more important to that than proper staffing. No matter how powerful your mission statement is or how beautiful your facility, your people have to be service-oriented and fully committed to the work. Hospice doesn’t run on a nine-to-five, five-day week; it’s 24/7, and we can …

Leadership Change-The 3 things a CEO Needs To Do

Patti shares three things that a CEO needs to do to prepare for a leadership change.

The Importance Of Succession Planning

In this podcast, Patti explains the importance of succession planning for your Hospice.

10 WAYS YOUR HOSPICE CAN STAND OUT FROM THE COMPETITION, Part I

When hospice began, there was no competition between us because there was no money involved. But the last ten years has brought an explosion in hospice growth, and today many good hospices find themselves jostling for market share in an ever-more-crowded field. Beyond offering superb care, delivered consistently, and unfailingly going above and beyond what …

What Does Your Community REALLY Want From You?

Patti asks: What have you done lately to determine what your community really needs or wants from your Hospice?

Hospice And Philanthropy

Patty shares some Hospice history and encourages the Hospices of today to ask their communities to give of their time, ideas, goods, services and dollars to fund needed programs.

Generosity and Healing

Last week I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the 2016 Kaiser Philanthropy Innovation Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.  A select group of representatives from not for profit healthcare systems, hospitals and hospice’s from across the country participated in the three day event where the healing power of Generosity was the lead topic of …

Leonard

April is National Volunteer Month.  Celebrating remarkable people who give of their time and talents in service to others.  Please enjoy this beautiful story of “Leonard” written by a friend who volunteers at the Alive Hospice Inpatient facility in Nashville, TN.   “Leonard” By Heidi O’Neil Alive Hospice Volunteer March 2016 Leonard is 98 His …

Beyond The Basics

In today’s podcast Patti discusses thinking beyond the basics and asking the community how they want to contribute to the quality care they desire.

Innovation In Hospice

In today’s podcast Patti shares innovative ideas on how hospices can create the next level of care for the dying and their families.

What’s Your Superpower?

One of the things I love most about facilitating leadership workshops and retreats is giving people an opportunity to look at themselves with appreciative eyes. When we talk about our superpowers, we’re not talking about x-ray vision or leaping tall buildings, but the special strengths we bring to our teams; qualities of character or personality …

Department of Health and Human Services Report

Get ready folks, those of you with freestanding and leased Inpatient Units be aware: In my March 24, 2016 Newsletter Don Schumacher CEO of NHPCO spoke about Medicare Part A, B and D “Leakage”. Thursday March 31, 2016, the HHS Office of Inspector General released a report on the use and misuse of hospice inpatient …

7 Tips For Survival From CMS And NHPCO Leaders

If we in healthcare had one wish, we’d probably ask for a glimpse of the future. What impact will the coming wave of regulations have on the care we deliver? Is the Accountable Care Act a boon, or a bust? Dr. Paul McGann, Chief Medical Director for Quality Improvement at the Centers for Medicare and …

Everything Matters

Whether it’s what an employee is wearing, how the offices look, or empty cups on a table Patti reminds us that image is more than your company logo.

A Client Success Story

Patti shares one of her favorite client success stories.

Lives That Inspire

Ask anyone who had the honor of working with the late Dr. Robert “Bob” McCollough, M.D., and chances are good they’ll share a story about his kindness, his insight, and the respect and gentleness that informed his interactions with everyone around him, from patients and their families to his peers and co-workers. Here’s mine: The …

Engaging A Consultant Vs. Internal Resources

Patti discusses five reasons you should use her consulting experience rather than do it yourself with internal resources.

Why I Wrote The Book “No Mission No Margin

Patti shares her thoughts on why she wrote her book “No Mission No Margin ™.”

Recruiting Management at the Executive Level

So – your CEO is leaving, and you’re faced with the challenge of finding a new leader who’s the right fit for your organization. This may have been a planned exit, or an unexpected change of course: In either case, getting the right CEO/ED is key to the health of any organization, and no more …