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Empower staff members with stories of success

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Tip of the month

Empower staff members with stories of success

“No employee decision was greater than each worker’s ability to make the decision—entirely on his own—to halt the production line.” —Charles Kenney

In his book The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine, Kenney discusses the crisis in healthcare quality and discusses the many accomplishments healthcare providers have made.

In his book, a forward-thinking physician and CEO of a Seattle medical center toured Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Japan and got inspired by lean concept, which focuses on employees doing what matters most for customers and eliminating wasted steps and actions. The physician returned to his facility and used the concept so that staff members could cut unnecessary steps in patient care delivery, thus enhancing healthcare quality.

Constantly showering staff members with new initiatives, regulations, and changes in policy and procedure to improve patient care quality requires us to show them what the big picture looks like, such as:

  • Sharing stories of success during team huddles or staff meetings (use Kenney’s book for examples)
  • Encouraging and reminding staff members that quality improvement must be an ongoing process
  • Looking beyond the world of healthcare for success stories that can be applied to your healthcare setting


Kenney, Charles (2008). The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine. New York: Public Affairs.


Shelley Cohen, RN, BS, CEN, Health Resources Unlimited, Adapted with permission.