Monday, February 13, 2012

Nursing Director Asks Staff To "Take Some Risks"

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent me an excerpt from a recent memo issued by a Clinical Nursing Director to his/her staff at a major American university medical center.

It reads:
...I need your help! I need the whole team to help own the '[Department] Checkbook.' The whole hospital is currently looking at ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses. We did not meet our targets for the 1st quarter of 2012 and have to make it up over the next 3 quarters. This is effecting [sic] every division of the hospital and not just nursing.

I am 100% confident that we can work together over the next couple of months to meet our goals. This means we are going to need to take some risks. What those risks are and when they are is dependent on the team. We are not always going to get everything right -- but we need to trust in every member of the team that we are trying to do the right thing.
It's not entirely clear what the Nursing Director means by "take some risks".

But the natural question is whether this means the hospital will jeopardize patient safety or well-being to meet their revenue targets. And whether "not always going to get everything right" refers to any aspect of patient care.

I don't have any more information other than what's in this excerpt, so there could be a totally reasonable explanation for this.

And even if there is a reasonable explanation for this particular memo, patients should remain wary of any purported health care "reform" which pits doctor' and hospitals' financial interests against their medical well-being.