Click the play icon above to hear PPN CEO William Scott Hurst on Becker’s Healthcare Podcast

Date:   August 3, 2020

To:       PPN Physicians

From:  William Scott Hurst MBA, FACHE

   CEO and President – Patient Physician Network

   President – ACHE NTX


Subject: The Impact of Change in a Time of Scarcity

I suppose it goes without saying that pandemics can rarely be referred to as fun or refreshing events but if you think about it, they can provide you with an ability to step outside of yourself. Not a day goes by where I do not consider the Herculean efforts that our physicians, nurses and extenders expend on doing their best to keep us safe. As healthcare leaders we are often called to balance competing objectives, competing resources and to make decisions that are often life altering, including budgets, staffing, capital improvement and so on. This can create a scarcity of time that can be dangerous to any organization or group.

Recently, my team at Patient Physician Network has been reviewing the book “Upstream” by Dan Heath. This book has been enlightening to me in that it reminds the reader that being reactive to problems can lead to any number of poor outcomes or factors, including exhaustion, job dissatisfaction or poor performance. One of the keys to Upstream thinking is to being able to step away from the tunnel and truly reflect on how to stop reacting to problems and instead use systems level thinking to fix the root of the issue.

How does this connect to my earlier comment about something good associated with a pandemic? I would offer this for consideration to everyone out there. Less time driving, more time in a home office and greater efficiency of video meetings have potentially created less scarcity of time. How we choose to use that time matters greatly. If we can push ourselves to be uncomfortable and uncompromising in choosing to reflect with intent, as opposed to taking an easier path, we can use something terrible like the pandemic to ultimately drive greater change.

Reflection looks different for every person. Sometimes it involves just sitting in a quiet space and letting your mind wander. Sometimes it can take place working out or on a golf course. (One of my preferred locations!) Other times, reflection is best served by conversations with others. With your team members, with those that you mentor, with colleagues in other industries so that you can understand what works in one environment to the next.

Ultimately how you reflect does not matter. What matters is consciously dedicating the time and energy to that process. Especially in a time of scarcity when change will be so critically important to all of us.
Stay safe, stay healthy and do not ever forget that your work is important!