Message from the President

Recalibrating Our Compass

Lakeland CompassSince the idea was first introduced in 2007, the Triple Aim has been the compass guiding the work of healthcare systems across the nation. Founded on three navigational beacons – better health, better health care, and lower costs – we’ve organized our resources and efforts around achieving this lofty goal.

But it seems like somewhere along the journey we’ve lost our way. Across the country, exhaustion and burnout, among those of us in health care, are occurring at epidemic levels. Studies show that 46 percent of US physicians and 34 percent of hospital nurses report experiencing symptoms of burnout.

This is in large part due to the fact that our compass only had three points. A fourth was needed in order to provide accurate direction for the work we wanted to accomplish.

Taking great care of our patients also requires taking great care of our providers. The caregivers need their own care.

With this idea in mind, experts from throughout the industry recommended that the Triple Aim be expanded to a Quadruple Aim, adding the goal of improving the work life of health care providers, including clinicians and staff.

We recently measured ourselves on engagement, burnout, and culture of safety. The good news is we are better than average on all three measures. Better than average is good, but when it comes to those mission critical issues, it is not good enough.

To address the issues of exhaustion and burnout in health care, while enhancing engagement and safety, it requires more commitment, more resources, new goals, and additional leadership.

Lakeland is taking important steps to do just that.

We’ve recently appointed a talented leader, Debra Johnson, RN, whose new role as Chief Experience Officer and Assistant Vice President of Love and Respect, is focused entirely on making sure we are both taking great care of our patients and their families, and taking great care of our team members.

We are also excited to welcome Natalie Baggio, MBA, RN, BSN, to her newly appointed role as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Executive. Natalie will lead a team of more than 800 registered nurses — plus staffing coordinators, respiratory therapists, and patient care technicians — to not only ensure that our patients are receiving the high quality, compassionate care they deserve, but to also advocate for the staff and ensure they are well cared for and equipped to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.

Although there is always room for more work to be done, with a fourth point added to our compass, I’m convinced that we are now better equipped than ever before to forge ahead on the next ten years of our journey.

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