As I look across the hospice landscape as it relates to the “Model”, I believe there are many entities that think they are “doing the Model” when in fact, the implementation is quite shallow. I do not say this in order to make anyone feel bad about their progress (we are ALL making progress!), but rather because I care and feel quite responsible. I also judge MVI’s performance to a large degree on this ideal. I realize that important new discoveries regarding the Model are being recognized and assimilated daily. This innovation makes it exciting, but it also out-dates materials quickly. Thanks evolution! We are working on improving systems and making investments to teach and communicate these innovations with greater speed, simplicity, and clarity.
One huge change made at the beginning of the year was the “relocation” of People Development as the first topic in the Model BluePrint Workshop curricula. This change in sequence makes sense since it is only through people that the mission is accomplished. I want participants to start seeing themselves as “learners and teachers” right from the start of the program and FEEL it much more intensely. I am also studying master-class teachers and have built a relationship network of people of science – with special emphasis on brain-function and human behavior. I’m going deep…as deep as I can. People development is everything as all organizations are people dependent. As a symbol of my personal commitment to teaching, I am not only studying the methods of master-class teachers but I am having a new visual media studio built to create higher-quality teaching products. Why? Because it is needed and because we can do it. Teaching is the foundational fabric of MVI, and it is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. I believe in the potential of all human beings. There is no barren ground. Even a desert can bloom! And all of this leads us back to the Model.
BASICS: The Model is the creation of a high-quality predictable experience, that is financially balanced. ALWAYS teach that the Model is about the EXPERIENCE first and that financial realities are recognized in their proper relationship, as a natural by-product of high-quality work. It hurts me whenever someone refers to the Model as a financial system or even when the first descriptive attribute starts with monetary connotations. I completely understand why this happens given MVI’s background. However, to sell the Model as primarily a “financial” system is to sell it short. The Model is about the patient/family/referral source/ team member EXPERIENCE first and all other things are organized to support the creation of this FEELING/EXPERIENCE. Quite simply, we just want the people we serve to feel good, and have a sustainable organization simultaneously.
Here are some questions a hospice can ask itself to gain a better idea of how deep your Model really is (Yes, I love the Bee Gees – and thank you Robin):
- How confident are your staff members in your hospice’s promises (brand)?
- Does EVERYONE (clinical as well as support staff) understand the basic structure of the Visit?
- Does EVERYONE (clinical as well as support staff) understand the basic structure of Phone Interactions?
- Have Model Cards with your hospice’s NPR percentages for all areas and numeric clinical standards been distributed to all staff members?
- Does your hospice still use “budgets” or even the term?
- Are “portals” open to capture the best ideas so they can be incorporated into your ever-evolving system of care?
- Does EVERYONE at your hospice see themselves as a Learner and Teacher?
- Does your hospice have training curricula for All Staff, Leadership and the Board of Directors?
- When a person enters your training space, does it feel “sacred”?
- Does your hospice, at minimum, annually test all staff members (clinical as well as support staff) on the Visit Structure and Phone Interactions?
- Is your hospice achieving a 14% profit margin with its hospice homecare operations and is rapidly building towards having 6-9 months of cash, near-cash reserves? [There is more than enough reimbursement, even with the foreseen decreases.]
- Does your hospice use a Hospice Menu and truly recognize the value of physical products to increase predictability and quality?
- Does your hospice use creative compensation approaches to foster behaviors that enhance quality and financial performance?
Enough questions. You get the point. We all have work to do as everything can and should be improved! However, I am proud to say that many hospices have done all or nearly-all of the above and, consequently, have become devastatingly effective. Censuses have doubled, quality scores increased and double-digit financial turnarounds have occurred. To those that are making progress, keep up the forward momentum! To those that have become constipated, take some laxatives – blow dust off the workbooks, re-listen to the Model CDs (People Development, Marketing, Accountability, Board of Directors, The Model, Compensation, etc.). If you don’t have hard copies of these handy, they are also available in the Resources section of this website. Also, there will be some really cool products and services coming from MVI to help! We have recommitted to become a better teaching organization.
Intention will never go out of style. Intention + Focused Effort = Results from which you can feel a deserved sense of pride. You can do it!
Your objective friend