Seat belts save lives but do health care leaders?

Missouri has a seat belt law by which you can be fined $10 if you are not wearing a seat belt.

Missouri has a helmet law by which you can be fined $25 if you are driving a motorcycle without a helmet. 

Neither one of these laws make much sense to me.  Does anyone really think 10 or 25 dollars is enough of a fine to change someone’s actions?

So what is required to change someone’s actions?   Do laws and consequences shape behavior?  Can the government, an employer or an individual keep someone from doing something they intend to do? 

I’m the father of a two-year old so in my world the answer is definitely – NO!

I’m a firm believer that no one can steer the actions of another.  I do believe we can provide an environment that provides people an opportunity to do the right thing and make the best decision, but in the end it’s up to the individual to do what’s right.

In the health care world it’s important to put people in the right place and provide them the resources to do the right thing.  Our patients have faith that we will do the right thing when providing care, they put their lives in our hands.  It’s important that leadership in health care settings have high standards, hire, recruit and place the right people to maintain the trust of our patients.

Our patients come to us with “blind faith” that we will do the right thing.  It’s important that we reward the trust of our patients by being committed to hiring and retaining staff who know what’s right and providing them the resources needed to do the right thing.

In most health care settings leadership does not provide hands on care but they are no less responsible for good or bad outcomes than those at the bedside.  Health care is the ultimate team sport and it’s the responsibility of leadership to be sure the right people are on the team.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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