Humans of Partnership
I used to wear a lot of hats, but I’ve scaled back so that I can focus more intently on what I’m working on. I’m a unit-based team labor sponsor. One of our challenges is being able to meet so we do many things around communication so people know what’s going on. We distribute meeting minutes and sign an attestation that we’ve read the minutes and we use a visual board that shows our goals and where we are on reaching those goals. We also use data so that we are empowered to make change and we can see the impact. It’s a small piece but it impacts the big picture.”
I’ve learned that no one in life is invincible. After battling cancer three times since age 29, I decided to never give up. I’m not a cancer fighter, I’m a cancer conqueror! Your strength is in your faith. Whatever your religion or belief system is, turn to that. That’s what I did when I dealt with cancer and again when I lost several family members back-to-back. All this loss and pain sent me through the deepest and darkest valley.
I tell people don’t pity me, pray for me. I needed people to encourage me. Working at Kaiser Permanente, I talk to people all day long. When they get a diagnosis, I tell them, ‘It’s going to get better.’ I urge them to get a support group that will encourage them. That’s the only thing that helped me. I had to realize that no one goes through life without losing. You cry and you know you’ve dealt with it when you can talk about it.”
We treat each patient as an individual, providing them with the care that we want for ourselves and our family. Our radiology team continues to work on cutting wait times, and greeting patients warmly. We will even stand in line for patients who are not able to stand long for registration.
—Valerie Felix, service unit manager and UBT management co-lead , radiology (on left)
I take pride in going above and beyond for every Kaiser member that comes into Radiology. I try to make a difference so that patients and staff have an exceptional experience in our department. Our team works together to create the best ideas such as cutting down wait times and making scheduling easier by confirming patients have had e-consultations, orders are on file, no double bookings, and a nightly review of the schedule.
—Kristie Sequeira, cashier receptionist and UBT labor co-lead, SEIU UHW, radiology (on right)”
Lots of team members come to me for information on interpreting the contract as well as on how to improve workflow. Management comes to me if they are going to have a difficult conversation and want my suggestions on how to approach it.
I take pride in being a labor sponsor for UBTs in South Baltimore and White Marsh. At White Marsh, the team went from a level 2 to a level 4 in about seven months. Our project increased the number of copayments collected by creating a script and offering patients the option of partial payments. This lowered outstanding balances and increased the number of co-payments collected by 35 percent in the last three months. Because that was successful, we’re incorporating those methods into South Baltimore.”
I work at the Glendale Medical Offices as a service representative. There are six of us. We check patients in for their appointments, answer their questions, and help them find their way around our building. In the past, we didn’t ask patients about their flu shots. They would ask us for information about flu shots but we never asked them about it. Last year, we decided to encourage patients to get their flu shots. We started asking every patient who came in, “Have you got your flu shot?” The ones who said ‘no,’ we directed to our walk-in flu shot clinic. If they had an appointment, we told them to ask their nurse for the flu shot. We were trying any way we could to make sure they got it done. Our teamwork paid off. Because of our efforts, 699 patients got their flu shot. I was surprised because I didn’t think we would be able to get that many patients. It was a challenge but I’m glad I did it. It helped me see that I could be a good role model and help influence others to change their behavior for the better.”
A few months ago, an employee came to me distraught about her elderly, ill mother who was refusing a lot of the treatment her provider suggested. She was crying and worrying about how she would handle it if her mother continued to deteriorate. I said, ‘Where is your mother today? What is the plan?’ I brought her back to today. It doesn’t help to worry about down the road. It only builds anxiety. Take it one day at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. When something feels insurmountable, focus on what can be done today to get a step closer to your goal. This means we can’t worry about next year, the state of the country or how changes will impact KP. This does not mean ignore what’s coming, nor does it exclude you from planning. Instead, it helps you focus on what is important right now.”