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What is the Best Way to Develop a Standards Team?

Question

What is the best way to develop a Standards Team (to set organizationwide standards of employee behavior) within a hospital setting?

Answer

The team should be a cross-section of about 10 hospital employees, including physicians. Because standards will touch the lives of all employees by establishing behaviors that will be expected of everyone, it is important to include representatives of the entire hospital. Members must also be ethical and respected. They must be people who are perceived by their peers as workers who value the mission of the hospital. They must also “walk the talk.”

The team must define standards of behavior that will achieve the vision and mission of the hospital. They should develop a commitment statement that lists preferred hospital behaviors for all employees to sign. Then, they must create an ongoing awareness of standards and how they relate to optimal patient care. They need to work with HR on incorporating these standards into both the hiring process and evaluations, and to ensure corrective action policy is in place to support compliance with them. Finally, they need to help individual leaders roll out the standards and help them train their employees to link their behavior to hospital excellence.

Once established, the team should meet weekly until standards are fully implemented. Afterward, they should meet as needed.