Leadership and other management qualities are often compared to sports. A great passion of mine is football, specifically Philadelphia Eagles football. The high level of teamwork demonstrated to achieve the Eagles’ recent Super Bowl win was so apparent to me, I could not help but compare it to the Acuity Healthcare team, another passion of mine.
Now, I know the life-saving work we do as a hospital is considerably different than a professional football team; however, there are still many similarities.
We both are a group of diverse but highly trained professionals coordinating our efforts toward a common goal. Our team’s expertise and commitment to quality is the foundation of our success as a hospital. The team is larger than the staff at the bedside or the players on the field. Every member of each organization has a supporting role in achieving the common goal.
Even so, our teams have to be able to execute our vision regardless of individual circumstances. Success isn’t dependent on specific players.
The Eagles have a “Next Man Up” philosophy: If one player is injured or unable to participate, another is fully trained, committed, and ready to work toward the team’s goals. Similarly, our hospital system is able to run smoothly because every member of the team is committed to the processes we’ve developed together. Our policies and procedures are like plays; we study our performance and put improvements in place as needed to succeed for our patients. This takes discipline, another commonality between the Eagles’ team and Acuity’s. We “practice” every day, and our season is year round.
Healthcare is not easy. We work difficult hours with moving targets. Each of our patients is unique and presents their own challenges for our team. Our goals are lofty, but every “win”- a patient taking their first steps after critical illness, or a patient weaned from a ventilator and able to breathe on their own, for instance, galvanizes the team to come back and do it again the next day. This is the heart and the passion of healthcare.
Winning begets winning, it’s true. The Eagles showed us that during their 2017-2018 season. That pre-game feeling in the tunnel, where players just can’t wait to get on the field and do the work for which they’ve trained for years, is the same feeling our staff experiences with every newly admitted patient. What can we do to help? How can we translate our expertise into a “win” for this specific patient and their loved ones?
Brian Dawkins, the Pro Football Hall of Fame free safety who played for the Philadelphia Eagles for 13 seasons, once said “I’m always striving to do more. Whatever I accomplish, it’s not enough. I don’t get satisfied.” I live by this motto, as do each of my teammates at Acuity Healthcare. We are proud of the work we do and the “wins” we help our patients achieve through our passion, expertise, teamwork, and discipline.
Team Acuity is our team. Our hospitals are our stadiums. Our outcomes are our wins.
By Jenn Trallo Schreiber, Regional Chief Quality Officer pictured here with her son, Gabe and her husband, Bruce.