Friday, May 20, 2011

Creating Coherent Caring Environments

The focus of the first HeartMath Best Practices Conference is how to create the kind of healthcare environment that transforms lives of caregivers and patients alike.

Robert Browning is the director of project development for HeartMath. He led us through an exercise around caring with another person that can be used in any setting, but particularly in patient care.

This is another example of how this is a different kind of conference. We are not only hearing presentations and getting great ideas, we are also experiencing and participating. Conference attendees have the option of starting the day with "Morning Renewal: Running with Qi." The setting for this conference also lends itself to renewal and greater coherence. The beauty of the California coastline is remarkable. In some ways, this is as much a retreat as a conference.

Healthcare organizations of all sizes are using HeartMath. Yesterday, I wrote about the Mayo Clinic and HeartMath. Like Mayo, Kaiser Permanente is widely recognized around the country as one of the leaders in patient care quality and experience. Anne Foss-Durant is a director of caring services integration for Kaiser and shared her work while she was the Chief Nursing Officer for Kaiser in Antioch, CA. Many healthcare organizations are adopting Jean Watson's work on caring theory and integrating it with HeartMath. The results of this approach from Antioch were remarkable. In the last two JCAHO inspections, there were zero deficiencies listed. In fact, when the inspection team arrived, Kaiser staff invited the team to join them in a Heart Lock-In to start the survey process. Now that is coherence in action!

Another highlight of Anne's presentation was her statement that the level of trust between nursing and administration improved because caring sciences and HeartMath fostered the practice of staff truly caring for themselves which in turn nurtured caring for the patient. Anne remarked that it really put joy into patient care.

Eric Faller, Jeremy Hagar, and Toni Carreon represented Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, CA. Because of the success that Anne and her team had with HeartMath at Kaiser in Antioch, the administration decided to expand HeartMath and caring sciences to all of their regional hospitals. These representatives provided several stories of innovation and engagement by their teams. Ultimately, they said the benchmarking data for patient quality became a byproduct of genuine care for patients.

Chesapeake Regional Medical Center did a great job providing tips on how healthcare facilities can utilize several standard training programs in a consolidated approach. For example, they merged HeartMath with Jean Watson's Caritas program that best serves their organization. Again, creating a better environment for staff facilitates better care for patients from clinical staff.

There are so many models for excellent patient care that tie in beautifully with HeartMath. Another approach was presented by Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. Memorial began integrating HeartMath into their leadership development program in the mid-1990's. George Soper, Barbara Walsh, and Deborah Drendall explained how the fundamental HeartMath concept of coherence was really the foundation for effective performance. It was an impressive presentation of how they used Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Successful People as the framework for their leadership development along with HeartMath. It all fit together with assessments, teamwork, discipline, and accountability as a most effective process.

Two teaching hospitals, University of Oklahoma College of Nursing and Indiana University Health of Bloomington presented incredible information on how they have used HeartMath.

At the University of Oklahoma, HeartMath has helped to create high level performance and cultural empathy from the student to the expert. They outlined a way to create an environment that looks at traditional native healing, holistic healing, and energy work.

Indiana University Health of Bloomington presented on how to integrate the HeartMath program into relationship-based care as the core of self-care, patient care applications, and pain management. IUH outlined ways to create a culture that keeps HeartMath tools and techniques in front of every employee. They also reported on ways they use HeartMath with occupational health and employee wellness to help lower costs and reduce insurance claims.

The conference concluded with roundtable discussions, dinner, and a bonfire on the beach....a perfect close to a wonderful day of learning, sharing, caring, and interacting.

1 comment:

Christie Malcor said...

Thanks so much for the terrific wrap up of this wonderful and uplifting conference. I didn't want it to end. Now I can reread your words and let it wash over me again and again. Thanks Todd.