Living our Values: Purpose

“Value” has become the new buzzword in healthcare, and for good reason.  But for a long time, those of us in the caring professions have emphasized our values, which really define us as professionals.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has elaborated a set of core values.  Arising from our culture enhancement work, this represents a simple statement of who we are, why we do what we do, and how we act in our work.  It’s been really gratifying to see how our attention to our culture and our values is improving our ability to carry out our missions and to advance the health of children.

Our first value is Purpose: “We act in service of children and families.” This is about our passion and commitment to our missions – providing the best and safest care, advancing and disseminating knowledge, and advocating for those we serve.  Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes with our physicians and other providers can see that strong sense of purpose.  I see it in the physicians who put in endless hours making our EHR work, in the APPs who stay way beyond the end of their day (or evening) to avoid having to hand off the care of a child to another provider, in the speakers at our Best Practices conference who spent their weekend passionately sharing their expertise with over 370 community providers.

It’s also about recognizing that our patients and families are at the center of all of our activities, and our accountability to them for providing care that is effective, safe, efficient, timely, and equitable.   Finally, it is about our accountability to each other and to the organization, including our responsibility for being stewards of our resources so that we and those who follow us will be able to serve our patients, families, and community for a long time to come.

Having had the privilege of working in several other children’s hospitals, I think our commitment and passion really distinguish us – this is one of the most purpose-driven organizations I’ve ever seen.  And there is real value in that.

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