Archive | October, 2008

Cultivating a Caring Corporate Culture in Healthcare

(Post by Dan Dunlop)

Lexington Medical Center is one of my firm’s clients, so I’m visiting them regularly and get to experience all of the things they are doing right. It is an amazing organization.

On Friday (Halloween), one of my colleagues and I visited LMC for a day of strategic marketing. Purely by coincidence, Friday also happened to be the day of LMC’s Fall Picnic and Lexy Awards. This is an annual employee appreciation event and patient satisfaction awards ceremony. What a great day. Lunch was served to 5,000 employees under a huge tent while several employees were singled out for their excellence in delivering an incredible patient experience.

In an industry where employee satisfaction is so closely linked to patient satisfaction, Lexington Medical Center has fostered a corporate culture that is both caring and patient-focused. They are maniacal about patient satisfaction without letting it feel oppressive.

While sitting under the big tent on Friday with 5,000 LMC employees, it was obvious that their commitment to creating an extraordinary patient experience is genuine and heart-felt. As validation of their patient-focused culture, Lexington Medical Center was recently awarded the National Research Corporation’s Consumer Choice Award for the seventh consecutive year! Consumers in the Columbia Area were surveyed for this study and asked about four key metrics: best overall quality, best image and reputation, best doctors and best nurses. LMC was also selected by the readers of The State Newspaper as the region’s best hospital – for the 9th consecutive year!

It’s obvious from these accolades and patient satisfaction numbers that all of the hard work is paying off. This isn’t a casual commitment; these employees at LMC live the brand everyday and are true ambassadors for the organization. The people of the Midlands Region of South Carolina are fortunate to have a national leader in patient care right there in their backyard! Of course, it is the people of the Midlands who staff the Medical Center and care for their neighbors.

Management by Walking Around – At Night!

(Post by Dan Dunlop)

Recently I wrote an article for Healthcare Advertising Review about “living the brand” at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina. In the article, I talked about Lexington’s CEO, Mike Biediger, and his habit of walking the halls of the hospital each day – spreading culture along the way. As he walks the halls, he is also mindful of opportunities to improve quality and service delivery within the hospital.

There’s an interesting article in the October 2008 issue of HealthLeaders that takes the concept of management by walking around to the next level. The article, titled “The 24-Hour Executive,” presents the case for executives doing evening rounds to gain insights that will eventually lead to quality improvements in their organization. The point is that at night, you’ve got an entirely different organization. Staffing is limited; there are fewer physicians on duty; and there may be fewer nurse supervisors working. In essence, you’ve got a different hospital at night and on weekends than you have during a typical weekday. Doing rounding at night can reveal opportunities for quality improvements that may not be relevant during the day.

For this story, Maureen Larkin interviewed Ramanathan Raju, MD, the chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical and professional affairs for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. To find the article online, visit

If you’re interested in more information about the benefits of rounding at night, check out the recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine, May 15, 2008. The article is titled “Like Night and Day – Shedding Light on Off-Hours Care” by David J. Shulkin, M.D.