Leading from the Front in a New Emergency Department

I recently spent a week working clinically at our new hospital partner, Bristol Hospital, in Connecticut. I worked along many other experienced, seasoned physicians and leaders. In fact, nearly all of our group’s top leadership and senior partners have worked clinical shifts in the Emergency Department there in recent weeks. And “leading from the front,” so to speak, is paying off.

I heard many comments from nurses and techs about how happy they are that our top leadership is there and that they can already see quite a difference, even in just a few weeks. I asked a few of them what they thought the difference was, and what I heard in return can be summed up thus:

“We see that most of you are leaders in your organization with many years of experience, and yet you still have a passion for seeing patients. You don’t like when patients are in rooms for too long without being seen by a provider. You make it a point to return to keep them informed and answer any questions that they may have. Your bedside signout shows that you will go the extra mile to ensure that you will not miss anything, and it gives the patients another opportunity to ask questions. Additionally, you’re very willing to engage, teach and learn from nurses, techs and the EMS personnel. TO see leaders of the organization lead by example is exciting.”

As leaders, we must be the ones to show up for a shift early and with an enthusiastic smile. If we are not happy to be there, who should be?

We must be the ones to keep patients informed and perform bedside sign out.

We must be the ones to teach and learn from all the ancillary staff. We must make everyone feel that they are an important part of the team that is helping the patients. This includes registrars, secretaries, environmental service staff as well as EMS, techs and nurses. Leading by example is what our first few weeks in Bristol have been all about.