10 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Rose McKeown 2 years, 8 months ago
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    • #4338

      Michael Porter
      Participant
      @mkporter

      Hello All,

      With regards to the Establishing a Hospital-Based Department, I have an established department that is supported by the hospital administration.  There are areas I would like to grow the department and through the years have attempted to do so.  I am the only Chaplain for the system that includes a 365 bed hospital (where the majority of my work take place), a inpatient rehab unit, a number of off sites and a freestanding ED.  I had my boss’s support (she just left the organization) and  she worked with me to “speak the language” and submit plans to get a least another part-time Chaplain.  The plan was always cut at budget time.

      I struggle with the fact that there is no hard bottom line dollar amount to what Pastoral Care can save – bring – to the bottom line.  In a for-profit world, money is not given to where there is no direct line to an increased bottom line.

      Have any of you been successful with this?

      Mike

    • #4340

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Mike,

      Where I am at, we finally were able to make some traction to growing the department when nursing and doctors started to advocate for more chaplaincy coverage.  Each system is different in terms of where the strongest voices are.  However, I am also in a not-for-profit and I think that makes a difference in terms of overcoming the language of the almighty dollar.

      Joy

    • #4341

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      Michael wrote: “I struggle with the fact that there is no hard bottom line dollar amount to what Pastoral Care can save – bring – to the bottom line. In a for-profit world, money is not given to where there is no direct line to an increased bottom line.”

      Some tome ago I read a white paper that addressed the bottom line value of chaplaincy/spiritual care. See links for reference. I don’t know if others have come across similar articles.

      https://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/docs/about/spirituality.pdf
      SOURCE: https://www.healthcarechaplaincy.org/white-papers

      It is hard to show how spiritual care has monetary value to institutions looking at the bottom line. We each face this in unique ways.

      Here is part of my story and situation. I work in a continuing care facility that was started over 100 yrs ago by the church. Those spiritual values are largely gone from the day to day mindset of the operation of the campus. Now, it is more about regulations, marketing, and staying competitive with other providers. One example of this is we recently upgraded our cafe soda machine to one that serves 60 flavors, instead of four. I think this is part of why resident satisfaction suffers.

      I admit that I compare my work as the chaplain to another department. There is a “wellness director” for my campus who has a budget for activities staff, games, films, trips, outings, etc.and for paying for outside program providers. I have no “spiritual care / chaplaincy budget and am not part of the company budget building process. The company does pay for the worship bulletin paper. Recently they paid for a few grief support books for residents, for which I am grateful. I find myself often looking for free resources on line to use. Expenses are treated on an as needed basis. If I were to use budgets and line items to measure the relative value my company places on these two departments (which says it is faith-based…) I would have to wonder. Most days I get my value and purpose from the interactions I have with individual residents and with groups sharing devotions or Bible study.

    • #4342

      David
      Participant
      @Chaplain Brinker

      Michael, I did find one more about capturing chaplain services as added value.

      https://www.gbhem.org/sites/default/files/documents/chaplains/capturing_spiritual_care_services.pdf

      David

    • #4350

      Michael Porter
      Participant
      @mkporter

      Thanks for the resources David.  I look forward to reading them.

      I agree with what you allude to – what is valued is where money goes.  The corporation that owns our system says that the focus is on the patients and their safety.  However, there seems to be push back when dollars are involved and we are expected to do more with less.  I know longer do the budget for my department so, there getting things through is more difficult.  We have a passionate and committed management team and staff who do the right thing for the people they care for.  I spend time hearing their frustration and support them in what they do the best I can.

      On another note, a resource I use for free material is Guideposts.  I get multiple copies of Guideposts every month to give to patients.  They also have pamphlets that I used to get multiple copies of for free.  If you have not looked into it, they have some good stuff at not cost.

      Things got away from me today and I was not able to share thoughts on the Sustainability article.  I hope to do so tomorrow.

      Until then, I bid you peace.

      Mike

    • #4355

      Michael Porter
      Participant
      @mkporter

      Hello All,

      I appreciate the Sustainability Leadership article.  We have a new CEO and I now recognize he is using the principals discussed so, this is timely for me.  A sense of buy in and ownership can already be seen amongst the leadership team that is filtering among the rest of the staff.  I struggle with the statement by Lewin and Regine – “leaders need to move beyond setting and organizational vision and mobilizing around it.”  I come form many years of involvement with organizations that have emphasized the importance of having a vision to work toward.  The vision is something for people to buy into and bring what they have to offer.

      Having said that, I am beginning to learn already from our new CEO, that the vision that is set is fluid.  As people interact and ideas are shared with respect to the vision, the organization evolves.  As the this happens, the vision may change and it comes from those involved.  This for me is what establishes by in and ownership, which makes a health and prosperous organization.

      I also appreciate what complexity scientists contend.  “The world is not knowable, systems are not predictable, and living systems cannot be force along a linear trajectory toward a predetermined future,” but there are best practices that have been tested through time and do work.  I see the “predetermined future” to be like a vision.

      With regard to the “Myth busters”, I believe they are right on.  I refer to my previous comment that the vision is important, but is to be fluid and flows with the evolvement of the organization.  Our new CEO keeps the vision our there for us while at the same time is willing to allow that vision to change as he listens to people within the organization.  “Leaders are destabilizers” goes along with my thinking that growth happens when things seem to be in disarray and people move out side of comfort zones, because brainstorming and new things are tried.  This can “encourage novelty and amplify actions.”  For this to happen there needs to be an environment where it is okay to make a mistake or fail as long as there is discussion of why what happened did.  This opens the door for new things.

      I will end for now.

      Mike

       

       

      • #4371

        Rose McKeown
        Member
        @rmckeown

        Thanks Mike for your sharing. You have a good appreciation of the article. I appreciate how you are learning from your new CEO that the vision is fluid, that it may change as people share and interact and how people can buy into it when they have a say so in it. I pray that your CEO be open to the vision that you have for the pastoral care department so that money not be the bottom line.

    • #4357

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Mike,

       

      I really appreciate your reflection on vision.  I would add that in my place we have both a mission and a vision statement.  I find that it is our mission statement that serves as the place of buy in and team building.  I think a key factor in utilizing these types of unifying statements is that the statements are focused, but also have room for the system to evolve in conversation with the mission/vision statements with out having to constantly change the actual language of the statement.  Our mission statement is “To provide Hope and Healing to every life we touch.”  That statement has a lot of room, in my opinion, to engage the system as it grows.

       

      Joy

    • #4359

      Michael Porter
      Participant
      @mkporter

      Joy, for you to have the voice of doctors is great.  I have doctors who value me and what I provided , but to be a voice to administration is not their priority.  They have their own needs from administration.  Actually do have support from administration and am valued, but with the financial restraints of corporate they have other priorities as well.  Their support comes in different ways that allow me to be more flexible in running the department.  Oh, I am a department of myself.

      Mike

    • #4361

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Mike, Let me expand and clarify my original comment – I was speaking more from a historical perspective of what finally helped get more than one chaplain for the hospital I am at.  I credit the work of the chaplain who hired me 16 years ago for the connection with the doctors, he was there 35 years before he retired, he grew the department from one person to the 5 chaplains we have now (2 full time and 3 part time).  The doctors who historically had a voice of advocacy for us have retired or moved on.  Now Like you, there are doctors who value me and the support our department provides, would they go to bat for us – I don’t know any more – the relationship is different now they have different pressing needs.  Nursing values us, but also has their own needs.  We have been established in the hospital long enough now that we are able to stand on our own, advocate for ourselves and prove our own value.  But it’s been a long road of building relationships and being extremely consistent in the care we provide.

       

      Joy

    • #4370

      Rose McKeown
      Member
      @rmckeown

      Mike, I really feel for you being the only chaplain in a 365-bed hospital plus the other sites!!! Helps me realize how blessed we are at our hospital and the pastoral care staffing we have. Money seems to be the bottom-line for your hospital and pastoral care does not bring in any revenue. And you are a for-profit hospital. I affirm you in the presence you are for those you encounter each day. Am thinking of the Starfish Story.

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