Challenge

Strategic Plan Communications Initiative

Stamford Health’s leaders and board of trustees created a comprehensive plan to help the regional health system remain independent and stay financially viable despite powerful forces affecting the healthcare market and Connecticut’s economy.

Success for the plan depended upon active support and participation from physicians, nurses, front-line staff, volunteers, donors, and other stakeholders.  The conceptual framework was sound—but it needed to come to life to generate real change in behavior and culture.

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Solution

Framing the solution with stories of success

The management strategies and elevated language of a strategic plan can seem remote to those devoted to patient care and service.  We recommended that Stamford Health identify and publicize stories from across the system that epitomized the behaviors and creativity that would fulfill the plan’s vision.

We developed an easy-to-remember rubric for the strategy, called the “4Ps.”  We devised a theme, “TrUSt is up to US,” that emphasized ownership.  And we captured several dozen stories of outstanding efforts through video, blogs, posters, a microsite, presentations and tools for executives and managers, and a podcast series.

The stories “framed” the principles of the plan in specific terms that showed that the plan had relevance in the daily lives and work of staff members of all levels in the organization, while giving recognition to cross-functional teaming and individual initiative.

We developed an easy-to-remember rubric for the strategy, called the “4Ps.” 

Results

Engagement made manifest

In the first year after the plan was introduced, Stamford Health revenue grew by 6% and the number of distinct patients making use of Stamford Health rose 3.5%, both to record levels.  The flagship hospital was the only hospital in Connecticut to meet its CMS goals for low re-admissions, and the system received an “A” grade for safety.

Importantly, questions in Stamford Health’s annual employee survey revealed that 78% of employees agreed that “Stamford Health’s strategic plan has been communicated to me,” and 77% agreed “I understand how I can impact reaching our vision and implementing our strategic plan.” 

Hospital executives were gratified that more than 3/4 of employees were personally engaged in the success of the strategic plan.