Woods, 52, spent his first four months visiting hospitals and medical offices to meet employees and hear their stories. That "listening tour" was inspiring, Woods said, and prompted him to initiate two programs to "give some of that inspiration back to our employees."
Read more about those ideas, along with his thoughts on
Q: What are employees telling you?
A: I'm hearing some phenomenal stories about (how employees) serve patients and how they're taking care of each other. Three weeks ago, we launched this product called eCards. I said, "I challenge you each to send five eCards by the end of the week." (They should include) compliments to teammates for what what they've done on behalf of another teammate or patient. To catch people doing something right, if you will....(About 26,000 have been sent.)
(Woods said he heard the story of a trauma patient who woke up in the hospital, saw the turquoise Tree of Life logo, and felt reassured that he would be well cared for.) ....So I sent a note to everybody. "Send me your Tree of Life stories."
Q: What are Tree of Life stories?
A: One (was about) this maintenance guy who was coming through (Levine)
Q: Many people think the
A: We're very good at sick care. We're not so good at keeping people healthy. ...Part of the challenge is how do we come together to keep people healthier.....The whole pricing of health care is a national dialogue....We owe it to consumers and patients to figure out how to make it more simple.
Q: What can you do to control rising costs?
We're one of two systems in the country awarded (a federal) Hospital Engagement Network grant, which is several million dollars....So the government has told us we've improved quality and reduced adverse safety events for 10,000 different patients. And in doing so we've saved
Q: Is the Affordable Care Act working?
A: We have 20 million people (nationally) that have gotten insurance through the exchange.... But we're a little bit fragile right now (because of the withdrawal of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare from the online exchanges in some states, including
Q: What do you think about
A: (In North Carolina, an estimated 500,000 low-income citizens are without health insurance who would have been covered with an expansion of
Q: How does the presidential election affect health care?
A: Forgive the pun, but it is a go-left or go-right moment on health care....As incoming chair of the
Q: I've heard you say you don't allow smartphones in meetings. Is that true?
A: I am a big fan of technology, but have always felt that it is important to be fully present at meetings versus checking one's iPhones all the time. It's not only a sign of respect to colleagues, but in healthcare we deal with really critical and complex issues that require full attention and engagement. So one of the meeting ground rules I have had for many years is "Put your phones away."
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