The truth about change in health care was never more perfectly captured than in an episode of Sex and the City, when Carrie Bradshaw lamented that we keep “should-ing all over ourselves.” As a nation, we’ve been bogged down in the “shoulds” for too long—what our providers “should” be doing, what patients “should” be experiencing, what we “should” be achieving. This top-down approach to engineering behavior on the front lines is actually moving us further away from our goals.
Those of us on the front lines keep sending the same messages. We need more time. We need simple solutions. We need the freedom to build relationships. We need greater focus on outcomes. And we need less antagonism and more cooperation.
It’s time for those who have the power to remove the roadblocks to start listening. These are the five basic shifts we need in how we think, in what we prioritize, and in the changes we propose.