Inspiration, Education & Activation In Nashville

Last week on August 12th and 13th the Practicing Excellence team gathered with partners and colleagues at our CONNECT Community Networking Event to learn from each other, exchange insights, advance organizational priorities, and build lasting relationships with in the dynamic Clinician Experience Project community.

For a full day in downtown Nashville we sat elbow to elbow with more than 40 physician executives and experience leaders from 18 health systems with an ambitious agenda that left us inspired, educated and ready to activate upon returning to our work at hand.  We’re excited to share some ideas, feedback, and takeaways that arose from this amazing gathering.


In our breakout sessions, CONNECT participants explored building organizational alignment for great impact, developing a clinician coaching program, leveraging certifications, and creating transformative leaders.

We started our time together with an exercise we love to do as a company each day: 3 Good Things. We simply name three things we’re each grateful for. As every individual in the room shared their 3 Good Things that morning, we connected deeply through the power of gratitude in an incredibly short period of time.  It became clear this group was aligned around a shared purpose of making healthcare better for all. There was a palpable energy in being surrounded by colleagues on similar journeys.

Next our thought leader collective began to ponder these three simple questions: 

“What type of organization do we want to be?
“What type of teams do we want to lead?”
“What type of clinicians do we want leading this work?” 

As the conversation flowed, a prevailing theme began to emerge, one that challenged participants to reevaluate how they talk about improvement. Two resounding conclusions emerged from the dialogue:

  1. The group determined that relying heavily on scores was a stale message, one often ignored by clinicians. Rather than focusing on the metrics, the group realized a message closely aligned to their shared mission would not only resonate with, but activate clinicians. They concluded that when you help clinicians get better, feel better, and lead better, all outcomes improve. 
  2. The reality is that we’re all in this together. The group acknowledged that while clinician participation is critical, leaders and teams must be on board too. When everyone is side-by-side driving this work forward together, good things happen. 


Mary Sue Easmeil, Chief Client Success Officer, interviews our partner panel about how they’re tapping into the Clinician Experience Project to advance clinician coaching. From left to right: Jeff Merrill, MD (Clinical Transformation Officer, Ballad Health), Tim Kremer, MD (Chief Physician Engagement Officer, JPS Health), Lara Burnside (SVP, Chief Experience Officer/Strategy Administration, JPS Health), and David Brooks, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Valley View Hospital).

Participants at CONNECT joined in facilitated discussions designed to highlight ways our community is tapping the Clinician Experience Project to accelerate enterprise, team, and individual coaching and development.  As we discussed what it would take to make translate their visions into realities, four imperatives emerged:

Organizations need transformative leaders. Transformation does not occur and is not sustained unless all leaders and managers have a common understanding of their role in the equation. We discussed four leader behaviorsmodeling, showing appreciation, teaching, signaling growth mindsetthat when effectively scaled, have been proven to engage entire organizations in change movements. 

We must invest in coaching clinicians. All elite athletes have coaches by their side supporting growth and skill development. Coaching in healthcare should be no different. In this session, participants discussed the importance of ongoing coaching, the key competencies of an effective program and strategies to augment and scale the traditional at-the-elbow models. 

We must continually develop frontline teams. Building a continuous learning culture requires alignment from the boardroom to the bedside. The group discussed strategies to help front-line teams of all levels build skills to make them more effective. As a group, participants shared best practices to formulate a practical approach, from picking a skill to gaining buy-in to measuring impact and everything in between.

We must recognize progress & celebrate success. We have consistently heard from organizations across the country about their desire to develop leaders, teams and frontline clinicians on the skills of patient connection and leadership. The challenge is that arming everyone with the right skills becomes a significant commitment of time and money. As conversations advanced, organizations discussed the benefits of using the Clinician Experience Project’s established programs and mobile platform to drip domain specific content that would support strategic clinician coaching and development. Once completed, the learner would not only become certified, the organization would have a springboard to recognize participation and outcomes.


It’s clear that our partners are thinking differently about the way they engage their clinicians and teams through coaching. We see a heavy investment in leaders, clinicians and teams as a winning strategy to achieve organizational and individual goals. Furthermore, as organizations look for ways to reduce  burnout, improve the patient experience, and develop their leaders, we see a tremendous opportunity to scale and spread coaching across their systems using technology-enabled programs tailored to accelerate system, team, and individual clinician goals. 

To learn more how the Clinician Experience Project can integrate into your current physician coaching programs, head over to Getting Started to get in touch with us.

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