Jody Ruybal is one of Practicing Excellence’s Clinician Experience Project Partner Spotlight for June! Jody is a Clinic Manager for Superior Family Medicine and Candelas Primary Care at Intermountain Health.
Jody finds great joy in seeing and supporting her team grow in every aspect of their clinical experience. To see how the Clinician Experience Project (CEP) helps her support and teach her team, read our interview with Jody below!
How long have you been in health care, and what are your favorite parts about it?
I have been in healthcare for 32 years. My favorite part of healthcare is being part of a collaborative team that can make a positive impact on our patient’s outcomes and experience. I love to see the team take a challenging situation and turn it into a positive one. I also love to see the individual growth of my caregivers — whether they are a brand new Medical Assistant (MA) and struggling with a particular skill or workflow, a patient services representative (PSR) that may need some extra coaching skills on de-escalating an upset patient, or another MA who is going to nursing school learn new things and applies that critical thinking to her MA role. This is what really fills my cup — the team and how it really does take a village.
What are your favorite parts of leading and participating in a care team?
My favorite part of leading a healthcare team is looking at each caregiver on the team and really listening to their ideas and suggestions. Spending quality time with each caregiver during quarterly check-in’s, monthly 1:1, or daily huddles really inspires me to continue to focus on the team so that they know and feel that they matter. Everyone on the team has a voice and it’s imperative that everyone feels that their opinion, their voice, matters. In turn, they feel appreciated and valued, and they exhibit that in every patient encounter. Showing patients that they matter and that we aren’t just here because we have to be, we are here because we truly want to be. It’s truly our passion to make a difference in our patients’ lives as well as reach others.
What areas has your team improved most?
Our team has strived to deliver the best patient experience — to every patient, every visit. We continue to focus on quality metrics and engaging our patients in their health care to build that partnership to produce better and healthier outcomes for patients. Explaining the wy behind what we are doing makes a huge difference to patients so that they share the same passion that we do for them. We put a focus on health maintenance during every patient encounter so that we can ensure that patients are completing preventative health screenings. Patients have come to understand the why of what we are asking them to be involved in and know that we are putting their health at the top of our priority list. We like to be proactive instead of reactive and I think it has really made a positive difference in the way that we treat patients.
What have you done to engage your team to prevent the CEP program tips from becoming “one more thing”?
Explaining the why behind everything is always key. Encouraging the entire team, not just the clinicians, so it’s a team approach in getting things done. I add Press Ganey comments to the huddle board every day and providers really like seeing the positive comments patients say. Making it fun — it’s never a good thing to force people to do something, but adding some fun to the work makes it not feel like work. The clinicians really do enjoy seeing the team smile, interact with patients, and each other. We have weekly touch bases with the team and when the clinicians hear how the MA’s and PSR’s are incorporating what tips and tricks they have used, it really makes them stop and think of how they can do something different from before.
In what ways have you seen your team implement CEP tips into their work?
Rephrasing things — using “have I answered all of your questions today” instead of “what else?”. When they might be running behind, not apologizing for it but simply stating “thank you for waiting for me” and emphasizing that their time is just as valuable as the clinician’s time is. I think it’s important to look at the basic skills that we have all learned and how we can do one thing differently than what we are doing now to improve the patient experience. It’s all about talking it through in our daily huddles and really incorporating these tips into our everyday work with the patients and with each other. Clinicians are also giving direct, real-time feedback to MA’s on how and what they did well for the day, what they feel might work better or need to improve, and discussing workflows and processes to achieve the best flow for each day. MA’s are asking for this feedback as well so that they can really stay in tune on what each provider’s preferences are as well as improving communication and working relationships.
Thank you, Jody, for sharing your story with us! We are so grateful to have you and your team as our partners and we look forward to what you accomplish next with the Clinician Experience Project!
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