It seems our country is in a place where there are only two sides to any issue. If you don’t see an issue the way I see it, then you are wrong, and quite possibly, also evil! Whether we are talking about vaccinations, masks, right vs. left, tea vs. coffee, or chunky vs. smooth peanut butter, (if you don’t like chunky, I don’t know what is wrong with you!), we have become a polarized nation. This polarization impacts every aspect of our lives, especially the work place, and tends to get in the way of accomplishing anything that is for the common good.
Even in these contentious times, there is one thing that can work to bring everyone together, especially in the world of health care, and that is compliance. About now you are saying to yourself, “of course you would say that Gary, you are a compliance consultant”, and while that is true, think about it for a minute; compliance is about building a culture where people do the right thing, the right way, at the right time. Who can argue against that? If I work in health care, it doesn’t matter if I voted for Trump or for Biden, I am committed to taking care of the people I serve. A person in the middle of a mental health or behavioral health crisis doesn’t care about your politics, they need your help.
Every organization has a culture. When two health care providers merge, I often encourage them to use their compliance program as the catalyst for bringing two cultures together into one because doing the right thing is the same across the board. Do I think we can change the rhetoric in our county overnight by focusing on the organization’s compliance program? Of course not. But, do I think it can make a difference in your organization? I certainly do. In Southern Missouri we have a saying, “you won’t get anything done until you get all the mules pulling on the same side of the wagon”; by focusing on building a culture where people do the right thing, the right way, at the right time, your organization can excel at fulling its ultimate mission which is to take care of the people who need your help. When we focus on our differences, we fail. When we focus on our similarities and common goals, we succeed. I truly believe the vast majority of us, especially in the world of health care, want to do the right thing.