What does Engagement truly mean?
I have been reflecting on this question recently and how it pertains to our Medical Staff. In particular, what does it mean to engage within our own MSA? What does it mean to engage with our administration partners and stakeholders? What does it mean to engage with our patients?
The “Why” to engage is more clear. Engagement allows us to 1) create more effective lines of communication with healthcare partners and patients; 2) help identify and prioritize issues; and 3) improve communication amongst our own Medical Staff. These all lead to greater and more meaningful medical staff influence which will in-turn help attain BC’s triple aim (improved patient and provider experience, improved population health, and reduced health care costs).
The “How” to engage is more tricky. Does informing a stakeholder of a decision mean engagement? Or does engagement mean empowering a stakeholder to unilaterally make their own decision? The answer to both scenarios is “it depends”.
As outlined in the BC Ministry of Health “Public Engagement Planning Guide”, engagement should be considered a spectrum, and a different level of engagement be chosen based on the issue at hand and the stakeholder involved. The five spectrum levels include Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate, and Empower. Each level represents a true engagement opportunity, and not a formal hierarchy.
Key is being purposeful and clear about with whom and to what depth we engage with others, and others engage with us. A deeper level of engagement (e.g. to Empower) is not necessarily better or appropriate, nor a more superficial level (e.g. to Inform) more expedient or suitable. Taking the time to lay the grounds and engagement expectations is critical to ensuring that the correct methods are chosen to achieve the best possible result of our mutual endeavours.
Thanks to considerable work by tireless MSA members, staff and administrative partners, Burnaby MSA has made great strides improving engagement at our site and in FHA. We can continue this surge by being meaningful and purposeful in engagement both internally and externally. This will help us successfully encounter the numerous growth opportunities before us: COVID-19, Redevelopment, Rules and Policies, Flow/Access, On-boarding, Quality Improvement, Leadership development Virtual Care, Information Technology integration, and others. After all, our vision is Engaged Medical Staff Providing Exceptional Care.
To conclude, a few brief highlighted announcements:
a) Our Annual General Meeting will be held virtually September 15, 2020 5:30pm. Our Communications team is furiously working hard to create a collegial and compelling experience for you. Further information can be found on our website. As well, several opportunities will be made available to join a dynamic MSA Leadership team. If you have time, please attend.
b) For those interested in learning a bit more about the basics of our MSA, please take a quick look at this presentation.
c) Consider taking this 1-minute survey. Our Leadership team will be using your input to help direct our strategy going forward.
I wish you and your family happiness, humor, and health.