Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Our Culture, Our Systems, Our Vision

Our Culture, Our Systems, Our Vision

our-culture-our-systems-our-vision- image0A little more than seven years ago, we asked for input to help form our vision statement from people throughout Texas Tech Physicians. You gave us input. We integrated your ideas, those from the Dean and Chairs of the departments and our own to come up with this vision:

Texas Tech Physicians of Lubbock will be a top-tier medical practice nationally recognized in quality patient care, satisfaction, and value.

Since that time, other health care providers across the nation have jumped on the “value” bandwagon. It’s a good wagon to be on because it makes sense. It entails maximizing value for patients by achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost.

Texas Tech Physicians is trying to move away from a supply-driven health care system toward a patient-centered system organized around what the patient needs:

• Quick access to appointments
• Access to test results on a patient portal
• Announcements about flu shots and other timely tips
• Text notification of appointments
• Prompt prescription refills
• Timely attention on the telephone

Insurance companies, and certainly governmental entities, are also interested in seeing movement in this direction. For example, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is using the Clinical Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCHAPS) survey. We will be part of CGCHAPS, and our data will be publically reported.

The brutal truth in the health care industry is the days of conventional business models are over. Across the nation, every health care system is trying to address rising costs and uneven quality. There is a general sense that we all can do better. In an organization as complex as Texas Tech Physicians, many things have to occur to see real change, and change does not happen overnight. However, we are making measurable progress. Change requires a great culture and many well-organized “systems” where work processes, people, and goals are seamlessly integrated.

I realize it is not a health care entity, but the hotel chain Ritz-Carlton is well known for its great culture and great systems. Horst Schulze, founder of the modern-day Ritz-Carlton brand frequently says, “If a mistake happens once, it may be (the) fault of (the) employee. If it happens twice, it is most likely the fault of the system.”

So, we work on both—culture and systems. For example, developing a great “check-in” system is very important. Sounds simple, but it is not. Other examples (there is no limit) include the system of how to make an appointment or how to handle cash. Ideally, we train people on how to perform an optimal practice and then we monitor and measure. Oh, we enhance the process, too. Continuous improvement is part of the deal.

In my heart and mind, I believe that 99.9% of people want to do a great job. People need the tools, training, and support necessary to do a great job. Furthermore, we all need the recognition and rewards that are earned when things are done well. Management’s job is to work for all and with all on developing the right culture and systems to get us to our collective vision.