“People want to be better tomorrow than they are today,” says Mary Kovar, “and that inner desire leads to the ideas that are the basis for innovation and improvement.” One of the keys to unlocking innovation is disarmingly simple — you have to be a good listener. After 26 years in Interviewing Services, many as Quality Assurance Coordinator, Mary is a pretty darned good listener.
“We work hard to create an atmosphere that is open, where team members truly understand that our goal is to help improve healthcare for individuals and communities. So they know they can feel comfortable offering feedback and sharing new ideas, even if it means changing the way we do things,” Mary says. “In fact, QA team members know that they are not only encouraged, but are expected, to speak up with ideas they feel are important to PRC’s growth, reliability or integrity.” When people know that their company values their ideas, they invest more of themselves in their work. This makes it easier to come up with and introduce new tools and processes that increase efficiency and effectiveness. And it makes PRC team members feel good.
A while back, PRC’s Interviewing Services team partnered with its Research & Development department to create a tool to provide interviewers a quick, easy way to get the basic facts they needed to successfully conduct each client’s surveys. As is often the case, the tool evolved through routine back-and-forth conversations between the two departments. And PRC’s interviewers still offer valuable input to continuously improve the tool the teams designed together.
“Innovation is easier when people and departments are connected,” Mary emphasizes. “I rely on a mini-network of closely linked team members, and friends, across the company to help me get things done. They know they can rely on our department, as well. Teamwork makes the whole company more nimble.”
Innovation means more than developing new tools, of course. Innovation solves problems, fixes broken processes, and reduces burnout. “Healthcare is changing so fast that healthcare professionals find themselves working harder to provide the human touch and listen even more carefully to the voice of the patient,” notes Mary. “What we do helps strengthen the connection between the patient and the hospital. I have never heard a patient say that they love their hospital because it has the most beautiful entrance or lobby. What goes on beyond the grand entrance makes a far greater impact.
“Patients and their families really care about accuracy, compassion, and communication,” she stresses. “That’s why we’re constantly listening and thinking about ways we can help our hospitals do things distinctly better, faster. The data we provide will help them recognize their strengths and weaknesses and make the soundest decisions as a result.”
Innovation at PRC means focusing our efforts on excellence and the continual enhancement of process, product and service. Through our creativity and expertise, we offer efficient and affordable solutions to help hospitals improve.