Ambulatory Care Quarterly

Culture change starts with leaders

The dramatic improvements achieved in patient flow at Cambridge (MA) Health Alliance could not have been possible without culture change, says Assad Sayah, MD, FACEP, chief of emergency medicine for the system.

"Culture change starts from the leadership setting the expectations for everyone else and being available and willing to support the ED," Sayah says. "It's easy to dictate to people what to do, but you really have to lead by example and work harder than anyone else, and be available 24/7 and help the staff whenever they need it."

Such change also requires teamwork, Sayah says. "We work hand in hand with nursing leadership and the ED administrator; we look at leadership of the department as a tripod," he notes. "All three of us work hand in hand to be on the same page, making it possible for everyone across disciplines to sing the same song before implementation of new processes begins."