This is one of the recommendations from the ‘departmental’ section of the RCOG/RCM undermining toolkit.
Use the VOICES mnemonic
VOICES was introduced in Dumfries and Galloway Hospital and stands for:
- V – visible
- O – open
- I – improvement idea
- C – care and compassion
- E – ensure focus on patient experience, encourage and enable
- S – safe culture
The mnemonic allows team members to reflect on their own behaviour, ensuring a supportive and respectful culture and hence influencing others. It puts the patient at the centre of all we do, and there is evidence that this can influence patient outcomes, reducing the rate of caesarean section.
- V – have I been visible, have I listened to colleagues, have I been involved, have I been visible to my patients, have I spent time with people?
- O – have I been open and transparent, have I spoken up when things didn’t go well, have I accepted when I could have done better, have I talked to people not about them?
- I – have I taken time to reflect, to think how this could be improved for the patient, have I supported others to think, develop or progress an improvement idea? The people working on the shop floor understand their service better than anyone else and are most likely to know what needs to be improved, and how – ‘the answers are in the room’.
- C – have I shown that I care, have I shown compassion, have I asked how they are, taken time to understand, offered help?
- E – have I ensured that our focus is always on patient experience, whatever the other pressures of resources, waiting times, funding, asking ourselves what experience would we want for ourselves, our family, our friends and is that different from what we are providing? Have I encouraged and enabled my colleagues to do a great job?
- S – have I helped to provide a safe, supportive culture, where we have zero tolerance to bullying, where we can all feel able to politely challenge inappropriate behaviour?
Read a blog post from Heather Currie on the introduction of the VOICES tool.