South Florida Hospital News
Thursday February 25, 2021

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July 2004 - Volume 1 - Issue 1

Hardwiring Excellence Provides Managers a Road Map to Excellence

To paraphrase the old EF Hutton commercial, when Quint Studer talks, people in health care listen. And with good reason. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as among the "Top 100 Most Powerful People," Studer has a well-earned national reputation for his ability to show other healthcare leaders how to move their organizations from good to great through a sustained focus on service and operational excellence….by making the organization a great place for employees to work, physicians to practice, and patients to receive care.

Now Studer has compiled his ideas into his recently released book, "Hardwiring Excellence" (Fire Starter Publishing, 2004.) Simply put, it’s a must-read for any executive committed to taking his or her organization as far as it can go.

According to Studer, writing the book was a two-year process. "I said I was too busy working with organizations to write a book, but it got so apparent from talking to leaders that some management prescriptions we recommend should be put into writing," he said. "Once I started, I felt like a chef putting recipes down. I like to think of it as a textbook with passion."

"Hardwiring Excellence" will be useful reading for anyone in a leadership or supervisory role, including physicians, nurses, CEOs, and trustees. While the focus of the book is on health care, Studer said the principles and tools apply to leaders in any industry. "When an organization commits to excellence, it creates a culture where employees want to work that attracts and retains satisfied customers," explains Studer. "Shouldn’t we all strive for that?"

Quint Studer, a former hospital president and 20-year healthcare veteran, is founder and CEO of Studer Group, headquartered in Gulf Breeze, FL. An executive coaching firm and national learning lab, Studer Group is devoted to teaching tools and processes that organizations use to achieve sustained focus on service and operational excellence.

A nationally recognized thought leader in healthcare today, Studer has devoted his professional career to helping health care organizations become world-class leaders in service and operational excellence. His 20-year career includes positions as COO of Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago and President of the Baptist Hospital, Inc. in Pensacola, FL. As a result of Studer's leadership, Baptist Hospital was awarded the prestigious Quality Cup by USA Today and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Studer led both Holy Cross and Baptist to the top 99 percentile in employee and patient satisfaction as compared to hospitals nationwide in an independent health care survey.

Studer received B.A. and M.A. degrees in education from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater and serves on the Board of Directors of the 32,000-member Healthcare Financial Management Association, a national professional organization of CFOs and finance executives in health care.

Studer’s approach to achieving operational excellence rests on Five Pillars—setting goals and measuring progress under service, people, quality, finance, and growth.

"The journey to becoming a world class organization is rooted in a leader’s ability to engage employees’ passion for doing purposeful, worthwhile work," Studer said. Studer’s philosophy and its implementation is presented in "Hardwiring Excellence. Written in an easy, conversational style and employing countless anecdotes and examples, the book takes a common sense but all-too-often ignored approach to leadership and motivation.

From the opening chapter, where Studer explains his journey to becoming a Fire Starter—an individual who makes a difference in the life of someone else—through the conclusion, the reader discovers a virtual "how-to" manual for creating and sustaining excellence.

Along the way, Studer presents a step-by-step look at how to maintain good supervisor-employee relationships, reinforce positive employee behavior, and improve communications with all constituents.

"Sure, a manager can get short term bottom line results with ‘scorch and burn’ techniques," Studer said. "But if you can reduce turnover, the long term benefits are undeniable."

In "Hardwiring Excellence," Studer recommends a number of what he calls prescriptive tools based on his Nine Principles: commit to excellence; measure the important things; build a culture around service; create and develop leaders; focus on employee satisfaction; build individual accountability; align goals and values; communicate at all levels; and recognize and reward excellence.

"I wanted to provide leaders with prescriptions to create a better place to work," he said. "If they apply these, they will see results. With the amount of issues impacting leaders, these types of behaviors tend to get lost. But, based on objective data, these prescriptions work to recapture people’s hearts, to capture their emotions and align them with their behavior."

Studer told of a nurse leader who heard about one practice advocated in "Hardwiring Excellence," that of sending thank you notes to employees.

"At first, she expressed skepticism," said Studer. "But one day at home she received a thank you note from her hospital thanking her for working hard and pushing to make the hospital better, and she burst out crying."

Added Studer, "In many ways, many of the things I recommend are based on common sense. But the practice is uncommonly done."

For more information on Studer Group or to order Hardwiring Excellence, visit em>Hardwiring Excellence is also available at major online booksellers and bookstores nationwide, or directly from the publisher by calling (866) 354-3473.

Coming in the next issue of South Florida Hospital News: Studer’s ‘Well CEO’ Check Up: Nine Principals for Taking Your Health Care Organization from Good…to Great…to Greater.

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