As I think of how to describe the DWC culture, I need to go back to where we came from. We had worked with another organization for many, many years that provided our emergency room physicians. They simply couldn’t meet our expectations and the relationship had turned adversarial. We needed to make a change.
There were other organizations that provided physician coverage in ER’s but the references weren’t strong. We couldn’t afford to make a change and end up in the same place. We knew we needed to use this opportunity to change as an opportunity to improve. Through a colleague, we had heard about a company in Kansas (Docs Who Care?) that had no presence in Iowa. Looking at the website, they sounded good but every organization’s website should make them look good. It was worth a phone call to learn more.
Phone conversations led to meetings. Meetings led to an introduction of the Docs Who Care culture. As we met the DWC team; Janine Smith, Gary Coulter, and eventually Gary Morsch, Debbie Edwards and Dr. Wardlaw, the first impression was stellar. That first impression was a window to the DWC culture. I saw kindness, positive attitudes, commitment to doing the right thing, willingness to work with us as a unique organization, integrity in the individuals, and sincerity. Their references confirmed our positive first impression.
Still, this was an organization that didn’t have a presence in Iowa, which meant they didn’t have a base of physicians to pull from. If we chose to go with DWC, we would have a hard, uphill climb just to get started. There was cautious optimism from our local physicians and board members that this could be a positive change. From my perspective, it was a career decision.
We elected to make the change to DWC. That led to the contract negotiations with Gary Coulter. This is the point when you have to deal with the potential negatives such as what if expectations weren’t met, what if DWC didn’t produce what they “promised,” how much was it going to cost, etc. Again, the DWC culture rose to the surface. I recall a conversation with Gary and commenting that it was a pleasure working with him because there were not any negatives in the negotiation. We came up with a unique agreement that allowed CCH and DWC to reward the physicians for improving patient satisfaction within the Emergency Department. Confidence continued to grow in the DWC culture.
By the time it came to credential and orient new physicians to CCH, we were learning from the DWC culture. The change to DWC provided us the opportunity to improve our processes and physician orientation. Working with DWC, we created an introduction for the new physicians to our organization. The relationship with DWC was turning into a partnership and we were becoming a better organization because of it.
Finally, we’ve seen how the DWC physicians have supported that culture. We’ve got wonderful physicians who demonstrate the values that are part of the DWC culture. Our Medical Director provides leadership with integrity and the entire medical staff team has lifted our patient’s perception of our physician team into the top 5 percent in the country for over a year now.
It is the entire team of Docs Who Care staff and physicians that create their uniquely positive culture.
Brian Evans, CEO
Clarke County Hospital