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5 Ways to Grow and Build Trust

One of the biggest keys to success in healthcare consulting surrounds the relationship we build with our clients and prospective clients. At the nucleus of that relationship is trust. Here are five ways to grow and build trust! ~ The Barcliff Group LLC
Trust is built on good, reliable behavior over time.

Image credit: Cecilie_Arcurs | Getty Images

From your creditors to your employees, good business relationships are built on trust. Can the people who depend on you, confidently rely on you to treat them fairly? Once you have proven your dependability, they will make allowances for you and extend their level cooperation. This is essential to your business success.How much will you save on loan interest with extended credit, easier terms and complementary warehousing? How much will you save on hiring and training by reducing turnover, engaging your people and having them go the extra mile for you? How much will you save on advertising with cooperative distributers, loyal consumers and customers who become advocates? The sooner you demonstrate your trustworthiness, the sooner you’ll receive these benefits and more!So be proactive. Constantly be looking for ways to demonstrate that you have the best interest of everyone you work with at heart. That’s the key! Here’s our top five ways to grow and build trust:

Be honest

If you try to manipulate or trap others by deliberately withholding critical information or if you pursue hidden agendas, you risk losing your relationship and your industry reputation. On the other hand, when you expose loopholes voluntarily, you assure the people you depend on that they will not be taken advantage of. Demonstrate true partnership by watching their back, not stabbing it! If you want the benefit of the spirit and not just the words, of your agreements, don’t put them on the defensive.

Communicate frequently

What you are doing and why, should be clear. If you leave them in the dark, guessing about your intentions, they will worry about what you’re up to. Schedule regular meetings with your suppliers, creditors, your own team and your outsourced services. Share vital information early and often to alleviate their anxiety. The more they know about you, your plans and your status, the more confident they’ll feel about making allowances for you.

Build strategic alliances

Discover who wins and how if you win. These are your natural strategic allies. Treat these key players like business partners. Share your plans for growth. Show them how your plans for expansion will translate into increased business for them! Reduce your need for capital by gaining their cooperation. Perhaps a long-term contract will ease their mind about potentially losing your business after building it. Give them a reason to give you better prices, longer terms and even hold on to your quantity discounted purchases until you need them.

Mend fences

Don’t blame others or try to cover-up your mistakes. You will only exacerbate the situation, lose you precious credibility and hurt your relationship. When you look at your cash flow projections and realize you can’t make a payment on time, call your creditors immediately. Don’t wait for them to call you. Look at your receivables and have a payment plan ready to bring your account current. Show empathy for the risk they have taken on you. Show empathy for the bills they have to pay with your payment. Give them the time they need to make other arrangements. When everything goes according to plan, they know little about you. But, when there is a glitch, mistake or problem, how you handle it, shouts volumes.

Service what you sell

When you won’t leave them alone until you make a sale, but are nowhere can’t be found to fix a problem, you kill your long-term business security and you invite competitors. Don’t let your poor customer service say, “I have your money and you’re stuck with my product!”

Customer service says more about your integrity than your product itself. Don’t make your customers feel obligated to “warn” others about their bad experience. Treat them like you would a close friend. Make them loyal advocates. Don’t throw advertising dollars away trying to get new customers when you are losing the one’s you have.

Trust is not something you get instantly. It is built on good, reliable behavior over time. Telling experiences that build or break trust can reduce the time. Trust can easily be lost in the early days of a relationship. How you handle an awkward situation is “the tell” that validates their risk or causes their regret. Just saying, “Trust me” won’t work in business. You can’t ask for trust, you have to earn it!


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Quality Culture: The Paradigm Shift

It is without question that challenges with health care cost, accessibility, and affordability as well as the rise in behavioral health issues in the United States has placed health care quality at the top of the national agenda. With the reduction of geographical and technological barriers, U.S. healthcare has now become subject to cross-comparison with international health care delivery systems in Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden. It leaves the lingering question of, “how good is American healthcare?” Health organizations within the U.S. are now forced to adopt quality consciousness as a culture rather than an occurrence. Therein lies the paradigm shift…

On a macro level, health care quality is defined as, “the right care; for the right patient; at the right time.” Essentially, healthcare quality is the assessment of how health services and products are positively impacting desired health outcomes for the individual as well the overall population. Translating this definition to a culture within a healthcare organization requires shifting the mindset, beliefs, and actions of all its contributing members to become better together.

How do you ensure your organization has committed to the paradigm shift of adopting a quality culture?

  • Leadership Commitment/Investment. Organizational leadership must understand and believe in the importance of being quality conscious. They must lead by example and invest in the organization’s development. Positivity and engagement can also go a long way.

  • Have the right people on your bus. The people on your team must be knowledgeable, motivated, committed to the vision and “in it to win it” as a team.

  • Open & Honest Communication. Highlight your strengths and be vulnerable air your dirty laundry. Be able to say “you don’t know” or “we’ve been doing it this way for years.” Transparency is everything.

  • The Donabedian Model – Structure, Process, Outcomes. Focus on the PROCESS. No more pointing the finger or the blame game – blame the process and get to work!

  • Data, data, DATA! Access to, and sharing of, quality data is integral to measuring quality. Your data is your tool for accurately measuring outcomes and tracking progress.

  • Fail Forward. In the words of Will Smith, “Failure is a massive and healthy part of success. Fail early. Fail often. Fail forward.” Learn from your mistakes and use them as tools to move forward to successful outcomes.

  • Having a quality culture is cyclical. After you’ve found what works, repeat the process.

The Real Deal! QIPs

Ready to spill the gossip on Quality Improvement Projects (QIP)? Well, grab your popcorn! A QIP is a collaborative effort project within an organization aimed at successfully carrying out quality improvements. QIPs are used to execute a systematic and formal method to analyze organizational performance and achieve performance improvement through measurement. As W. Edwards Deming stated, “In God we trust…and all others must bring data.” If you cannot measure it, then you cannot improve it. So, here’s a quick QIP run-down:


The team members working on the QIP are very important. The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) suggests that every QIP team include at least one member from the following roles: clinical leadership; technical expertise; day-to-day leadership; and a project sponsor. It’s also important to have a QIP Champion to lead the project’s efforts. IHI recommends that a team should be 5-8 team members, however, this varies depending upon the organization and the project. The primary focus should be on team diversityversus team size.


One of the first tasks of the QIP is to identify the opportunity for improvement of focus for the project. Next, the QIP should identify the desired (SMART) goals of the project and the associated metrics needed for performance measurement and analysis.


Timing is everything for starting a QIP. The project should be initiated when the organization has the time and allocated resources (time, staff allocation, finances, leadership support, etc.). If your organization is due to undergo a compliance or regulatory audit soon, it may not be the most opportune time to kick-start a QIP.


The advancement of today’s technology has afforded the ability for multiple-site healthcare organizations to meet in the “same space” virtually. However, it is suggested that the physical location of the QIP should be central to the process or entity of the organization undergoing improvement. Video & telephonic conferences have made it possible to have “central meeting spaces” that are seamless and convenient. They also encourage collaborative effort & engagement from all members of the team.


The most popular methods of quality improvement include (but not limited to) Six Sigma, Lean, and Model for Improvement. It’s imperative the QIP lead or champion be a subject matter expert in process and quality improvement. At the core of the “how” is the project plan. The QIP plan should be the guiding document for the team’s efforts. It is a “living” document that outlines who participates, how often the team meets, agreed project goals, key activities, deliverable dates, and a lay-out of the project’s process to drive improvement.


Need examples of QIPs?

Check out the link below. It provides QIP examples courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare Delivery Institute: