Monday, July 18, 2011

Reflections of a Former Fat Girl

A wise CEO I know said that “Trended Change is the only Change of Value.”  In terms that most of us can relate to – if you lose 10lbs and can’t keep it off then you have failed.  I have been on as many diets as Oprah Winfrey and failed as many times.  At my largest I was well over 215lbs, my smallest around 140lbs.  Now, I am somewhere in between.    Whether it was a pill or a plan I would move blindly towards the current fad diet searching for my magic bullet.   I call it experiential learning, after years of failure I have figured out that the magic bullet does not exist.  

The only way to succeed in consistent long term weight loss and management is by lifestyle change.   Which is a lot different than saying “I am going on another diet” A diet may provide a specific goal but it also implies a designated time frame, at some point we reach the goal.  How many of us look forward to reaching the goal so the diet is over and we can go back to “normal”?

A lifestyle change means that you not only have identified the functional causes, but you have established a starting point.   A lifestyle change involves education and understanding, which may require technology and data. Once you have identified the functional causes you can hone in on the decisions and behaviors that are creating the situation and begin to make a change.    I applaud my friends at Cerner for the KC Slimdown challenge and if you haven’t taken a look pop on and see.  If you are competing with Team S3 – good luck - I like to win and I really like Sporting KC. (It's one of the prizes)

At this point you may be asking – why is this CEO of a patient experience & safety analytics company writing a blog about diets?   Improvement whether its weight or patient experience is all about making a lifestyle change, and managing yourself after the change.     One of the reasons weight watchers works is because you are consistently watching your weight.  Hospitals need tools to consistently watch their weight.   I get on a scale nearly every day which some may find excessive but seeing the number motivates me towards doing the right things during the day.   

S3 Aperum is the like the scale I get on each morning.  It’s providing patient experience and safety data in a "weight management" format to allow leadership to make adjustments and alignments as needed.  I would love to tell you it is the magic bullet, but it’s only part of the puzzle.   Like any weight loss or management program technology is a tool that enables us to succeed it’s not the tool that makes us succeed.    We have developed 4 key areas called pickle points where hospitals have issues surrounding patient safety and satisfaction.  3 of the 4 are not technology based – they are identified using technology but the root is in people, policy, and behavior.

For fun – if you have a “Slimdown” story you would like to share – please post it as a comment.  We would like to hear of your success, your process, and on-going management.  

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Kourtney Govro