Feeling Boxed In?

February 28, 2014
Denise Hyde

Why is it that we are constantly trying to put our lives, and all the tasks within it, into separate boxes? I find it interesting to see how I compartmentalize paperwork and tasks in my job. I can even remember compartmentalizing my daily life as a parent. I’m all about organization and keeping things clean and clear. I tell myself that this compartmentalization keeps me efficient and sane. How about you? What’s your excuse?

The truth is, that no matter how hard I try to keep everything in a neat, tidy box, and only access it when I need to, everything really does run together. I’m just as likely to have been networking with a colleague at my son’s soccer game as I am to find the newest regulatory guidance located in multiple file folders in my filing cabinet. Keeping things clean and clear is tough, and inefficient, in the reality of the world today.

I especially notice this when it comes to implementing person-directed care ideas. My boss used to say to me, “I need to put the Eden Alternative on my calendar.” I’ve never forgotten how weird that was to hear. Yes, I’ll only pay attention to loneliness, helplessness and boredom on the second Tuesday of the month. Huh? I was speaking with someone taking a transitional care workshop not too long ago. Since her company is in the midst of culture change I expected to hear all about how person-directed care ideas and approaches would be woven into the training. To my surprise, her answer was “no,” they were not incorporating culture change into the training. Why not?

It is time to wise up and let go of the idea that improving the quality of services is in a separate box from implementing person-directed care. Break free of your boxes! See the world differently! Connect the dots! As new initiatives, like QAPI, are shared out, integrate them into what you are already doing. Don’t set up another department or another monthly meeting with a singular purpose. Throw away the boxes, integrate and thrive!

What boxes are you willing to get out of today so that you can create a life worth living and meet federal standards?

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