“I’m failing at this! I got into flight medicine to treat critically injured and ill patients. Now my base manager tells me I must do Outreach. She said that Outreach is the new ‘Enterprise Skill-Set’ critical to our success just like Safety/AMRM and clinical competency.”
“I understand why’s it’s essential. I know we need to have individuals at hospitals, EMS/Fire agencies, and Emergency Services Dispatch Centers making flight requests to us or there are no flights. If there are no flights, basically I’m out of a job that I worked long and hard to earn and one that I love. But I just can’t seem to get it.
Don’t I just pass out T-shirts, ball caps, lapel pins, pens, and pizza—tell people how great we are, do Outreach education then our helicopter and fixed wing will get all kinds of flight requests?” “Isn’t that Outreach? But I’m failing.”
These are the words of an experienced yet exasperated flight nurse, named Amy.
I motioned for her to stop.
DO YOU REMEMBER
“Amy, do you remember the first time you started an I.V.? That is, just like me, the first time you tried to start an I.V.? In my case, I felt so terrible for the many patients during my clinicals where I would begin my attempt with, ‘I’m so sorry,’ as they grimaced while I poked and jabbed and failed, many times. Did you experience the same thing?”
She nodded in the affirmative.
“But do you also remember when a patient would say to you, “Honey my veins are terrible – you’ll never find one that works,” and you looked at her with complete confidence and said, “We’re going to get this. It’s important. Don’t worry… and it was in and flowing before you ended your sentence.”
Amy smiled and gave me a wink.
I continued, “So, it’s the same for the skills of Outreach. You’ll learn. You’ll become proficient just like you did at your many clinical procedures.”
She seemed a bit comforted but then got geared up again and said, “But – our competitors give out so much more stuff than we do. I mean they walk into EDs, ICUs, CCUs, EMS Agencies and Fire Departments with arms full of giveaways every visit they make. And their T-shirts and calendars are so much cooler than ours. What am I supposed to do? Aren’t giveaways and freebies what everybody wants? If we give them more than our competitors more often, then they’ll make more flight requests to us? That’s Outreach right?”
I said, “Amy I sense your frustration.”
She looked at me with a, “You have no idea – it’s rage,” look.
CUSTOMERS MUST BE ABLE TO DEFINE AND DEFEND THEIR DECISION TO REQUEST YOU
I paused and continued, “Yes, some individuals, unfortunately, will be influenced to make flight requests based on how often they get giveaways. And the industry has habituated this practice. To some, SWAG has value. But the fact is, you must understand that there are also many individuals who, above all, desire – or even crave – the highest probability of a positive outcome for the patients they are putting into your hands and your care. It’s vital too to know that they must be able to look into the mirror in the morning or go to bat for you when they are confronted by their superior or a peer about why they requested you instead of another flight program. They must be able to define and defend their decision! Do you understand what I’m expressing? Can you put yourself in their Danskos®?”
“You’d be surprised Amy about how many who call you truly care about what you do for their patients – and through this – what you do for them to assure the best results. And the real bottom—ECG— imagine an individual defining and defending their decision to request a specific flight program to a superior or a lawyer and they state, ‘Gee – they give me lots of stuff almost on a monthly basis – so that’s why I requested them.’ Really?”
She paused a moment and said sarcastically, “So you’re telling me that some of those who make flight requests care more about patient outcomes than our output of promotional items?”
SOME CUSTOMERS ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT SAFETY AND PATIENT OUTCOMES (NOT SWAG)
I continued, “So tell me, to whom would you desire to devote your scarce Outreach resources such as your outstanding clinical education courses; individuals who put the highest value on which flight program gives them and their staff the most SWAG—or the true professionals who understand what truly matters: safety and clinical outcomes?”
“Okay – I get that.” She replied, “But the flight crews think Outreach is all about passing out stuff. They sit around and carry on about who has the best give-out-gimmick for EMS Week and they confront me about why aren’t we giving out more branded apparel than our rivals.”
My retort, “Well, surely branding items have their place but if you really want to own the airways you focus on VACC MissionMetrics and, above all, understanding and astonishing the right customers consistently. You’re going to learn why these are essential. That is why we are going to go on The Book of Outreach journey.
READY TO COMMIT TO THE BOOK OF OUTREACH JOURNEY
So, you and your peers are clear about what you must know and apply. So that once and for all you have clarified expectations about what is Outreach in its purest form, why it matters, and how to be highly proficient at its application and its consistent execution. Are you ready to commit?”
Amy immediately stated, “I am tired of being confused and frustrated about Outreach. Yes, I want to be sure because I know that since our flight program gives patients the best chance to survive, we should be the first to get the flight requests. I’m in! Now, could I interest you in an awesome T-shirt? Kidding—I meant a killer camouflaged ball cap that connects by GPS to our new app.”…to be continued
Each chapter of The Book of Outreach 2019 will begin with a real-life Outreach dilemma or opportunity that Amy must manage. All are from true stories.
The chapter will then inform Outreachers in detail about one of the 7 Essential Outreach Principles and Skill-Sets
At the end of each chapter – Amy will put the principles into action. Again real stories. Based on 39 years of critical healthcare and air medical transport Outreach experience. Here are the main chapters;
• I – How To Set Up Customers for Success Mind-Set; Discovering and Acting On The Three Intrinsic Drivers + AIL ™
• II – How to Triage Customers to Attain Optimal Allocation of Scarce Outreach Resources – The OutreachMATRIX ™
• III – How to Execute the Most Effective Outreach Educational Events (Place-Based &Digital) – The EVERlasting Model ™
• IV – How to Measure Outreach Success; VACC Mission Metrics ™
• V – Outreach Innovation & Differentiation; How to Out-Outreach Your Competitors – NVO ™
• VI – How to Manage Customer Complaints & Conflicts; The AIR Process ™
• VII – Putting it All Together & Execution; Outreach Monthly Modular Plan ™
PLEASE COMMUNICATE ABOUT YOUR OUTREACH PROBLEMS OR CHALLENGES:
SOLUTIONS JUST MIGHT END UP IN the Limited First Edition: The Book of Outreach 2019
Going Live April 2019 – drop an e.mail to [email protected] if you want advanced notification of publication day and availability at Amazon.com
Keep the Outreach Beat – Rich O