The 5 Cs | CHCM
By Kathleen Van Wagoner

Role Clarity in Complex Healthcare Systems

Creative Health Care Management assists staff at the point of care to explore the complexity of their specific work and enhance the understanding of the varied roles and how together we can create a caring culture, for patients, families and ourselves. We learn that teams who are mindful find that every interaction is an opportunity to create a compassionate relationship with patients/families, and each other and therefore experience an overall increase in patient satisfaction and staff engagement. Patients recognize the importance of the connection with their care team, and how the connection strengthens their ability to trust and engage in their plan of care. (2022. Nelson, J. et al)

The 5 Cs: Clarity, Competence, Confidence, Collaboration, and Commitment

We know this is not always the case for every care team. Care delivery systems are complex, unpredictable, have overlapping roles, and unclear communication and expectations to name a few reasons why we may feel the frustration of misalignment, fragmentation, and a bit of uncertainty. Despite the complexity of health care, our patients still receive very good care, and the care team gives their all to provide the very best care. I would like to take the opportunity to introduce the “5 C’s” (clarity, competence, confidence, collaboration, and commitment) to create culture that will allow us to flourish in our roles and how to use the concepts to deepen and direct our thinking and actions to provide clarity of self, role, and system; facilitating competence of the necessary clinical and technical, creative and critical thinking, and the relational abilities and skills; confidence emerges when we are clear about our role and the specific competencies needed to excel; collaboration becomes a norm when I am a confident clinician and I enlist the support of colleagues to create and provide the care the patient’s needs; and lastly, the commitment becomes integral to a thriving Relationship-Based Care® (RBC) culture as the courage to do what is right and challenging the status quo when it is best to do.

The 5 Cs create infrastructure for team members to own the key relationships of RBC – the relationship with self, colleagues, patients/families, and our professional practice community. When we know that when our values, beliefs and actions align with the organization’s mission, vision, and values we know we have found our niche, and we know we are in the right position, for the right reason and we choose to belong to the team that gives us the space to thrive.

I will expand on this conversation over the next several Inspiring Connections newsletters on the 5 Cs and how we are able to reflect and deepen our ways of knowing to discover the wisdom that is quite magnificent when “I” own it.

Clarity of Self

With this article I will take the opportunity to introduce the value of the 5 C’s and reflect on “clarity of self, role and system,” and pick up with competence, confidence, collaboration, and commitment in future newsletters.

Seeking clarity of self benefits me when I understand who I am and how do I contribute to the good of the team I work with. I am transparent about my values and goals, and I consider how I support the mission, vision, and values of the organization and how the organization supports me in achieving my goals. Pausing to reflect, to have a conversation with myself on how I am doing, what do I need, and who can help me achieve becomes important to my ongoing success and engagement. I am able to model a healthy relationship with myself when I am aware of what is important to keep myself – body, mind, and spirit – focused on what is important.

Clarity of self occurs when I know, acknowledge and use my strengths to the benefit of my team, patients, and most importantly to myself; when I create healthy habits and boundaries; when I am attuned to my body, mind, and spirit; and I listen to myself and honor my needs.

Clarity of Role

Clarity of role builds on self and the professional role I signed on for. One truth that became clear to me early on is that I never work alone. There is always a team to support me, and I give back to that team in return. There is a need for extensive awareness of the complexity, scope, and value of the work of others and how I align with them. When I am clear about my and others roles, we have the opportunity to develop new ways of approaching some of the lingering problems with processes. Clarity of roles is essential for trust and effective delegation. I often wonder about the immense opportunities waiting to be discovered to reduce fragmentation and redundancies in our work processes when we have clarity on how we can leverage the talents and skills of the interprofessional team when we are clear on who will hold the accountability for the work processes. My role as a nurse is one part of a diverse care team, there may be overlapping and similar roles, and together we discuss who is best able to meet the needs of the patients and how communication will be disseminated between those who would benefit from knowing. We use our professional practice standards and our code of ethics to guide our roles and we lean into our personal and team successes; we know our contributions and why we make a difference.

Clarity of Systems

Lastly, clarity of systems is experienced when I have a clear understanding of the structure, process, policies, and support available to ensure I am successful in my professional role within the organization.

Clarity of self, role, and systems provides the knowledge and space to reflect, learn and develop the wisdom and importance of my and each team members role in establishing a social and therapeutic environment where everyone is able to flourish in a culture where caring practices of relationship with self, colleague, and patients/families in that order thrive for the benefit of the patient.

(2022). Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Healthcare Outcomes. John W. Nelson, Lead Editor: Jayne Felgen and Mary Ann Hozak, Co-Editors. Wiley, 2021, 464 pages. Creative Nursing28(1), 74–76.

Wishes for a bright summers’ week


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