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Its critical that we have fun at work. Of course, many healthcare organizations falsely assume that if theyre having fun, theyre not doing a good job or theyre neglecting their responsibilities; in most cases, nothing can be further from the truth. When healthcare organizations foster fun environments, they find that they can more easily enhance the quality of care, improve employee satisfaction, and even impact the bottom line. With the right guidance and programs, healthcare organizations can leverage a fun work environment to improve overall operations.

Cheryl Boldt
Senior Consultant, Maun-Lemke

Cheryl Boldt offers more than 35 years of nursing and healthcare leadership experience. She developed her passion for healthcare at a young age when she began volunteering at her hometown nursing home and hospital. She officially started her career as a certified nursing assistant and shortly thereafter became a registered nurse. Ms. Boldt has worked in both front line and leadership roles in acute care and long term care settings. Her acute care experience includes intensive care and rehabilitation unit nursing. She has also held the roles of sub-acute administrator, director of nursing, and admissions coordinator. Cheryl has also worked as a charge nurse and is a licensed nursing home administrator.

For the past 10 years, Ms. Boldt has worked extensively as a professional consultant, partnering with healthcare organizations nationwide. Ms. Boldt lends her expertise to various types of healthcare facilities, including acute care, long term care, home health, assisted living, retirement communities, and hospice. She is an accomplished professional speaker and specializes in topics such as nursing leadership, customer satisfaction, recruitment and retention, Medicare utilization, survey preparation and management, clinical care, teaming, and operational improvement.

Ms. Boldt's consultation services include expertise in healthcare leadership, quality enhancement, and regulatory compliance. A major focus of her services includes revenue enhancement in long term care, specifically in the areas of Medicare A and managed care. Regardless of the chosen topic and session, Ms. Boldt closely works with all essential staff, including front line employees, department leaders, and organizational leaders in executive roles.

A Fun and Effective Approach
Healthcare organizations across the country rely on Ms. Boldt to address a variety of critical issues in a fun and engaging way. In every engagement, Ms. Boldt uses a team approach to address the problems and barriers identified by the organization. Cheryl ensures that every team is diverse, with team members representing various roles and levels of the organization. Additionally, every team member who is asked to participate in a team-based improvement effort is hand-picked by the Administrator or CEO. Being asked to join the team is an honor, and these executives carefully select team members based on criteria such as a positive attitude and exceptional job performance.

Organizations that retain Ms. Boldt quickly discover that her message of fun, hope, and humor strongly and effectively resonates with their employees. As Ms. Boldt often points out, she is probably the only healthcare consultant who consistently reminds teams that the path to fun and excitement is through food, prizes, and men in tights. Ms. Boldt strongly encourages public recognition and celebration when goals and milestones are achieved, and shows teams how to celebrate in fun and unique ways. For example, she helps organizations select unlikely team members to dress up as the company or team mascot (thus the term men in tights) to spark interest and laughs. Ms. Boldt knows that having fun while working is a critical key to success.

Of course, fun and humor is always supported with knowledge and credibility. With more than 35 years of healthcare experience in numerous roles, Ms. Boldt offers unparalleled insight and expertise. She provides real-life situations and scenarios that staff members can relate to, which enables a true connection and partnership to occur. Healthcare professionals at various levels of the organization easily connect with Cheryl because she has been in their role and can identify with their challenges. Moreover, Ms. Boldt ensures that every team member is held accountable. She provides detailed methods for leaders to track progress and keep score.  Ms. Boldt  also provides weekly feedback and encourages any member of the team―from housekeepers to executives―to  pick up the phone, e-mail, arrange a conference call, or set up a live meeting whenever they need her help.

Ms. Boldt is ultimately so committed to her approach that she will only work with organizational leaders who are willing to abdicate some of their control. The hand-picked team must have the support and authority to solve the problems laid out before them. If an organizations executive leadership is unwilling to fully support the team, Ms. Boldt does not feel its in either partys best interest to pursue the program.  

Results that Will Make You Smile
Whether its a speaking or consulting engagement, Ms. Boldts sessions always conclude the same way: with positive results that make her clients smile. Indeed, long term care has had a long history of negative publicity that often overshadows the good publicity. These bad perceptions often lead to fear and anxiety when a person is admitted to long term care as a resident or as a short-term patient. However, Ms. Boldt helps long term care organizations change the misconceptions that exist in their market area or community. She helps them focus on a new, inspiring message―that this is a great time for long term care!  

Long term care organizations dont have to be viewed as a place where people go and never leave. It can and should be viewed as a place that gives patients and residents hope:  a place where a compassionate team of experts provides the care needed to get well and go home.  Ms. Boldts programs help facilities break away from common perceptions of fear at being trapped in a nursing home to community-wide messages of hope. She instills the message that people can live as independently as possible after a long term care team assists them with a safe transition to an appropriate destination, which can include going back home.

In addition to creating and fostering fun, hopeful, and supportive environments, Ms. Boldt also has a track record of producing results that impact the bottom line. She helped several long term care facilities successfully navigate through the recent economic downturn by instituting 12-week Revenue Enhancement Plans. These initiatives consist of a diverse team led by the Executive Director or Administrator. Ms. Boldt helps the team focus on goals related to the Medicare A Program and Medicare B, as many long term care organizations consistently lose money providing care to Medicaid recipients. These organizations need to fill the gap of that loss to survive in the profession of provision of long term care as a service. Ms. Boldt helps facilities maximize these revenue streams and implements get well and go home strategies.

Long term care organizations who implemented Cheryls 12-week Revenue Enhancement Plan substantially improved their financial status. In a time when many other facilities have faced the dilemma of cutting staff, services, and supplies, Ms. Boldt helped these clients pay the bills, give pay raises, and update the environment―so its pleasing to those who enter, live, or stay temporarily after hospitalization.

In addition to enhancing the bottom line, Ms. Boldts Revenue Plans have also been shown to boost employee productivity and morale. Employees who are selected to participate in the initiative are always honored. They are grateful for the opportunity to closely work with managers and team members from other disciplines to achieve such noteworthy goals.  In fact, most team members are unaware of the financial situation of the organization. The initiative allows team members to see how their performance affects the financial success of the facility. Furthermore, every team member is fully engaged in the project and signs the plan they helped develop as a pledge of their support. The team works together in every phase―setting goals, defining action steps, measuring outcomes, and of course celebrating successes.

By implementing Ms. Boldts programs and approaches, healthcare organizations are able to enjoy a trifecta or triple win. Its a win for the patient, as they are treated, get well, and go home. Its a win for the organization because they are able to provide great care and get paid enough to make a sorely needed profit, which can be reinvested for ongoing improvements for all patients, residents, and staff. Lastly, its a win for the community, as this model and approach helps to change the negative perceptions of long term care organizations. Now thats something to smile about.

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