I was going to write about all the big news affecting us right now - the potential cyber-attacks on hospitals, the elections, the on-going pandemic … but really, ugh. I can’t wait to be back to “normal”; but what is normal?
I was asked to participate in a review of applications for “outstanding rural hospitals” by a board that I am on with the American Hospital Association. There was a group of applications that was marked “covid” … they did a great job and had a great application to be “outstanding” based on how they handled the pandemic in their community. They set up respiratory clinics and educated the public on masking and … Someone from the review committee (we represented fourteen different hospital and healthcare systems) said “… we’re all doing that”. So the AHA ended up taking all of those applications out of the mix to be considered as “outstanding” because, again, we all do these things - this is our reality. Our new normal is post-election. Our new normal is pandemic. Our new normal is cyber-attacks.
Going forward, everyone’s normal has changed. What we actually do today, there’s a fairly good chance that we will look back in a couple of years and say “ahhh … those were the good ol’ days when we had it easy”.
Over the years I’ve written a lot about appreciating the now. Wouldn’t it be tragic if we were so consumed with trying so hard to deal with the new normal that we missed out on the things that make our lives special? The finalists for the outstanding rural hospitals were the ones - in spite of the pandemic - did something so transformational that they impacted their communities in amazing ways. Examples were coming together with other organizations to provide much needed mental health services or dealing with an opioid crisis in a new unique way or finding ways to feed those in need.
Our challenge going forward is to transform in spite of our reality -- to exceed and to soar. I believe we can and I believe we will.