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A Lesson from Healthcare Providers: Trust Facts and Science

Author: Marc Plumart, CEO Healthcare Worldwide, Sodexo

Of the many lessons COVID-19 has wrought, one is that the role of a leader has expanded exponentially. We must still provide vision, take care of employees, deliver value to our clients and customers. Today, those leadership activities change daily and more. We have to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and new information.

Successful leaders learn quickly that we have to better decipher the flood of changes and choices coming at us. We have to filter out the opinions and conjecture and embrace the concept that has long been a practice in the healthcare industry: Trust facts and trust science.

At Sodexo, we had the benefit of an early warning about COVID-19. Our teams were on the front lines in Wuhan, China, and in Spain and in Italy, supporting hospitals and seniors as the pandemic took hold. That intense start gave us tremendous insights. But we needed more.  Because we operate in healthcare, we knew we needed more science-based expertise

Last April, Sodexo formed a Medical Advisory Council. We recruited clinicians with expertise in pandemic response, epidemiology, and family medicine to advise us.

Our doctors reviewed hundreds of our operational protocols to ensure we had the best possible guidelines to keep people safe and apply the latest insights. That included things like how often to change contaminated air filters and how to behave in hospital rooms where aerosol generating procedures are being undertaken.

The Council has helped us explain the technical science in ways that connect our organization. Our campaign to encourage everyone to wear PPE and practice social distancing measures has been viewed thousands of time over. And we’re launching another internal campaign to help our team understand the benefits of the vaccine as it becomes available.

A year later, the data suggests that our employee’s infection rates have been far lower than in the surrounding communities in which we work. With the science-based data, we have been able to help our clients adapt their operations more quickly. We can track what’s working and adapt what’s not.

At our core is the mission to power human care and improve quality of life. But we can’t do it with only good intention. The Covid-19 experience is reinforcing the importance of using facts as a foundation for every decision. Build it into your organization or add it on through partnerships. Those who do move faster, adapt more quickly, and create a culture of ongoing learning based on clarity and a firm foundation of data.

Find out more about our Healthcare services.

March 01, 2021

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